Leadership expert Nick Petrie, explains that the legal profession has been slow to accept the need for leadership development predominantly because current leadership programs don’t fit the structure and values of law firms.

However the current and future trends in leadership development thinking may provide law firms with a real opportunity to finesse leadership development.

Petrie identifies four trends for the future of leadership development:

There will be a greater focus on developing complex thinking, by working with beliefs and behaviours.

Transfer of greater developmental ownership from HR or management to the individual.

Greater focus on collective rather than individual leadership

Much greater focus on innovation in leadership development methods.

What were seen as the challenges of leadership in a legal practice – the decentralisation of the partnership structure and the independence of the lawyer personality, can now provide a basis for a model of leadership fit for the future. Further, I believe that involving lawyers in a long term personal leadership development will provide the individuals with the opportunity for fulfilling self-development and foster greater workplace satisfaction.