How to Build Stronger Leadership and Law Firm Teams with Amy M. Gardner of Apochromatik
In this episode of On Record PR, Gina Rubel goes on record with a woman featured in ABA publications, Bustle, Glassdoor, Health, Law360, NBC, and Women’s Running magazine. Gina first learned about this guest through “On The Brink Podcast” with Andi Simon.
Amy works with law firms and other employers to reengage teams and help them thrive by improving relationships, strengthening emotional intelligence, building leadership skills and resilience, having difficult conversations, and so more. Amy also works with lawyers one-on-one and in small groups so they may advance in their roles or transition to new ones. She delivers time and stress management training, managing conflict, building trust, goal achievement, and career other topics.
Amy worked at a top 15 Big Law firm as an associate, partner at a mid-market law firm in Chicago, and as Dean of Students at the University of Chicago Law School. She holds a master’s degree in public policy from Northwestern University, a JD from the University of Chicago, and a BA from Luther College. I invite you to learn more about Amy in the show notes on our website.
You say that employers often over-prioritize leadership development at the expense of something that’s even more important. What can be more important than investing in leaders?
What we see again and again is more important than investing in leaders is focusing on developing the team and investing in that team because it is fantastic to have a third-year associate leadership academy or have a senior management leadership retreat, all these things to develop the skills of your leaders. Those are great. The problem is that you send them back to work with the same people who know that you’ve invested in others but not in them. And we are seeing particularly now that it is essential if you want to retain people and not lose them; as we continue to go through this Great Resignation, you have to invest in the whole team. And investing in the group, it’s not just that you ensure that people on the team who would not otherwise qualify for the leadership development will stay because that is true, and that’s fantastic. Still, you’re also setting the leader up for more success.
We often discuss that we prepare leaders to lead in the best-case scenario but don’t prepare teams to be taught. We see again and again that it’s great to have a leader who comes back and says, “I just went to a workshop, and now because of this workshop, I know how to run a meeting, and we’re going to do that.” And the team is like, “Okay, but this meeting is still pointless, and I still am not going to say that because you haven’t created an environment where I can point it out, right?” Like a new plan doesn’t fix the fact that this could have been an email, right?
You can have a leader who is excellent at having difficult conversations. However, if the whole team still believes they have to have this nice facade and not raise issues, it will not get anywhere. We’re seeing the effects of not investing in teams in terms of people who are leaving, but also in terms of the results. When you invest in teams, people are less likely to burn out, they’re more likely to be engaged, they’re more likely to get the results that you need from them, and then they’re less likely to leave and more likely to help the leader succeed.
Do you only work with law firms?
No, we don’t only work with law firms. When we first started Apochromatik six years ago, by the time this is released because it’ll be six years shortly, we were initially focusing on career development and career transition coaching for lawyers. We repeatedly saw that you could help a lawyer or another professional because we also worked with other professionals. You can help them be outstanding in their role. Still, it’s like I was describing a one-off leadership academy or even an ongoing leadership academy. If you’re only helping one person in the system, it’s much harder to change the whole system. And I had done work as a dean of students that lots of law firms had said, “Hey, we need something like this.” And so that became the training and workshop piece of our business, but quickly other employers said, “Well, my team needs that too.”
We often go into a corporation and work with the in-house legal department. Still, the person in sales or compliance says, “Wait, do you work with people who aren’t lawyers?” And the two people who founded the business are my husband and me. Keith’s background is the MBA management version of the world, while mine is the law version of the world, so we work with teams that are not just lawyers and employers that are not just law firms.
How do you define a team?
To me, just the non-highfalutin version. A team is any group of people that share a common objective. And that common objective may be to get a brief filed by Thursday, or that common objective might be to enhance the airplanes that a particular company sells, right? It might be a short-term thing, it might be a long-term thing, but they have to have some common objective.
Can you serve on several teams in a company?
Yes. We see that often where you might have a leadership team that all report to the same boss, and then each of those leaders has a group, whether two people or 200 people, that’s another team. And then, if it’s a 200-person team, there might be cross-functional teams within that. Most people are on more than one team, whether they feel like it or not.
Gina Rubel: In law firms, there’s this idea that you’re just in this practice group or industry group instead of being in a group. If you’re an associate, you might have all the associates that came in the same year. You might be on an affinity group you may. There are so many different teams within the organization, and then figuring out how you fit in all of those teams is essential as well.
Amy Gardner: Absolutely. That’s one of the things we repeatedly see that is different with the attorneys in the workplace now versus those 10 or 20 years ago. And that’s that more junior attorneys now want to feel like they’re part of a team. More senior attorneys probably did too but didn’t convey it or didn’t ask for it, and attorneys now will ask for it and be clear about what they want and need to feel engaged in the overall mission. Some of it is the thought of a bunch of law firm partners running their law firms within a big firm that is not rewarding for attorneys. And you have to have some sort of mission that they’re working towards, some sort of overall goal that they’re working toward if you want people to feel engaged. Whether in a law firm or working on an assembly line, you want people to feel like they’re doing something that matters and it’s bigger than them.
Gina Rubel: You said it in such a kind way. I call it a hotel for lawyers.
Amy Gardner: Yes.
Gina Rubel: It’s a dysfunctional model that still exists and doesn’t allow for the long-term growth that all the firms say they want. I find it fascinating, and I love this idea of teams because it infiltrates every aspect of what you do in a job. As one who practiced law as a litigator more than 20 years ago, I can tell you I never felt part of a team. I felt part of a trial team but not part of the overall team, and there were reasons for that. I was the only woman lawyer at the one law firm I worked at. There was little diversity, and that made it difficult. You know, we’re seeing all of those things play into what you do.
Why is this so important now that we focus on teams instead of all the fires every company needs to be putting out these days?
Younger workers especially value this engagement and having their development invested in regardless of what level they are in the organization. We know now that millennials are about 40% of the US workforce, and it’s the same with members of gen Z who are in the workforce. They’ve also shown that they want their development and growth to be a priority to their employer. We also know from the last. Where are we at now? People are willing to leave for two and a half years now if they don’t feel connected and engaged with their employer and team. And part of the hybrid or remote work model that can be a challenge is that you don’t have easy engagement points. You don’t have easy interactions where. You know, waiting for the elevator and washing your hands in the restroom are interaction points.
And suppose you aren’t creating those intentionally and creating the mentoring and deliberately creating the camaraderie. In that case, it feels much more accessible for people to leave and value work-life balance, salary, or something else if they don’t feel connected and engaged. We’re seeing how hard it is to hire now, which is also creating some of the urgency that the costs have gone up so much of having somebody leave and needing to replace them.
Gina Rubel: It’s so interesting you say that because, as an employer. And we do invest in our teams, and yet one of the things I’ve noticed is there’s still a lack of loyalty. People are willing to take the higher-paying job much more quickly, or “Oh, it’s just not the right fit for me. That’s not what I wanted to do.”
How do you overcome the employer’s objection that employees are just going to leave, so why should we invest in them?
An adage applies: Would you rather invest in people and have them leave or not invest in people and have them stay? And if you don’t invest in people? First, that’s something people ask about in job interviews now: How are you investing in developing your team? How are you investing in developing your leaders? Because everyone assumes that they’re going to be picked for those leadership programs, but when they get there, maybe they are, or perhaps they’re not.
It makes a difference in terms of the results that you’re going to get, as well as in the recruiting. Even if people don’t leave, Gallup has long said that about a third of salary is wasted if an employee is not engaged. It depends on the survey you’re looking at, but there are surveys now that anywhere from 30% to 70% of an average team is not engaged. If you take a third of the salaries you’re paying out; you’re losing a lot if you are not paying attention to this. It’s always been important, but we’re seeing a lot more urgency now that the costs are much higher than they used to be.
Gina Rubel: They are, and, interestingly, you should say that. I can’t help but wonder what those numbers look like or if they are pre-COVID numbers. Pre- or post-COVID numbers, because I think there’s a lot of belief in professional service industries and many industries that if people work from home, they’re not as engaged. I have seen the opposite on my team.
Amy Gardner: We’ve seen the reality when you mentioned loyalty. One of the things that we hear from lawyers all the time and from other professionals, as well as when their employer wants them to come back to the office, they say, “Wait a minute! We’ve had record profits for the last two years. We were all doing our part because you needed us to because we couldn’t be in the office. Now that it’s possible to go back, you’re demanding we go back and use our productivity as an explanation.” And that can feel punitive and make people much less loyal to their employer because they feel like they helped deliver outstanding results in many cases, and you still want us back.
Gina Rubel: Interestingly, you say that because I just did a webinar with ALM, American Lawyer Media, Mid-Market Pro about associate retention. One of the biggest challenges is the firms that require people to go back and leave in droves.
Amy Gardner: Absolutely. I would bet that at least once a week, we hear from a lawyer who says, “I don’t know what I want to do, but I know I don’t want it to be in an office. Can you help me figure it out?” I mean, the reality is that some of these employers. We have a client who had an offer for a significant company based outside Chicago six months before the pandemic started. She would have to drive five days a week to their office, about an hour from Chicago. She asked if there was any flexibility to work remotely one day a week, and they said, “Absolutely not.” Well, she forwarded me that the same job she interviewed for is open again, and now they’re advertising it as fully remote.
Suppose you are an employer who wants people to come back more than a day or two a week or a couple of days a month. In that case, you will be competing with the people willing to let everybody work a hundred percent of the time remotely.
My first job out of college was working remotely for the Iowa Democratic Party. I was in Cedar Rapids, and my boss was in Des Moines. You know, I was 22 years old and had a pager because in those days, cell phones were for fancy people. Then later, after I left the University of Chicago Law School, while we were building our business, I took a day job with the American Constitution Society, where my boss was in DC. I was supervising people in DC and Texas, and Washington State. It was funny how my approach to working remotely had changed so much then. Zoom was not a thing before, and now it is. We’ve all learned a lot over the last couple of years about what working remotely can look like, its drawbacks, and its benefits of it.
What tips for team engagement, especially when you’re not all in the same room?
The temptation is always to have a happy hour or play one of the online games together. That’s great and all, but if you want to get people reengaged, you’ve got to go more extensive. The best way to start is by looking at the overall mission you’re all working towards, what the goals are, what the team’s values are and digging into, getting to know people, and getting to know why they’re there and why what you’re doing matters. One of the things we offer to help people as they work to get their teams reengaged and retain people is to have complimentary invitation-only executive forums that we do roughly every other month. And those are a great way to get together with other leaders. We invite a cross-section of folks from law firms and non-lawyers in corporations or significant nonprofit organizations to talk about what they’re seeing.
In the past, they’ve talked about things like conflict in the workplace, which we know is way up, and how you successfully bring people back those sorts of topics. Suppose listeners are interested in requesting an invitation. In that case, they can go to aposignup.com/forum to do that and then be happy to talk with them about whether it’s a good fit for their needs to attend one of those complimentary discussions with other executives and see what’s going on. Another excellent place to start is by checking in with people for real, not the “How are you? Oh, I’m fine. Great, let’s get down to work.” But talk with your team members about how they’re doing, how things are going for them, and how they feel. Getting a better understanding of where people are right now can be valuable in figuring out what your team needs. Because if you don’t dig into those questions, everyone will say it’s all fine until they give you their resignation letter.
We often do sessions with teams where it’s just a matter of talking with somebody from outside, and suddenly, they will unload and let us know what’s going on with them. If you feel like you’re not getting the truth from people, consider having somebody else make those conversations to dig to see what’s happening and understand because you can’t. All the happy hours in the world, even the offset retreats in the world, will not make a difference if people don’t feel like their leader knows them and cares about them.
Gina Rubel: A lot of law firms and professional service companies, in general, do many of these events around alcohol. I want to encourage our listeners to think differently. Do a mocktail party, do a mocktail competition for the best mocktail you can come up with. Behavioral health issues are prevalent, especially in legal and many other industries, especially now after COVID or while we’re still dealing with COVID.
Amy Gardner: I’m on the Institute for Well-Being in Law Governance Committee, which we talk about a lot. When I was a dean of students, I was horrified at what I saw and heard from various law schools about how alcohol is treated. Anything that employers can do to make it, whether it’s a law firm or another employer, anything that you can do to make it not the default, is going to pay off. One of the things we’re seeing is that as the burnout rates have gone up, we’re doing more and more work with teams around time and stress management. You want people to have healthy coping skills, and if your model for coping with things is to have a keg every Friday or, “Yay, we finished a project, let’s go to the bar.” You’re sending a message, and it will be excluding some people and maybe not creating such healthy norms for the team.
Gina Rubel: I don’t know about the University of Chicago, but when I went to law school, it was every Friday night at TGI Fridays, and everybody was drinking, and it was the only thing you knew as stress relief. The industry, in general, has had that as a default, so I just wanted to share that tip because we want to ensure that we consider everyone’s health.
Leadership development also means leading by example. Do you do a lot of training for the leaders in these organizations?
Yes. Usually, our engagements involve both trainings where we share skills, such as how to give feedback or have a challenging conversation—those sorts of things with a mix of workshops where everybody gets involved and learns together. For example, we did a workshop just the other day with a small law firm where things are fine, but they could be better, so we focus on building trust across the team. It’s a real combination of. In that situation, we’re coaching individuals within the law firm one-on-one, having workshops for the whole team, and training for the leader. We always look at it in terms of what this team needs to get to the next best version of that team. It’s never the same thing twice, but it’s often a combination of workshops and training that will get the transformation you want.
Gina Rubel: I love what you just said. The next best version of that team, that’s such a positive affirmation.
For the leaders listening to this interview, or those who consider themselves leaders, who want to get started developing their teams and not just the obvious, where do they start?
The first place to start is to understand that hope is not a strategy. If you are hoping that you will retain more people, or if you’re hoping that the conflict you sense is going on, but you don’t want to deal with, it’s just going to go away, those sorts of things. It’s just not. You have to meet these challenges head-on. At the same time, you have to understand that many leaders are going through these same things right now, so you are not alone. There are lots of resources. As I mentioned earlier, we have these complementary executive forums that people can request an invitation to where we get people together in a Zoom room to talk through what challenges they’re having. Then we focus on solutions to a particular challenge.
One of the pieces of feedback we get every time is people log on thinking, “Wow, all these impressive people. This is a little intimidating.” And then, by the end, they realize, “Oh, it doesn’t matter whether you are at a Fortune 50 company or a mom-and-pop shop. Everybody is experiencing these issues.” Another thing to keep in mind, too, is that we adopted many of the patterns we’ve gotten into over the years because they were working. But things have changed, so you must accept that the leadership program you did for fifth-year associates five years ago probably doesn’t apply anymore. Pieces of that you might want to keep. Still, we’ve got to go beyond those old formats and understand that employees today want different things than they wished to three years ago because the ground has shifted. Things have changed, and employers must recognize that and adapt to it.
Gina Rubel: I always tell my team, “Manage up. You need to tell me what you need from me; I don’t read minds. If I’m going to make something late, you’ve got to tell me. If I’m not communicating something well enough, feel free to tell me that. I will find another way to communicate it.” But without that open communication, there is no team.
Amy Gardner: Right. And one of the common scenarios we see is that a couple of team members may not communicate well together, and it becomes easier to not interact, especially in a larger team. Again and again, we’ve seen this where it’s a lack of trust leading to the issues in communication, but the communication has to be there. We often say that you can’t see the spinach in your teeth, and as a leader, you must have people on your team who are willing to tell you, right? In The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, you must have eager people by Patrick Lencioni. Actually, no, I’m sorry. It’s a Radical Candor, I think. For example, would somebody on your team tell you if you walked down the hallway with your fly down?
There are lots of reasons they might not be right there. There’s the “well, let her make a fool of herself” angle and the “oh, I don’t want to embarrass her by telling her” angle. We see a lot where there isn’t open and honest communication in a team because everyone is doing this. I’m from Iowa, so we call it Minnesota nice thing where there’s this nice veneer, but there’s a real problem underlying it. You have to foster an environment where people feel like they can communicate with you and with each other openly and honestly. When conflict comes up, because of course it does, they know how to handle it so the team can move on.
Are there tools to use to understand one’s emotional intelligence?
We often use the EQ-i 2.0 assessment with teams where you see different components of your emotional intelligence, and it’s interesting because there are pieces of emotional intelligence like communication that you can enhance or change. Just understanding where people fall within your team can be helpful. You can have the conversations, but an assessment like that can be a great way to see. We worked with a team where one of the pieces of emotional intelligence is stress tolerance. We ran the results and saw how half the group had super-stress tolerance, and half had low-stress tolerance.
When you think about what it’s like for a filing deadline, for the SEC or something, you can understand why many team members were utterly sapped and emotionally exhausted. Another group of team members was like, “Eh, what’s a Thursday? What’s the big deal?” Getting that information about your team, however you get it, can help understand both in ways people might want to grow or stop over-relying on an aspect of their emotional intelligence, but also, “Oh, that’s why Susie gets stressed up about something, and that’s why Sarah is thinking, oh, no big deal.”
It’s an assessment that you can do with a team. You get a team report, and you can also use it with individual leaders to get valuable information for them about parts of their interpersonal skills, for example, that they might want to either enhance or rely on a little less.
Do you have examples of how a high EQ can be helpful when working with other teammates?
I worked for a partner at Skadden who often said there’s no such thing as a good surprise. I often think about that. Suppose you believe that there’s no such thing as a good surprise. In that case, you don’t want to procrastinate things because you don’t have the chance to respond to those surprises when they inevitably pop up. But other people do enjoy the pressure and the adrenaline rush. I mean, it’s just one little way that understanding where people are and their emotional intelligence can make a big difference in how you manage a team.
What is your advice to people wondering whether they should leave their job for another in this economy?
That’s one that we get a lot is whether they should jump or not right now. Laura Vanderkam talks about not making long-term decisions based on short-term situations. She’s often talking about when somebody has a six-month-old at home; six-month-olds don’t stay six months old forever.
In the same way, we are seeing it. Work models are changing monthly, it seems like, in many companies in terms of, “Oh, everybody’s coming back. Oh, wait, actually no.” And oh, back and forth. It’s essential to think through why you’d want to leave. We often do exercises with people on. You know, it’s not just a pro and con list. It’s also, how is this going to help you five months from now? How is this going to help you five years from now? And leaving for the sake of leaving is generally not a good idea. On the other hand, I do think a lot of people right now want a fresh start. You just have to know that if layoffs become necessary, then the last person hired may be more at risk, and you have to also think through what your scenario is going to be.
Many people are happy to be fully remote, but if the rest of the team is in person, who do you think will get the next promotion? What are your advancement opportunities going to be? There are many more factors to consider now than there were, and it’s important that people not just jump because three other coworkers are jumping, which means that more work will fall on them. That domino effect that we see in a lot of organizations. It has to be right for you today and down the road if you’re going to make that move.
Do you only work with companies? Do you work with individuals?
We have our attorney career development and career transition coaching. We work with lawyers one-on-one, and we have miniature group attorney masterminds called Future and Focus, so there’s that group. We have some clients we work with on career development and transition coaching who are not lawyers. Still, most of our clients on that side of our business are lawyers. Then, in terms of the corporate team and leadership development offerings, we have clients ranging from six-lawyer law firms to Fortune 50 companies. And so always happy to talk with folks about what they’re experiencing and see whether it’s in their career or their team and how we might be able to help them or suggest other resources too.
What things do you wish you knew as an associate or even in practice?
I wish I understood all the things you can do with a law degree. I genuinely, and I mean, say this honestly, and those who knew me in those days can attest to this. I genuinely enjoyed being an associate at a big law firm. I genuinely had a good experience at Skadden in Chicago, and I genuinely enjoyed a lot of things about being an associate and then partnered at a mid-size firm. It’s not to say that I wouldn’t have entered the practice of law. Still, I think that if we could help lawyers better understand all the different avenues available, it would be more apparent why it’s important to develop skills outside just being able to write a good brief.
Gina Rubel: I was thinking of when you were the Dean of students and how I have been lobbying the legal industry, the legal education industry, to start teaching the students, not just about the substantive law and the ethics, but the business. I didn’t learn anything about the business of law and law school.
Amy Gardner: I started a professionalism and leadership development program for one Ls that became mandatory and was based in part on what business school does with orientation, as well as an optional program that was for any law student who wanted to attend different programs and workshops and trainings on other professionalism and leadership skills. It was interesting to me how alumni, by and large, were thrilled. Then those who hadn’t practiced law, who may have been on the faculty or in other roles often, it was met with, “Huh, why are you doing improv? What does that have to do with being a lawyer?” That sort of not coming from a bad place. Sometimes alumni play an important role in law schools in helping them understand what they need to do to better prepare their students for the actual practice.
I graduated from law school in Chicago, and when I became a litigation associate at a law firm, having not summered in Chicago, I did not know how to get to the courthouse. I was wandering around with a map. Remember maps? I was walking around with a map, trying to find the courthouse the first time I had to go. It varies by law school, and some law schools where people stay local may do a better job. They appreciate what they’re preparing people for versus some law schools where people may do different things or go to big law.
I believe law schools have a role to play, but also employers. Given that you will be employing people from various law schools, you must understand that first-year associates do not know how to file a certificate of service, right? What is that? They’re not born knowing how to talk to clients or do those things. One way or another, they have to be taught how to do those things so that we can set them up for success.
Gina Rubel: And then there’s also the five-year associate who doesn’t understand what the path to partnership looks like or that they don’t have a say in anything when they make partner.
Amy Gardner: I shared with you that when I made partner, I thought, “Oh, well, now everyone’s going to be interested in my opinions.” Nope. I had a conversation with a managing partner where he explained that he would have to vote for the management committee to make significant changes in the firm. That’s something I should have taken upon myself to understand, but I just put my head down, did good work, and tried to bring a business.
Gina Rubel: That’s where I disagree. I don’t think it’s the associate’s job to figure out what they don’t know. How do we know what we don’t know when we’re tasked to do all? Maybe that’s me being defensive of not knowing at one point what all that stuff meant, but there is an obligation on behalf of the employer too. There is a genuine need for all that types of education in law school, as well as in law firms. Being a partner isn’t suitable for everyone, whether a non-equity partner or an equity partner, even knowing what those things mean or what they mean in different firms.
Turning the Tables
Gina Rubel: Do you have any questions for me?
Amy Gardner: I would love to hear what things are keeping you up at night right now in your business?
Gina Rubel: What things are keeping me up at night? Right now, it’s mid-July 2022. I’m not going to get onto a political conversation. Still, I will say that what’s keeping me up at night is understanding how the Dobbs decision on Roe vs. Wade has affected the practice of law, the delivery of services and benefits to employees, and how law firms are going to continue to communicate and represent in a legal environment that, in my opinion, stepped back 50 years. This whole what’s happening with the Supreme Court, how does it affect everything? I’m not just talking about Roe vs. Wade; I’m talking about everything that can and has the potential to change. In my company, in our county, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, we were one of the first to offer same-sex benefits, and we’ve always offered them.
I’ve had employees in same-sex marriages, and I want them to have all the same legal rights I have in a heterosexual relationship. For me, it’s figuring out what’s coming down the pike as an employer, not just for my company but for all our clients. We have clients with offices in more than 30 states, so it’s interesting trying to figure that out. Public relations, crisis communications, and incident response aren’t just dealing with adverse situations. Part of it is incident avoidance, so we’ll be working with our clients, their GCs, and their HR departments to figure out policies, how they communicate, and what they’re going to do. I don’t know the answers, and no one does right now, and that’s where, as a planner and as someone who counsels clients, I feel much like I did when we saw the pandemic coming.
Amy Gardner: So many lawyers we want to control what we can, and if you feel like precedent may or may not matter anymore, how do you plan around that?
Gina Rubel: That’s it. We saw that tsunami coming with the pandemic and just started doing constant research. How do we get people working from home? What are we going to do about that? We were all there, right? Everyone. Globally, we were there. The Dobbs decision affects us here in the United States, not globally, but it certainly causes us to question precedent, so that keeps me up at night; that is another wave of COVID. I have a client meeting tomorrow in person, I had a few in the last few years, and I told my colleague we would be wearing masks. There’s a new variant. Our state is up to a large percentage of daily new cases. We will be wearing masks.
Amy Gardner: We’ve had corporate training in the last three weeks. We’ve hosted a retreat for members of our Attorney Mastermind programs and an in-person retreat in Chicago. We just hosted a retreat a few days ago for a law firm in person. Even in the last few weeks, there has been a shift in whether people want to wear masks or what they want to do and how they feel about getting together in person. We’re all still feeling our way through this and trying to understand.
Gina Rubel: And we may be for a long time to come. You know, who knows? But that keeps me up at night by protecting our clients and ensuring that we give the best counsel we can in our role, which means understanding the landscape. And I don’t think any of us know what’s coming. I must admit I did not believe that we’d be where we are today in 2022 in terms of returning precedent, so a little bit of that anticipation.
Amy Gardner: I was in Georgia, the country of Georgia, and the Dobbs decision, was handed out while we were leading a session of our Attorney Mastermind groups talking about LinkedIn and how to use LinkedIn if you want to advance or raise your profile. The news alert came out, and I didn’t know because I had my alerts off, but I saw the faces of some of the women in the workshop, who happened to be all women, and then learned what had happened. Later that afternoon, about three hours later, I was at a gathering of people from Luxembourg, the US, Canada, and Georgia for this tour group. That was all everybody talked about. One of the people from Luxembourg had read the decision before I had. It’s something not just those of us in the US concerned.
Gina Rubel: It’s interesting how it affects the type of work we do, the conversations, and what we need to do to be good leaders. When you think about it, it’s understanding the corporate landscape and everything from medical benefits to human rights. I find it fascinating. I believe we all went to law school because we love to learn in some crazy way, so that’s where we are all the time. So
Do you have any parting thoughts?
I encourage people to don’t just assume that things will all get better, right? You must actively take steps to reengage your team, just as you have to take steps in your career actively. It is not enough to just put your head down, do good work, and hope that the team will start getting along or get better results, or your good work will be recognized, and you will get that promotion. I encourage people to take action. I want to thank you again, Gina, for having me on. And of course, Andi Simon, for having me on her podcast that led to this one, thank you.
Where can listeners learn more about you or get in touch?
I hope they’ll connect with me on LinkedIn, and if you’re interested in potentially attending one of our executive forums where we talk about these team and leadership development issues, you can request an invitation at aposignup.com/forum, and I encourage folks to do that.
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Amy M. Gardner
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