The Bridge - November 2011 - (Page 17)

LEADERSHIP PROFILE OF ALA MEMBER BETTY B. SMITH “ATTITUDE REFLECTS LEADERSHIP” My favorite quote from a movie is, “attitude reflects leadership” from Remember the Titans. I am a firm believer that great leaders set the right tone for their organization. As the Manager of Administration for the Palo Alto branch office of Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky & Popeo, PC, I try to keep this in mind when setting an example for those I am charged to lead. I have received much from those who have exemplified the finest leadership qualities in my life -- from family and friends to teachers, mentors, and some of the great leaders of our time who have helped shape who I am both personally and professionally. Because of this, I feel it is important to remember and pass those qualities on to those I might influence. I have been in director/managerial roles in law firms for 17 years, but my first law firm position was Operations and Accounting Manager for a 15attorney law office -- a position I was able to secure after years of business management experience in the engineering and hotel industries. As a former manager at a Four Seasons hotel, I was trained very early on to focus on client service and operations efficiency. I translated much of what I learned in those earlier positions to my work as a law firm administrator, and these skills help me meet some of my greatest challenges. I believe one of the greatest challenge law firm administrators face today is striving to achieve credibility with the partners, such that they allow us -- as legal administrators -- to do what we do best…manage efficiently! Achieving credibility with partners stems from a combination of personal qualities and professional experience that include: excellent communication skills, problem solving skills, financial management skills, efficiency practices, people management skills, mediation skills, organizational skills, client service mentality, motivational skills, in-depth operations skills, time management skills, and last but not least, understanding the firm’s practice areas! Whether managing human resources, accounting and operations, and/or working closely with partners to help achieve the firm’s goals, I truly enjoy the variety of operational areas in which I am involved as a legal administrator. Some of the things I enjoy most about my position are the people management aspect and working with the different departments within the firm. My involvement with the ALA, going back to 2003, has only added to my knowledge skills and abilities, and helped me execute my responsibilities with refined judgment and experience. In 2006, I was asked to join the Board of the Golden Gate chapter of the ALA, which was the best thing that had happened to me professionally for a few years. Being involved on a Board with such wonderful professionals has truly been a blessing. I believe I have learned more in some respects from this experience than from some of the practical lessons on the job. It’s amazing the wealth of knowledge and experience we are exposed to as ALA members! I encourage all The Bridge readers to contact any of the ALA Board members to ask what you might do to become more involved in your local chapter. Attend as many sessions as possible, especially in areas in which you haven’t had much experience. Actively participating in the ALA can open up a world of opportunities, as well as teach best practices. ALA Member: Betty B. Smith Manager of Administration Palo Alto Branch Office Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky & Popeo, PC ALA Member Since 2003 Co-Chair of the Leadership & Management Section of the ALA Golden Gate Chapter 17 Golden Gate Chapter November 2011

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Bridge - November 2011

The Bridge - November 2011
President’s Message
Five Common Management Mistakes
The Value of ALA Partnership
Business Partner Appreciation Reception
New Law Requires Employers to Continue Health Benefits
Change for the Good
Gold Nugget Program
Community Challenge Events
Leadership Profile: Betty Smith
Annual Conference Announcements
Hot Topics From the List Serve
Salary & Benefit Survey Order Form
Member Anniversaries
2011—2012 Business Partners
Job Bank
Golden Gate Chapter Leadership
November 2011 Calendar

The Bridge - November 2011