Developing leaders and maximizing human capital.
That is the goal of the Leadership Womble program. This in-house professional development program is overseen by the Leadership & Professional Development Team and Professionalism Committee, and was developed in cooperation with the Gallup organization. Womble Carlyle already had a strong existing relationship with Gallup, using the company’s Strengths Finder assessment and employee engagement resources management Gallup’s “The Demands of Executive Leadership” program has been customized into a law firm leadership program for Womble Carlyle.
The Leadership Womble Program presently draws from the partner levels of the firm and is strictly voluntary. More than 40 people were nominated for the initial class, which first met in September 2010. There is an ongoing nomination list for those within the firm who are interested in participating.
The program requires up to 200 hours of non-billable time over a six month period. All participants attend three separate, intensive three-day sessions in Washington, D.C. Blackberries are turned off and laptop computers are left in the hotel room, as participants give their undivided attention to the program. The sessions focus on such practical leadership skills as mentoring top talent, building internal and client constituencies, needs of followers, and receiving feedback.
In the interim between class sessions, the participants are divided into three” Leadership Challenge” teams with 4 participants on each team. The “Leadership Challenge” – a project designed to impact issues such as client service, employee engagement and other critical areas for internal improvement-seeks to stretch the resources of our practicing lawyers to support and brainstorm ideas to impact ongoing challenges facing our firm management. The teams discuss their findings with Womble Carlyle’s Firm Management Committee during the final Leadership Womble class.
Graduates of Leadership Womble are more aware of their personal leadership style, more receptive to feedback (including input from clients), and better able to motivate others. The program is designed to offer practice professional services leadership in a law firm setting.
The first graduating class included:
- Alison Bost
- Jennifer Collins
- Tricia Gordon
- Jeff Hahn
- Debbie Israel
- Steve Kerr
- Jeff Lawyer
- Nellie Shipley
- Sandy Smith
- John Sweeney
- Betty Temple
Member of the second Leadership Womble class were: