Sterling Miller, on his blog Ten Things You Need to Know as In-House Counsel, shared his most recent “ten things” on being a manager. I’ve often heard it said that law school doesn’t do a very good job of teaching business skills and how that can impact lawyers trying to run a law firm. The same can be said about lawyers being managers. As Sterling puts it:
There seems to be an assumption that if you are a good lawyer, you are automatically a good manager. As you probably know by experience, that is not true.
I haven’t worked in a legal operations department before, but I’ve worked with plenty of lawyers. We should most definitely not assume they would all make good people managers. I believe that some are, but it’s not because they learned the skill coming through law school.
You should read his ten things but the sole reason for me sharing this is his second bullet point – Get Trained.
Sterling first recommends that you get over yourself and ask for help getting up to speed. Understand that there is much that you don’t know when you first become a people manager, and then try to learn. He also provides a nice list of resources where you could start this learning journey.
Whether you’re a lawyer or not, these resources are worth looking at. If you are or hope to become a people manager, do all of us a favor and learn. Understand what is required to become a good manager and if your team is remote, learn how to be a good remote manager. Your teams’ success depends on it.
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