· 2 min read · Features

Review of Juggling the Big 3 by Jennifer Overhaus

Published:

"How do I get on in this place?" is not an uncommon question in organisations, and talent management has become a critical area for businesses. This is reflected in the plethora of publications in the bookshops.

 Jennifer Overhaus has found the perfect niche - her book is focused directly on lawyers, that much-loved profession - and her work is much needed as the legal sector has often been overlooked from a talent management perspective.
 
The legal profession has been particularly hard hit by the economic downturn, so one might think the advice on managing your career when survival is the key might not be the best timing. In fact, the timing couldn't be better because it is people with the right skills for the future who will come through, and the more of these people there are the better.
 
The path to qualification in the profession is a long and hard one, and in the early days of a professional career the focus is on technical skills and working incredibly hard - lawyers record their time and they are not known for a nine-to-five routine. The main premise in Jennifer's book is that technical skills and working hard do not make you successful in the long run, there are other essential skills that need to be developed and often these are not articulated by those looking for talent for the future. Jennifer should know, she has worked in both the US and UK, she has been a partner and headed practice groups - not only is she writing from experience but she writes with a passion. She really does want to be a mentor to people who read her book.
 
The book has been written in a clear, direct way and you feel as if you are having a conversation with the writer. It is easy to read and packed with lots of useful information which is made accessible by the use of bullet points, tables and illustrations. Jennifer promises to deliver the "tools for success" while encouraging the reader to be "true to yourself". Lawyers often are so focused on their clients they forget about themselves and those around them.
 
Commitment and exceptional work are presumed to be what makes a successful partner. What actually makes a successful partner is: the ability to generate new business, to build a pipeline of work for yourself and others and, most importantly, the ability to lead others through your personal influence.
 
This book talks about the "Valley of Death" (click here <http://www.jugglingthebig3.com/the-valley-of-death.html>  for more details) which many talented individuals stumble into - what made you successful in the past will not make you successful in the future. Juggling the Big 3 sets out to give the reader a way to create their own path to success through developing their personal brand and their leadership style.
 
The passion in Jennifer's writing comes through. She really does want to ignite an individual's enthusiasm and drive for their own career and she does succeed in her objective of sharing her experiences and lessons learnt in the transition from somebody who does the work given to them to somebody who gets the work themselves and builds successful teams and relationships.
 
You do not need to be a lawyer to get value from this book. It really is a super synthesis of a lot of material that is delivered in a personal way by the author - I got a lot out of it.
 
Reviewer Rating : 5 star rating
 
Robert Halton is board member, people, at The College of Law