Leadership Insights from Best-Selling Author, Courtney Lynch
Success as a legal marketing professional requires multidimensional leadership skills. Your role to inform and advise legal experts, influence the actions of key leaders and inspire greater results for the organizations you are a part of is a demanding one.
I’ve spent the last couple of months working to understand the dynamic roles legal marketing professionals fill in preparation for delivering a pilot leadership development program for LMA members this November. Having designed leadership development programs for a wide range of talented professionals in organizations ranging from Facebook and Google to Walmart, FedEx and Boston Scientific, I believe few professionals need to have the breadth of leadership capabilities like those that allow you to flourish in your efforts to market legal services to diverse audiences.
To lead well, you must first demonstrate a unique blend of confidence, credibility and resolve. Here are some practical tips for bringing these attributes to your leadership style.
Begin with Confidence
Many believe that confidence is a skill. It’s not; it’s actually an emotion, which can explain why it is often absent when you need it the most. To achieve the consistent confidence necessary to advise and lead top legal minds, focus on these four factors, keeping in mind that strong confidence comes from within:
- Experience your success. Accomplishing objectives and making results happen are important, yet be sure you take time to reflect on how your actions contribute to the success of others. It’s easy to just keep checking off the next project, the next “to-do.” Yet lasting confidence is born in the moments when we savor who we are and the parts we’ve played in leading others to greater success. When something goes well, take time to pause and congratulate yourself before you plow forward to the next win.
- Surround yourself with positive role models. To counter the impact difficult people can have on your confidence, make sure you refresh, engage and learn from those who have your best interests at heart, recognize your talent and are willing to share constructive feedback with you in an empowering way.
- Embrace positive self-appraisals. The words we tell ourselves matter. When times are stressful or problems happen, what do you say to yourself? If you are the first to tell yourself you aren’t capable, your ability to project confidence to others will be diminished. Resist any urge to tear yourself down; instead, seek to lift yourself up. It’s amazing how research supports the strong impact a positive internal dialogue has on being able to achieve success.
- Recognize other emotions that can kill your confidence. Fear, worry and insecurity zap your confidence in seconds. Focus on action the moment you sense them. Worry is paralyzing. When you notice your worries have stopped progress, consciously choose to do something to mitigate them. And, for those many moments we allow insecurity to creep into our thoughts, hold yourself accountable to experiencing your success. The more we recognize what we’ve done to have the opportunity of the challenge in front of us, the better we’ll be prepared to overcome it.
Hone Your Credibility
Seek to continuously understand how credibility is earned in your working environment. Beyond the published standards of performance, pay attention to the unwritten rules that earn respect. Take note of what the attorneys you work with request, appreciate and seek from your contributions. When you meet those expectations, you’ll earn the trust needed to influence others to level up their marketing engagement. Those who are experts in one field often have difficulty trusting those who are experts in other arenas. That’s why it’s critical that you demonstrate trust-earning credibility in simple, responsive ways before seeking to advise action.
Keep Your Resolve
The pace of your work can be quick, hectic and demanding. Remember to think before you act, especially before you overreact. It’s easy to get caught up in a vortex of gossip, frustration and chaos. Don’t. Instead, stay focused on leading others beyond it.
The more effective leader you are, the better marketing professional you’ll be. By building confidence, being credible and demonstrating resolve, you’ll have the opportunity to influence outcomes and inspire others.
Read Courtney's best-selling book "Leading from the Front" with your peers by joining Cover to Cover, the LMA Summer Book Club every Wednesday from July 27-August 4.
Courtney will also lead LMA's first Leadership Development Program Certificate, an inaugural leadership development experience for the legal marketing industry. Save the date, November 15-16 in Chicago.
Courtney Lynch is the best-selling author of Leading from the Front. Notable leadership achievements include her nine years of service as a Marine Corps officer, managing a top-notch sales team for Rational Software, earning her law degree at William & Mary, and creating Lead Star (www.leadstar.us), a premier leadership development consulting firm that works globally with leading organizations.