About Dena Lefkowitz

Dena Lefkowitz is a veteran attorney and certified professional coach who helps clients reinvigorate their careers, polish business development skills and rediscover their sense of purpose. A former board member of the International Coach Federation’s Philadelphia chapter, Lefkowitz has successfully coached a best-selling author, lawyers, and chief executives. Firms have also hired Lefkowitz, a former in-house counsel, to work directly with entry level lawyers to improve performance and increase their early contributions to the firm. She holds her BA and JD from Temple University and Temple University School of Law.

How Mindfulness Can Help You Professionally

"In order to practice, you must be present in your mind," said the yoga teacher at the beginning of a recent class. So it goes with any practice whether it be law, medicine, or running a business. In order to be fully present, however, you must find a way to be calm. That's the tricky part. Early in my career, I went to the doctor complaining of shortness of breath, ­expecting him to prescribe medication. "You need to exercise three days a week," he said. "If I write that on a prescription, will you do it?" I was experiencing anxiety [...]

Life Lesson from LeBron James

I am not a sports fan – just want to state that up front. Nothing against it, but I don't follow professional athletics or root for any teams. What does interest me is the way people make decisions, the consequences they face and how they handle obstacles that pop up along the way. In the case of LeBron James, he made two decisions that made people very unhappy – to leave the team that drafted him at the start of his career and to return to it four years later. LeBron James was born in Akron, Ohio in 1984, was [...]

By | 2016-06-28T14:51:01+00:00 June 20, 2016|Categories: The Huffington Post|Tags: , , |

If I Could Coach Donald Trump

Trump, like all of us, can change and actually become more effective a leader. But transformation doesn't magically happen without awareness. They want to like him, they really, really do. But stalwarts of the Grand Old Party – unlike the Nike slogan – just can't do it. Their visceral verbiage indicates an intense, internal personal struggle between party and principles. U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said he "cannot in good conscience support Donald Trump." Governor Christie Todd Whitman (R) of New Jersey said "I won't, I can't." Scan the headlines at any given moment over the last few weeks and [...]

By | 2016-06-28T14:19:39+00:00 June 15, 2016|Categories: The Huffington Post|Tags: |

Do Not Underestimate Your Own Power in Your Career

Do Not Underestimate Your Own Power in Your Career What do you do when you need a little inspiration? A nudge to get you going? Reassurance that you can make it work? Affirmation that you are enough? Arianna Huffington said at the 2012 Pennsylvania Conference for Women that "if anybody here thinks that maybe they are too small to be effective, all I have to say is that you have not spent a night in bed with a mosquito. Nobody is too small to be effective." I was in the audience and have since listened to that speech [...]

How to Handle Professional Setbacks and Move Forward

How to Handle Professional Setbacks and Move Forward It feels like 1994 all over again as the world revisits the O.J. Simpson criminal trial in the television series "The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story." The often poignant series chronicles the case focusing primarily on the lawyers who tried it. I was a litigation attorney during this period and vividly remember flash points from the news of the murders on June 12, 1994, to the Ford Bronco low-speed car chase, to the verdict on Oct. 3, 1995, when all of the employees at my firm gathered in [...]

When It Comes to Your Career, Avoid Fallacy of ‘Sunk Costs’

In a recent episode of the television show "Better Call Saul," the titular lawyer who has scrambled and struggled to earn a living decides to call it quits with the law right after being offered the best opportunity of his life with a prestigious firm. He thought that was his dream, until it came true. His friend reminded him of how hard he worked to pass the bar exam and then asked a pivotal question: Why abandon practicing law after working so hard to get established? He responds by explaining the fallacy of the sunk cost. "It's what gamblers do," [...]

By | 2016-06-03T16:26:57+00:00 March 24, 2016|Categories: Career Coaching, The Legal Intelligencer|Tags: , , , |

Transform Your Leadership Skills Through ‘Crucial Conversations’

Do you dread and procrastinate initiating discussions when you think others will respond negatively to what you have to say? Are you hesitant to voice an opinion because you presume negative consequences? Practicing law, by its very nature, requires a facility for difficult conversations with clients, witnesses, supervisors, direct-reports and judges where outcomes can be greatly influenced by developing skills in handling conflict. This is at the heart of "Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When the Stakes are High," by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan and Al Switzler. The methods described in this book are invaluable in any profession [...]

By | 2016-06-03T16:27:22+00:00 February 18, 2016|Categories: Career Coaching, Executive Coaching, The Legal Intelligencer|Tags: , , |

Strategies for Making Your New Year’s Resolutions Stick

When I think of a brand new year, I envision a beautiful, tranquil lake, so still that it mirrors everything surrounding it. Nothing has happened yet to disturb or disrupt that peaceful surface. Our actions are like pebbles thrown into the lake that ripple out, changing the reflection in the mirror and rearranging the landscape in expected and surprising ways. The new year is a natural time to reflect. And many people make resolutions. Each January, membership at my gym swells beyond normal limits as new members seek to shrink and tone. The influx of new members, however, is generally [...]

By | 2016-06-03T16:35:36+00:00 January 28, 2016|Categories: Coaching, Life Coaching, The Legal Intelligencer|Tags: , , |

Young Lawyers Can Benefit From a Good Mentor Relationship

During this country's infancy, lawyers were educated and trained for the profession not by attending law school, but through an apprenticeship with a practicing attorney. At the start of the 19th century, a college degree was not required for bar admission and 68 percent of Philadelphia lawyers were college graduates at that time, according to A. Christopher Bryant in an article for the Nevada Law Journal titled, "Reading the Law in the Office of Calvin Fletcher: The Apprenticeship System and the Practice of Law in Frontier Indiana," which explores the apprenticeship system. By the end of that century, university law [...]

By | 2016-05-28T18:11:05+00:00 December 2, 2015|Categories: Executive Coaching, The Legal Intelligencer|Tags: , , |

Identifying Core Values Aids in Making Career Decisions

"It's not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are," Roy Disney said. Identifying core values helps individuals and companies make decisions that chart the course for the future. Conversely, lack of attention to values can completely derail your life or your firm because there is no over-arching global positioning system to create a route or destination you can live with. Values were at the core of a controversial New York Times article titled "Inside Amazon: Wrestling Big Ideas in a Bruising Workplace." The piece described a revolving-door management style where employees are winnowed down by an [...]

By | 2016-05-28T18:20:42+00:00 October 29, 2015|Categories: Life Coaching, The Legal Intelligencer|Tags: , |