Category Archives: coaching

Grown Up Digital: How the Net Generation is Changing Your World

By Don Tapscott (McGraw Hill:NY) 2009.

Don Tapscott believes that the Net Generation processes information and behaves differently than older generations in aptitudes, attitudes, expectations, and learning styles that reflect the environment in which they were raised.   The Net Generation (post-Generation X) is parented by Baby Boomers and these generations differ on numerous levels, especially in ways they communicate and how they perform work.  Tapscott believes that “Net Geners” are smarter, quicker, and more tolerant than their predecessors.  He argues that “The Net Generation is in many ways the antithesis of the TV generation.”

According to Tapscott, there are four key themes of the “New Generation Gap”:

  • The older generations are uneasy about the new technology (which Net Geners are embracing).
  • Older generations tend to be uneasy about new media (which are coming into the heart of youth culture).
  • Old media are uneasy about the new media.
  • The digital revolution, unlike previous ones, is not controlled by only adults.

The Net Generation creates information rather than just consuming it.  The shift from broadcast to interactive is the cornerstone of the Net Generation.  They want to be users and not simply viewers or listeners.  While past generations subsisted with the telephone and television, the Net Generation has grown up with information technology.  They are well-versed in the Internet, e-mail, instant messaging, online communities, media (video and music) downloads, the use of cellular phones, and video games from the very beginning.

Tapscott identifies ten themes of Net Generation culture:

  • Fierce Independence
  • Emotional and Intellectual Openness
  • Inclusion
  • Free Expression and Strong Views
  • Innovation
  • Preoccupation with Maturity
  • Investigation
  • Immediacy
  • Sensitivity to Corporate Interest
  • Authentication and Trust

Characteristics of the Net Generation include being curious, independent, contrarian, intelligent, adaptable, confident, focused, and globally conscious.  The Net Generation is defined by their reliance on and use of technology, their penchant for multitasking technologically and their ability to utilize various media to communicate with the world.  These communication technologies are incredibly different from the ones that previous generations grew up with.  Previous generations have had to learn how to use technology, whereas the Net Generation was raised saturated in technology.  They don’t use it, it just simply is.


What are the Benefits of Coaching?

While coaching does involve teaching the right knowledge, coaching is also heavily process-focused; therefore, the benefits of coaching are in the arena of knowing the practical skill sets or information necessary for sound practice management as well as creating fundamental shifts in perspective, behavior and self-management that include:

  • Clarity of vision and focus
  • Follow-through on a specific leadership action plan
  • Specific action within a Coaching Program structure
  • Breakthroughs in attitudes, behavior, and achievement
  • Courage to take action and follow through on bold ideas
  • Smooth navigation through change
  • Creative problem solving and “out of the box” thinking
  • Specific business planning strategy and tactics
  • Alignment of decisions with core strengths and values

You will benefit from coaching if you have:

  • a goal of increasing income while reducing stress in your life.
  • a desire for moving your professional practice to the next level.
  • a feeling that you want to take charge of the rest of your life.
  • a dream that a successful legal practice can be a fulfilling experience.
  • a belief that you can reach your goals faster and with greater ease with the help of an advocate committed to your cause.

Why Hire an Executive Coach?

An experienced Executive Coach with proven expertise in working through life transitions that will help individuals acquire knowledge, motivation, and accountability necessary for achieving transition goals.

Executive Coaching is a unique relationship and process with a strategic partner who is committed to your personal and professional development. Stephen P. Gallagher is an executive coach with over 25-years of experience in working with attorneys in a variety of leadership roles. As your Executive Coach, I will:

  • help you and your firm adapt to change, build a sustainable profitable law firm and support you in achieving balance in your professional and personal life;
  • challenge and support you in attaining the results you desire and deserve in your business, career, and personal life;
  • help you clarify and focus on living life with purpose, passion and integrity;
  • support your behaviors that forward action and progress toward your desired outcomes; and
  • serve as consultant and practice management mentor, offering specific advice about business, leadership, communication, strategy, and maintaining life balance.

    Women's Peloton at Curve off Main 2010
    Manayunk Peloton Main Street turn

Understanding the War for Talent – Aging of the Workforce

The aging of the workforce is something that the legal profession can no longer ignore. The legal marketplace has yet to feel the impact of the loss of massive numbers of baby boomers that will be leaving the profession. Over this same period of time, fewer and fewer “talented” young people are expected to enter the profession. Demographic and economic projections suggest that the shortage of workers will start soon and grow significantly.

Duomo de Milano
Duomo de Milano, Italy

The Employment Policy Foundation (EPF) estimates that 80 percent of the impending labor shortage will involve skills, not number of workers potentially available.[1] Within the next several years, this shift in age distribution will cause law firms to experience an unprecedented “brain drain,” unless dramatic steps are taken by law firm leadership to look for new approaches to attracting and retaining key people. This “War for Talent”[2] is only just beginning. Continue reading Understanding the War for Talent – Aging of the Workforce

Getting Started

The best way to find out if you can benefit from coaching is to try it. I invite you to contact me by telephone 610-660-0218 or send me an e-mail at We will select a time to meet over the telephone at no charge.

Portofino, Italy
Live your dreams.

The purpose of this telephone call is to discuss your needs and to get a sense of whether I may be able to help you work through your areas of concern.

We can arrange for follow-up with a variety of assessments before deciding to work together. I can provide you with confidential referrals to former coaching clients, and after you have decided to move forward, we will then be able to begin scheduling coaching sessions over the telephone several times a month.

Tell me more about the telephone meetings…

Continue reading Getting Started

Transition is a Life-long Process

Clare's spiritual advisersIn addition to coaching lawyers, Stephen is an adjunct faculty member in the Marketing department at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia as well as an adjunct in Professional Studies at Neumann University in Aston, PA.. As such Stephen has acquired a wide range of professional and life experiences that have proven to be of value in working with accomplished professionals.

Stephen believes that teaching young adults helps him gain a greater appreciation for the challenges high level attorneys are facing in trying to sustain and grow a law practices in these trying times especially while trying to maintain a balance between work and family responsibilities.

Stephen has written extensively in areas as diverse as The High Performance Lawyer, Yesterday’s Strategies Rarely Answer Tomorrow’s Problems, and Winding Down the Law Practice, and Planning for Retirement. He has designed and facilitated numerous bar association and law firm retreats dealing with the changing nature of law practice. The National Association of Bar Executives (NABE) published Stephen’s two part article on Bar Associations in Transition (Part 1Part 2).

High Performance – ABA New Model – May 2005

ABA – Gallagher-Rethinking

Coaching Lawyers for Behavioral Change

 “Put Me In Coach!” Mentoring and Coaching at Today’s Law Firm

Stephen P. Gallagher, President, LeadershipCoach

Law firms throughout the world seek new ways to attract and retain young lawyers. In the context of today’s rapidly changing global marketplace, it is essential that young lawyers be trained to be flexible, adaptable and prepared to take responsibility for their own continuous, personal, and professional development.  Law firms face new challenges in building professional development environments which will encourage individuals to take a more pro-active role in their own learning process.

Young professionals are looking for better ways to increase their worth to their organization, while at the same time, developing the transferable skills needed to enhance their own market value.  Law firms are finding that ‘one size fits all’ training programs are no longer sufficient to enable individuals to keep-up with a new fast-paced, turbulent business environment.  Today, law firms have to become learning organizations, where “longer-term human development is seen as a continual and integrated part of daily life.”[1]  According to Peter M. Senge, “learning organizations are organizations where people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collective aspiration is set free, and where people are continually learning to see “the whole” together.[2]

Talk to a successful person about how they learned their craft or their trade and you will find that most will fondly recall one or two key individuals who helped shape their careers. This person may have been a parent, a teacher, or in many instances a colleague who is expert in the individual’s field of interest. Airline pilots will tell you that flight simulators are useful in teaching you to fly; but they really learn to fly, to use their judgment, to become pilots, by spending hours training next to a more senior pilot.  Surgeons perfect their skills by working on a team headed by more experienced surgeons before they earn the right and gain the expertise to perform surgery with their own team. Lawyers are no different. Over the years, law firms have relied on the one-on-one mentoring relationship to personalize the learning experience. “Sitting in the second chair” is how many litigators began their courtroom careers.

Research indicates that employees’ job performance is a function of their ability, their motivation to engage with their work, and the opportunity to deploy their ideas, abilities and knowledge effectively. [3] It is very difficult to acquire these qualities from a classroom setting. One-on-one mentoring or coaching contribute to professional development by helping individuals reach their professional goals faster, building on strengths, developing skills, providing encouragement, while increasing confidence.

In the law firm setting, mentoring provides a more junior attorney with an opportunity to reflect, learn, and develop, so the learner is able to apply knowledge to real world situations. This type of one-on-one working relationship has always been an importance part of in-house training which has taken place in law firms for generations. In law firms, mentors are usually highly placed partners who take a stewardship interest in the performance and career of younger lawyers. Their focus is on career advising and advancement.[4]

Continue reading Coaching Lawyers for Behavioral Change