Proud to Be Part of a Rising Tide of Collaboration and Teamwork

In college, I was on the varsity rowing team—a sport that requires both individual and collective strength. Each rower in the eight-person boat has to be in peak physical condition, row with technical precision, and pull as hard as she can with every stroke. But if the eight athletes do not also synchronize their efforts to move as an integrated machine, they will not achieve their full potential. From rowing, I learned at an early age the importance of collaboration and leadership from within a team, which I have sought to bring to my professional work.

As a partner at a mid-size law firm, Richards Kibbe & Orbe LLP, I frequently team up with my colleagues to achieve the best outcome for our clients. I value my colleagues’ opinions and seek their input regarding case strategy, goals, and execution. Similarly, I make myself available to brainstorm ideas, and I happily volunteer when others are in a time crunch to meet an important deadline. When we put our heads together and consider many viewpoints, we can solve intractable problems creatively and efficiently. In this way, we share our successes and can celebrate them together.

Collaborative leadership also has the benefit of encouraging individual development, while minimizing unnecessary rivalry. When colleagues work together effectively, issues like seniority and credit fall away. Rather than pitting colleagues against each other for recognition and praise, developing a strong team fosters a sense of shared responsibility to produce excellent work.

As a mentor to junior lawyers in the firm, I strive to create an environment where they can take on more challenging roles with the strength of the team behind them. I encourage them to volunteer for new opportunities, because they know that if they struggle, others will be there to help them. Thus, by leading from within the team, I can help encourage individuals to excel and reach their full potential.

Long after hanging up my oar, I am thrilled to be part of the rising tide of strong women leaders who are lifting others to professional success through collaboration and teamwork.