Legal Business

A Lesson in Leadership from Aon’s Litigation Counsel

Mark Herrmann, Chief Litigation Counsel for Aon, writes about his first 360 review here.

A 360 review is common in many corporations for mid-level and senior managers. An HR consultant (usually) helps you map your self-assessed strengths and weaknesses against those defined by your manager(s), your team, and those on other teams who are your client/customer or with whom you partner. (Don't confuse a 360 with the annual performance review; a 360 exists solely to point out strengths and areas for improvement so that you can continue to improve in your work or prepare for the next level.)

These surveys are very scary. You'll get to see, unvarnished, what others have to say about you. Responses are governed by both anonymity and, in most cases, a sincere desire to help you improve. (Since these surveys aren't used directly for promotion or compensation, there is little value to being vindictive even to someone a respondent despises.)

These surveys are also very worthwhile, at least to managers who aspire to be leaders.

In particular, read about Mark Herrmann's so-called blind spot, about 2/3 of the way into the article. It's a blind spot shared by too many managers. (Disclaimer: Me, too, for the same reasons Herrmann expresses. I worked hard to address it, but I don't think I ever turned it into the strength it should have been.)

There's a good lesson in leadership there. It's applicable to all fields, but it's particularly notable in the legal arena.

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