REP-PP Spring 201​7 Blog:

Blogger:  Kourtnee McInturf

Law School Year:  ​​​3L
Placement:  Texas Hotel & Lodging Association, Austin, Texas

Kourtnee MicInturf“No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit for doing it.”

-Andrew Carnegie

What this externship has taught me about leadership is that leading does not mean being the one in charge. Often in our society, the title of leader and the responsibilities of leadership go hand-in-hand. However, this is not always the case, and this is especially true at my placement. The person in charge is not necessarily the person that takes over leadership responsibilities on all projects.

The attorneys in my office work as a team, and their leadership roles shift depending on the project. I feel like this reflects positively on the leadership capabilities of both the head attorney and the attorneys that work under him. Using the strengths of those in your group and being able to rely on the talents of others is really what makes a good leader.

The people in my office have done a good job of hiring employees with skill sets the company needs to accomplish its goals. This coupled with good delegation skills is what I think makes an organization successful at achieving its goals. The goal of a leader is to direct a group in a way that the group can accomplish the goals it has decided upon with the resources the group has available to it. The reasons people started having leaders is because groups of people started having goals and wanted to accomplish them. As time went on, people discovered having one person with ultimate decision-making power was more effective than not having that person.

Now, the difference between good leadership and bad leadership is commanding with words instead of commanding with actions. A good leader should be willing to do every job they ask one of their followers to do and be willing to learn from those below them. This does not necessarily mean having the skills to do everything that the people below a leader can do, but a willingness to empathize with their struggles and learn from their knowledge and experiences is key to being a good leader and having good leadership skills.

My placement has helped me refine my leadership skills and given me many opportunities to witness various leadership styles in action.