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.

Too Many Choices! From Staplers to Blue Jeans, Try to Keep It Simple

Adding options increases expectations people have about how good they will be and, Schwartz says, that produces less satisfaction with the results, even when they are good. I recently needed a new stapler because my old one broke. I thought it would be a fairly simple thing and went to my local stationery store. There was only one model and when I asked the clerk about it, he shrugged. Because I already own three lousy staplers, back to Amazon I went. I quickly found one that could handle 40 sheets and decided to take a quick look at the reviews, [...]

By |2018-04-27T09:53:58+00:00April 25, 2018|Categories: Coaching, The Legal Intelligencer|Tags: , , , |

Silence Is Your Secret Weapon: Use It to Gain Insight

If you want to get more information, better intelligence and clarity, consider allowing silence to play a supporting role in your communication style. It can be used to great effect. I will never forget a coaching conversation early in my career with an executive from a global software company. You would recognize the company name and I mention that, not to toot my own horn, but to give you an idea of what stakes were for me—new coach, high profile client. For a few weeks, she had been describing a co-worker who was systematically and ruthlessly endeavoring to take a [...]

By |2018-03-27T14:51:40+00:00March 21, 2018|Categories: The Legal Intelligencer|

The ‘Philly Special’: A Lesson in Leadership, Teamwork

On the field of life, leadership and team work look a lot like they do on the field of sports. It's all about creating a culture where diverse opinions are actively encouraged, dialogue is ongoing and no idea is ridiculous. On the field of life, leadership and teamwork look a lot like they do on the field of sports. It's all about creating a culture where diverse opinions are actively encouraged, dialogue is ongoing and no idea is ridiculous. This is especially true when intense competition drives the need for innovation, which by its nature involves risk. Trying novel approaches [...]

By |2018-02-22T12:16:29+00:00February 21, 2018|Categories: The Legal Intelligencer|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Secret to Success: Your Business Needs a Purpose and a Plan

Are you looking for ways to simplify decision-making for your business or your life? Instead of agonizing endlessly, would you prefer having standards that automatically and organically eliminate some options while highlighting the efficacy and appeal of others? Do you know where your business is headed or are you focused on making the next payroll? The secret to success in this arena is having a purpose and a plan. Your decisions will become easier when you have a mission statement and strategy for your business and your life. In "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People," Stephen Covey wrote about [...]

Grit: The Secret Ingredient of Success in Your Career and Beyond

The first time I heard the word "grit" was in the title of a 1969 movie, “True Grit,” the story of 14-year-old Mattie Ross, who hires Rooster Cogburn, a tough, aging, alcoholic U.S. Marshal to track down her father's murderer and goes with him on the quest. Set in Arkansas circa 1873, they journey to Oklahoma to find their man, and encounter significant obstacles along the way. Mattie Ross has been described as stubborn, headstrong, determined, willful, courageous and independent. While she hires Cogburn because "they tell me you're a man with true grit," her character demonstrates her own grit [...]

By |2018-01-19T15:00:20+00:00November 30, 2017|Categories: The Huffington Post, The Legal Intelligencer|Tags: , , , , , |

Stress Is On the Rise: Take Steps to Manage It

The other day, I began typing the word "coping" into a Google search and before I could even finish, Google began to populate search results which included coping with Hurricane Harvey, coping with the mass shooting in Las Vegas, with sexual harassment, with grief, with panic, with the death of Tom Petty and coping with a loss by your favorite sports team, just to name a few. For people I know and those I coach, the world now feels like an especially scary place. Many things that were once considered bedrocks of our society and political system are changing and [...]

The Informational Interview That Changed My Life

When clients reach a career ­crossroad, I often suggest informational interviewing to scope out a prospective new role, firm, ­industry or career path. That suggestion is almost always met with resistance. The most ­frequently voiced objection is not wanting to bother a busy person. When that is overcome, a trove of information, insight and inspiration can be uncovered. An informational interview is defined as "a meeting in which a potential job seeker seeks advice on their career, the industry, and the corporate culture of a potential future workplace ... They use the interview to gather information on the field and [...]

By |2018-01-19T14:35:44+00:00September 20, 2017|Categories: The Huffington Post, The Legal Intelligencer|Tags: , , , , |

Leadership: How to Win Others Over the Old-School Way

Every year, new books on leadership come out and the business world hungrily buys, reads and digests them. Book summary companies provide compressed descriptions for busy executives, professional service providers and entrepreneurs. It is estimated that between 1986 and 1996, 17,800 management journal articles were written about leadership. In my practice, coaching lawyers and executives, I read many books, articles and blogs. They help me tend and grow my own business and when I find something useful, I share it with clients, sometimes ­forwarding an article or recommending a book during a coaching conversation. Leadership theory has seen innovation stemming [...]

By |2018-01-19T14:47:58+00:00August 29, 2017|Categories: The Legal Intelligencer|

Personality Assessments: The Results Are in, Now What?

Back in February, I wrote about the importance of personality assessments to make good career decisions. It featured an interview with Dr. Robert Hogan, co-founder of Hogan Assessment Systems and an international authority on personality, leadership and organizational effectiveness. Personality assessments identify blind spots, areas of strength and struggle, and help create a blueprint to better outcomes at work and home. Once you get your assessment results, now what? In my experience, people are often ­initially unhappy with assessment results because they tend to focus on the negative aspects of their personality and ignore the positive aspects and opportunities that [...]

By |2018-01-19T14:42:45+00:00August 1, 2017|Categories: The Legal Intelligencer|

Make Smart Decisions by Fighting Confirmation Bias

If you are reading this, you are probably an investigator. It may not be your job title, but if you are a lawyer, auditor, doctor, HR business partner, manager, executive, etc., a big part of your job is investigatory, requiring you to arrive at well-reasoned, fact-based, modern decisions, guidance or recommendations. You regularly make searching, systematic inquiries based on examination of relevant facts, data and information. How do you determine what is relevant when you investigate? It's likely that you unconsciously select or rely too heavily on information you already agree with and pay little or no attention to data [...]