Leadership Exchange - Spring 2017 - 23

(CM) ELEVATE YOUR POSITION: GRAB THAT SEAT AT THE TABLE

Share what you do. I have also heard members say, "My
partners don't know what I do." If your partners don't
know what you do, tell them. When I send out the agenda
for our monthly attorney meeting, I include my "Broomell
Brief." This is a two-to-three-page summary of what I
worked on over the past month.
Always look to add value. At every opportunity, offer to
take on a task or project that would normally be done
by your Managing Partner or other manager, even if it is
outside your comfort zone. A few weeks before my 2006
year-end attorney retreat, it was decided that we would
use one of the days to discuss our attorney compensation
policy and procedure. We were frantically trying to find
a consultant to work with us to plan and facilitate that
part of the retreat, when somehow I found the courage
to ask if I could do it. I made sure that I was not going to
fail. I read every article and book I could find on attorney
compensation, and I met with a professional meeting
facilitator who helped me understand the role of the
facilitator, the use of ground rules and what to do when
I got stuck. After that retreat, it was decided that I would
facilitate all monthly attorney meetings. Raise your hand
and then be prepared. The more prepared you are, the
more confidence you will have.
Get a coach and be a coach. If you played any sport
growing up, you know how important a good coach can
be. My fast-pitch softball coach inspired passion, and he
taught us to take risks, to push ahead when tired, to
dream, to understand our full potential, to learn from
mistakes, to trust our teammates, and to always focus on
the "we." A professional coach does the same thing. But
we don't always need to pay someone to be a coach. I
have many coaches in my life - sponsors, advisers
and friends.

Here's what I suggest:
* Get rid of the 9 to 5 mentality.
* Don't think of yourself as "staff."
* Always look for ways to move the firm forward.
* Invest in yourself.
* Build trusting relationships with everyone at the firm.
* Know everything about your firm - the business side
and the practice side.
* Make every decision with an owner mentality.
* Be accountable and act with integrity.
* Be a servant leader.
* Display courage.
* Take care of yourself - physically, emotionally
and spiritually.
During the Association lunch last year, I told a story
about my youngest daughter. She was writing a
paper while in middle school, and she asked me if I
was successful because I worked hard or because I
was lucky. I responded, "Yes!" She was a bit puzzled.
I told her that I was successful because I work really
hard and because I am lucky. But, I also told her that
I had more luck because I work hard. If you work
hard and you have a little luck, you will get that seat
at the table. n
Reprinted with permission from Legal Management
magazine, Volume 36, Issue 2, published by
the Association of Legal Administrators, www.
legalmanagement.org Laura broomell article.

Act like a partner. Partners and shareholders are owners
in their firm. Unfortunately, most of us cannot be owners
in our firms, but that does not mean we can't act like one.

Don't just get involved. Fight for your
seat at the table. Better yet, fight for a
seat at the head of the table. "
- BARACK OBAMA

About the Author:
Laura J. Broomell, CLM
2016-2017 ALA President
Chief Operating Officer, Greene Espel PLLP
Minneapolis, Minnesota

GLA ALA Leadership Exchange I Spring 2017

23


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Leadership Exchange - Spring 2017 - Table of Contents
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