Dr. Richard says that "Managing lawyers is like herding cats", this essentially means that managing lawyers is impossible.
This article provides a context and clarification on the issue, he also asserts that these traits have broad implications in assisting the managing partners of firms to cultivate rainmakers and maintain service worker.
A rainmaker is a sales thinking client producing lawyer, while a service worker is one who does not like going to the meetings and meeting people, but is comfortable getting lots of work done. One type is not necessarily better than the other, but firms need both to thrive.
The theory is that "lawyers differ from the lay public, in some cases significantly. Rainmakers also differ from other lawyers". Personality's vary considerably across society, especially in law firm life. Recently many managing firm partners have been using the Caliper profile to help better understand the strengths and weaknesses, which has not only helped increase productivity, but also assist in making important decisions.
After going in depth about the differences between the types of lawyers, Dr. Richard compares traits of lawyers to the general public.
Skepticism: Lawyers 90th Percentile - General Public 50th Percentile
- People who score high on this trait are skeptical, cynical, judgmental and self-protective.
This explains the frustrations in trying to manage many lawyers, but it is likely that high levels of this trait are key to success in the profession.
Urgency: Lawyers 71st Percentile - General Public 50th Percentile
-High scores on urgency are characterized by a need to get things done and impatience.
Urgency can be both good and bad, it can definitely add a level of tension to the workplace. Especially in relationships with an attorney's secretary or mentor/protoge' .
Sociability: Lawyers 13th Percentile - General Public 50th Percentile
- The desire to interact with people and comfort level when interacting with new people. Low scores do not mean anti-social, but less comfortable with initiating new intimate relationships.
Not surprising lawyers score low on this trait, firms higher based on intellectual abilities and knowledge and put little emphasis on relationships.
Autonomy: Lawyers 90th Percentile - General Public 50th Percentile
-Valuing of one's independence and ability to make decisions.
With lawyer scoring so high in this it is a no brainier they are very likely to resist being managed.
With all of these details it gives key insight to understanding why some lawyers are the way they are. This information can be used to help the layman understand the insight of the lawyer and assist firms in operating more like a business, while also improving management and performance.