Category Archives: Coaching

5 Practices to Free Your Time

Free Your Time

A few lawyers finally figured out time travel.

I was just listening to The Legal Seagull podcast, hosted by my friend Neer Lerner. He notes in his recent episode on unethical attorney billing that a few lawyers have actually documented more than 24 hours of work on a single day.

It’s disappointing that people set aside all the potential fun of time travel just to work more.

Freedom From and Freedom To


Recent conversations with a number of my coaching clients and MBA students at Stanford have touched on what we might call “freedom from” and “freedom to,” or, respectively, negative liberty and positive liberty. As described in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy,

Negative liberty is the absence of obstacles, barriers or constraints. One has negative liberty to the extent that actions are available to one in this negative sense. Positive liberty is the possibility of acting–or the fact of acting–in such a way as to take control of one’s life and realize one’s fundamental purposes.

These concepts have vast social and political meanings, of course, but they’re relevant in a more personal way when we consider the different types of freedom we enjoy through and as a result of our work. For example, work that’s well-compensated affords us freedom from material deprivation and its attendant anxieties, while also providing us with the freedom to enjoy a range of experiences and engage in certain pursuits that would otherwise be out of reach.

4 Apps That Will Save You Time

Save time

If you’ve been listening to Coaching for Leaders for any length of time, you know that one focus of the show is productivity — and you also know that I’m a bit of a tech geek.

Like any geek worth their stripes, I enjoy new technology, but what really gets me excited is when I can put technology to work to be noticeably more productive. These apps/services get results and will help you too.

Here are four apps that will save you time:

Working While Female

Woman leader

Sunday was International Women’s Day and this past weekend was also the annual conference of the Global Center for Women & Justice, where I serve on the board. As such, articles on women in leadership and business that I’ve been seeing recently are top of mind.

Women have come a long way in leadership in the last generation. There is also still much work to be done, as I am reminded of often both in my reading and in conversations with clients and friends.

Knowing how your organization and you can help is a responsibility of leadership. Awareness, the focus of this week’s guide, is one starting point.

Symptoms of Group Strength

Group Strength

What characterizes a healthy group?

One of my favorite books is T-Group Theory and Laboratory Method, a collection of essays on group dynamics from the 1950s and early ’60s compiled by Leland Bradford, Jack Gibb and Ken Benne. These three men were among the originators of the T-group process in the late 1940s that today forms the basis of our Interpersonal Dynamics course at Stanford (more commonly known as Touchy Feely).

Benne’s article on the history of T-groups references an earlier piece by Bradford that contains this list of “symptoms of group growth or strength,” and I find it a useful tool to assess the health of any group in any setting:

A. Excellence of intercommunication among group members (common understanding, semantic sensitivity, permissiveness to discuss freely and not defensively, among others).