♬ This magic moment
So different and so new
Was like any other
…It took me by suprise
I knew that you felt it too
I could see it by the look in your eyes …♬
Lyrics and music by: Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman.
This is a post of the latest Leadership Moment by Beth Flynn at the Ohio State University Leadership Center. I thought it was excellent and I hope you do to.
Civility (or lack of civility) has been featured in the news this week as we have experienced rude behavior in the government, in sports and at the music awards. Lack of civility is on the increase – and it does need to be addressed before it gets out of control. In today’s Columbus Dispatch, Amy Saunders wrote an excellent article on civility titled Rude awakening: Outbursts are in vogue. Click here to read Amy’s article
If we do not know how the events of the day will unfold, if we cannot see into the future, when does leadership happen?
Answer: It happens at The Magic Moment.
A Magic Moment is any time we receive information and face a choice – a choice in determining what actions we will take and what we will say.
In working with business people around the world, we have conducted research which shows that just over half of us will say or do something destructive when faced with a stressful situation. At that critical point, in that “Magic Moment” when people discover that things have not gone the way we wanted them to, their words and body language lash out with harmful messages.
Another large group of people do nothing. They simply ignore the situation.
These two types of leaders miss the most important decisions that take place during a day. When missed these Magic Moments, which number in the thousands, breed and feed office elephants.
But other people seize such Magic Moments and use them in their favor. Life happens (Read: Competition happens, market conditions happen, personnel and supplier issues happen, and so forth). These leaders recognize an opportunity and leverage the moment to deliver results now – and guarantee greater results in the future (p. 114-115, Vannoy and Ross, 2008).
The Elephant in the Office is available on loan from the Ohio State University Leadership Center. To borrow this resource or any other resource, please go to the resource search page
Learn how the Ohio State University Leadership Center is strengthening tomorrow’s leaders today at http://leadershipcenter.osu.edu.
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Thank you Beth for all your great work at the U. of Ohio and for reminding us about those magic moments!
Simon Chester, a partner at Heenan Blaikie since 2004, is a member of their Toronto Litigation and Business Law groups. His practice focuses on knowledge management, research and legal opinions specifically. He has been a pioneer over the past 25 five years in the application of technology to the practice of law.
Simon studied Jurisprudence at University College, Oxford, and on winning the Canadian Rhodes Trust Scholarship did post-graduate work at Osgoode Hall Law School. After a decade in the Ontario government, he joined another major Toronto law firm as research partner. His earlier career included work as a faculty member at Osgoode Hall, on the research staff of the Ontario Law Reform Commission, and as Executive Counsel to the Attorney General of Ontario.
He has extensive experience in privacy and e-commerce.
Simon has held leadership positions in professional organizations and was the first non-American to chair the American Bar Association’s Tech Show. He chairs the ABA Law Practice Management Section’s Editorial Advisory Board. He served as President of the College of Law Practice Management and as President of the Oxford University Society in Toronto; he is a director of the Canadian Rhodes Scholars’ Foundation.
Simon has often testified before House of Commons and Senate Committees and is a frequent speaker at American, Canadian, Asian and European conferences on technology, international law and law practice management issues. He has contributed articles to the American Lawyer, International Business Lawyer, International Financial Law Review, Law Practice Management, CAMagazine, CBA National, Business Law International and the ABA Journal. He has written chapters for Winning with Technology, The Quality Pursuit, Environmental Rights in Canada and Canadian Legal Practice.
We welcome this opportunity for Simon, a perennial speaker at The Pacific Legal Technology Conference (including the upcoming 2009 version on Oct 2 in Vancouver) to answer 30 Questions for Busy Lawyers who use Technology:
1. Could you briefly describe your firm (number of lawyers, staff, areas of practice etc):
Heenan Blaikie is one of the ten largest law firms in Canada, although it is likely the youngest, since the firm was only formed in 1973. Practicing in four provinces, we currently have 495 lawyers, 6 Patent Agents, 67 Paralegals and 519 Support Staff : (which includes legal assistants and administrative staff (Accounting, Human Resources, IT, etc.). The firm’s historic strengths have been in labour relations, film, media and communications, public law litigation, pharmaceutical litigation and business law, but we have lawyers specializing in a vast number of areas from aboriginal land claims, mining project development, to atomic energy to minority language rights litigation. With the exception of the occasional white collar/regulatory defence, we eschew criminal work, and will refer out all family law work. The firm also has an active pro bono practice, and has been involved in a number of high profile recent constitutional challenges. In addition, the firm has an extensive international consulting practice, although this is generally conducted using advanced telecommunications and fly-ins. (more…)