Leaders: Does Your Empathy Diminish Your Ability to Push?
Gerry Riskin, B. Com, LLB, P. Admin, is an internationally recognized lawyer, author and management consultant and a founder of Edge International.
A graduate of commerce as well as law, he began practicing in 1973 and was Managing Partner of a law firm in Canada and Hong Kong. Gerry co-founded Edge International in 1983 and turned to full time consulting in 1989.
Gerry is author of The Successful Lawyer, Creating the Marketing Mindset, Herding Cats and beyond KNOWING.
He has served the Conference Board of Canada, has been a Visiting Fellow of The College of Law in London, a visiting lecturer at Fordham Law School in New York, Visiting Professor at the University or Pretoria in South Africa and is currently a Fellow Emeritus of the College of Law Practice Management.
Apart from being a prolific speaker to legal associations and law firm networks globally, as well as frequently conducting workshops, retreats and seminars, Gerry engages in:
Gerry focuses on implementation and execution with which many excellent law firms struggle. He has served hundreds of clients from small boutiques to mega firms.
As an authority on developing trends that impact the profession, Gerry habitually disseminates such information as well as potential reactions, including the impact of a pandemic and the resulting need to prepare for and effectively work virtually.
Gerry is still a Canadian but has resided on the Caribbean Island of Anguilla, British West Indies for the past 25 years.
Book sections include: The Foundations of Success; Successfully Managing the Client Relationship; Putting Client-Relations Skills to Work; Increasing Your Value; The Business of Law; and Time and Money. Chapter titles include: “Courting Prospective Clients,” “Meeting Prospective Clients,” “Managing Client Expectations,” “Becoming More Valuable,” “Dealing with Difficult People,” “Harnessing Technology,” “Managing Time,” and many others.
Tom Peters, the highly acclaimed writer on business-management practice and author of In Search of Excellence, has described The Successful Lawyer as “Well argued and exceptionally practical.”
The Kindle version is readable on any electronic device, and you can obtain a Kindle app for any device you have. There’s a link to the app on the Amazon page where the book is listed. You can also order The Successful Lawyer from your favourite independent bookseller.
“This work is an arrow to the heart of the leadership matter. In the competitive environment faced by professionals today, classic management styles of the past simply do not work anymore. This incredibly pragmatic work by McKenna and Riskin is not only valuable, but crucial. If there is a more useful or practical view of the situation than you or I might have thought of, you can bet that these two will have found it — and you will find it in this comprehensive spectrum of leadership guidelines for the professional practitioner. Any firm leaders who do not learn what is in this handbook can expect to be surpassed in the marketplace by those who do.”
—Bruce Marcus, author of Competing for Clients
“Herding Cats is both profound and practical. There exists no better guide to influencing and leading professionals. This is must-reading.”
—David Maister, author of Managing the Professional Service Firm, True Professionalism, The Trusted Advisor and Practice What You Preach
“When I first received Herding Cats, I put it aside for vacation reading. When I picked it up again, I read it from cover to cover and said, ‘WOW! What great ideas and thoughts.’ I immediately ordered a copy for each of our department chairs and practice group leaders. For me, the most powerful idea in the publication is ‘Focusing on Innovating — Not Fixing.’ This single idea has changed the way we manage our firm.”
—John S. Oyler, Managing Partner, McNees Wallace & Nurick
“This handbook is just the ticket for busy Management Committee lawyers in the firm — a quick read but far from shallow. More like a fast, cool dip in the deep end — and just as refreshing.
—David Cruickshank, Director of Professional Development, Gowling Strathy & Henderson
“After I finished reading Herding Cats, I did what any good leader would do: I ordered 30 more copies for our practice groups. You will not find as much wisdom and experience about law firm management in any other single place.”
—Joseph V. Walker, President & Chief Executive Officer, Plunkett & Cooney
“You must have been spending considerable time in our office to be aware of so many of the issues that affect us. I ordered multiple copies of Herding Cats to circulate among my partners, which lent the voice of authority to many of the decisions made. For a relatively small volume, there is considerable content and substance.”
—Robert Cohen, Managing Partner, Blaney McMurtry Stapells Friedman
“Herding Cats succinctly presents basic management and leadership principles that are all too often forgotten. It is an easy and quick read and probably should be read a few times a year by anyone who leads a law firm or a practice group within a law firm.”
—Lawrence Gerber, Managing Partner, McDermott Will & Emery
“I certainly enjoyed reading your original publication of Herding Cats and I must confess I have heard it more accurately described recently as more akin to ‘herding tigers.’ I feel that your publication brings together in a clear and concise manner some of the fundamental issues that face those involved in managing professional service firms.”
—John Churchill, Managing Partner, PriceWaterhouseCoopers Australia
“Forget the latest business blockbuster and the management theory-of-the-month club. Herding Catshas more practical, useful information on leading a professional service firm than anything I have come across in years. It is a half-hour reading investment that pays off with a recommitment to innovation, communication and true leadership.”
—William L. Matthews, Managing Partner, Plante & Moran CPA, LLP
“A number of our practice leaders have shared Herding Cats with both their clients and the professional staff in their offices. The book provides many helpful ‘compass’ guidelines that allow leaders to set their courses and navigate their way through critical practice leadership issues. The partners in our group found Herding Cats to be uniquely on point in addressing their needs as leaders in a highly-matrixed, consultative, professional services organization.”
—R. Todd Rossel, National Director of Human Resources, Management Solutions & Services, Deloitte & Touche, LLP
“Herding Cats has been a real hit and an inspiration! Your insights cut across the spectrum of human nature, giving something of value to every reader.”
—Donald J. Figura, Managing Partner, Wolf & Company CPA
“Leadership is a critical issue in today’s professional services company. As firms move to a more corporate environment, the advice and commentary in Herding Cats is not only essential, but helps the firm leader maintain perspective. It is a must-read for every practice leader.”
—Jim Fitzpatrick, Partner, McGladrey & Pullen and Director of the McGladrey Network
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