Have you ever noticed how some lawyers are unflappable while others broadcast stress? We’d all like to be or work with the former—not so much the latter. Now let us consider how lawyers’ behavior, and in particular, firm leaders’ behavior, affects culture.
A firm’s culture is the sum of how its lawyers and staff work together and how they treat each other when under stress. A firm’s culture is, therefore, the atmosphere that emerges as a consequence of behavior, especially the behavior of the firm’s leaders. This is because the behavior of leaders is the single most important factor in shaping a firm’s culture. Culture is determined by the degree to which leaders are resilient or reactive, and act in a manner that belies their fears and stress.