There are three types of business books. One, of the Peter Drucker variety, is equally aimed at all businesspeople or anyone interested in business. Another targets the needs and peculiarities of specific industries or professional types.
The third type does both. It comprehends the idiosyncrasies of its chosen audience yet finds a way to be interesting to everyone else as well. Gerald Riskin’s The Successful Lawyer: Powerful Strategies for Transforming Your Practice, which has recently been published in its second edition, is a happy example of the latter species. The wisdom here—be it about managing client expectations, harnessing technology, or leveraging the right coaching style—goes beyond the boundaries that demarcate professional services.
Riskin has been a top consultant to the professional services lo these many years, and he instinctively understands the vulnerabilities that challenge his readers. The chapters on fostering creative thinking are terrific, in part because the author knows how little confidence many lawyers have in their own creativity. The chapter on dealing with rejection is likewise informed by a sense of their personal vulnerabilities, which, I’d suggest, are hardly unique to lawyers.
No surprise The Successful Lawyer comes so well-recommended by Tom Peters and David Maister (who wrote the foreword). I’m happy to add my voice to that chorus. Get your copy here.