I have some exciting news and resources to share with you. Mentoring and sponsorship remain a major focus of my practice, especially as a process to promote diversity and inclusion, career advancement, and professional growth and development. But I have expanded my focus to help individuals define and design the retirement they want, and to help firms improve their partner succession and retirement processes. In connection with this work, I have been producing various programs and resources, including a new book, Retirement by Design, that will be published early next year and is described in more detail below.
I also want to share several webinars, videos and podcasts about retirement, mentoring and sponsorship, as well as a “lesson” that appeared in a recently published book. They are described, and links are provided, below. I hope you find them useful.
If I can be of help to you as a retirement coach; if you are looking for a speaker on retirement issues, mentoring or sponsorship; or if you would like to learn more about my consulting services in any of these areas, please get in touch with me.
New Book: Retirement by Design
The old notion of retirement as a retreat and disengagement is obsolete. People are living longer, healthier lives, and they are staying active and productive for decades past the standard “retirement age” of 62. That particular age was chosen for policy reasons when Social Security was enacted (originally the age was 65) and the average life expectancy was 61. Today, with an average life expectancy 20 years longer, most people stay active and keep working long past 62, although they may change jobs or careers, work for pay, or volunteer. For all those who retire to the rocking chair, many more are running marathons, joining boards, or starting new businesses.
With so many future possibilities, and decades of life ahead of them, professionals in their 50s, 60s and up need to start thinking early about the kind of retirement they want if and when they leave full-time practice. To make that process easier, I’ve written a workbook, Retirement by Design, which helps you create the kind of retirement that best suits your desires, interests and values. Rather than an advice book for a general readership, Retirement by Design is personal; it asks questions and offers exercises that help you determine what will be best for you. It uses design thinking principles and a self-coaching approach so that you can create a retirement that is happy, purposeful and as busy – or leisurely – as you want it to be.
The expected publication date for Retirement by Design is February 1, 2020. If you would like me to notify you when the workbook is available, please subscribe here to receive future updates.
New Succession and Retirement-Related Resources
- “The People Part of Change and Innovation – Ida Abbott on Succession Planning, Reverse Mentoring and a Whole Lot More!” I was honored to be featured in this podcast for The Legalpreneurs Sandbox Podcast Series sponsored by the Centre for Legal Innovation (Australia, New Zealand and Asia-Pacific) at The College of Law in Australia. The conversation, which was hosted by the Centre’s Executive Director Terri Mottershead, examines the impact of the exodus of Baby Boomer lawyers from legal practice and the role that mentoring should/can/will play in the consequent “changing of the guard.” You can see the various topics we cover on their website and listen to the podcast there or here.
- “Life after Sixty:SPICE It Up.” This webinar, hosted by the Smith College Alumni Association, helps viewers determine what they will do with the many potential years ahead. It provides a framework for envisioning, designing and moving toward a future doing what you want and enjoy, and living in ways that will engage you, keep you stimulated and give your life purpose. You can watch the webinar here.
- “Succession Planning: Transition Strategies for Law Firm Leaders, Clients and Exiting Lawyers.” In this podcast for The Robert Half Legal Report, host Charles Volkert, senior district president of Robert Half Legal, and I discuss critical components of succession planning, including strategies to help senior-level lawyers transfer knowledge and client relationships to their successors, and transition smoothly into retirement or their next career post. You can download and/or listen to the podcast here.
- Preparing Your Law Firm for the Future, was the first in a 3-part webcast series hosted by Natalie Runyon, Director & Head of Talent Platform at Thomson Reuters Legal Executive Institute. Our session looked at succession planning from the standpoints of the firm, the client and the retiring partner. You can learn about our session and the others in this series here, and watch my session here.
- The articles I have written about retirement topics can be found on my website. They include “It Takes Two: Planning for Retirement as a Couple,” which explains why advance planning with your spouse or partner is essential for a happy and fulfilling retirement, and provides key questions to get you started.
Resources about Mentoring and Sponsorship
- The new edition of my book, The Lawyer’s Guide to Mentoring came out last year and has been warmly received and reviewed. One of those reviews, written by Rebecca Normand-Hochman, appeared in Modern Legal Practice. The book has now been joined by new editions of my mentoring booklets, “Working with a Mentor” and “Being a Mentor.” You can take a look at all three on my website and order them from NALP.
- Webinar: I presented a webinar on “Mentoring & Sponsorship: The Key to Gender Diversity in Leadership” for Chronus, a mentoring software company. You can access the recording and slides here.
- Coming soon! Webcast: “Designing and Implementing Mentoring Programs: Best Practices and Practical Realities.” Morgan Smith, Professional Development Director of Dykema, and I met with Craig Miller of PLI to discuss modern approaches to mentoring and sponsorship. PLI will soon post the video of our discussion on PD Insider, the monthly interview series in which leaders in the PD field share their insights about professional development and the law. It is currently in post-production, and I will distribute a link next month when it becomes available.
- You can find many articles on mentoring and sponsorship topics on my website. One recent article is “Changing Concepts and Models of Mentoring,” which appeared in the May 2019 issue of PD Quarterly. You can read the article here.
Nora Ziva Bergman’s recently published book, 50 Lessons for Women Lawyers from Women Lawyers, is filled with invaluable guidance and inspiration. It consists of Lessons submitted by 50 distinguished women lawyers. My Lesson, entitled “Stay Curious,” explains how curiosity can lead to greater personal happiness and professional success. You can read my Lesson on curiosity here. And you can learn more about the book and order your copy here.