I backed into the field of leadership inadvertently and with considerable skepticism. Like many lawyers, I had dismissed the field as a backwater of vacuous rhetoric and slick marketing — a refuge for retired CEOs peddling complacent memoirs. But the more I learned about the subject, the more I’d wished I had learned earlier, before I had stumbled into leadership positions.

My preconceptions about the field are not atypical. Most lawyers never receive any formal education in leadership. Nor do they generally perceive that to be a problem, which is itself problematic. The most crucial challenges for our society and our profession involve issues of leadership; the need for leaders with vision, integrity and wisdom has never been greater. Yet our system of legal education does little to produce them.

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