Since the word “leadership” holds many distinct interpretations, let's be clear about what we mean.
It is no longer enough to say that leadership reflects the qualities, characteristics and personality traits of any individual alone - whether inborn or taught. That suits a more traditional, hierarchical structure where a "leader" assumes control to drive an existing initiative forward. Yet, this is the only context that most lawyers know and understand.
To put it bluntly, the skills needed to ascend the ranks of the local bar association areentirely different from those needed to forge a path where none currently exists.
We see leadership as collaborative, relational, and generative.
It begins by fostering critical connections with others who share a common cause or vision of what's possible. Because only through our relationships to and with each other do future possibilities, as well as our wise next steps, become more clear and attainable.
We believe that the source of leadership arises through all people given the right conditions, meaning a participatory process that engages us in our diversity and our vitality toward continuous learning, deeper understanding, shared decision-making, and more timely action.
These are the qualities of leadership we need to navigate our way through the challenges and opportunities we face within and through the legal profession.