Canadian Lawyer

March 2021

The most widely read magazine for Canadian lawyers

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Page 39 of 43

38 FEATURE LEADERSHIP IF YOU KNOW about your industry, perform your job well and show "potential," there's a good chance your organization will consider promoting you to a management role. Unfortunately, as a manager, you'll only use a small percentage of the skills that got you the promotion in the first place, and, according to the latest statistics, you have a greater chance of failing than being successful. Sadly, I'm qualified to write on this topic because soon after I was promoted into a role leading other people, I quickly figured out that I had no clue what I was doing. I did everything wrong, and, unfortunately, my people bore the brunt of the pain associated with my lack of leadership skills. At the end of the day, leadership is a journey and not a destination. To improve your odds of success on your leadership journey, there are skills and behaviours you need before and while you lead a team. People often fail when they ascend to leadership roles because they haven't cultivated the qualities necessary to lead a team. John Eades highlights five attributes that are critical for new leaders 1. Have servant mindset I've written about this many times, but the best definition of leadership comes from John Quincy Adams: "If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader." Leadership is about serving and empow- ering other people. No longer do you come to work for yourself or for your own self- interest. You now come to work to serve other people and help them become the best version of themselves in order to achieve more as a team. Serving others doesn't mean being a pushover or not holding others account- able. It's actually the opposite. In truth, you can't effectively lead in today's environment without it. 2. Know the qualities you want to see in people One of the biggest mistakes I've made Five things you must have to lead a team in my leadership career was not knowing what I was looking for in people. We now teach something called the Leadership Compound Theory, which shows the four characteristics we look for in people — confidence, drive, selflessness and character — and what we expect each team member to bring to work every single day. You might be looking for different things based on your role or position, but the important thing is that you define them, communicate them and live them yourself. 3. Find an excellent mentor Leading a team is hard work. I tell my team all the time, "If it were easy, everyone would do it." Because of the difficulty, having someone in your corner is extremely important. Sir Richard Branson said, "If you ask any successful businessperson, they always will have had a great mentor at some point

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