Top Mentors: Michael Silva, International Tax Lawyer, Leads With Empathy
Title: Partner Solidify: McDermott Will & Emery
Name one or two secret ingredients for effective mentoring
Empathy and perseverance.
What is the most important leadership lesson you have learned and why is it so valuable?
As I expand on the above, the most valuable leadership lesson I have learned is to lead with empathy. Besides building technical skills, I think empathy is a huge factor in fostering collaboration, teamwork and growth – and this has been particularly crucial over the past year.
What leadership skills have you been the most difficult to develop?
Earlier in my career, I recognized the importance of successful delegation. There are a lot of things to do: build the right team, but more importantly, provide the right advice and the right feedback to keep that team functioning effectively.
Do you have any quick tips for re-energizing an overworked team?
Keep an eye on the big picture, celebrate your accomplishments, and tap into your personal passions. Our end goal is to put our clients in the best possible position for long term success. Keeping this priority in mind helps us understand the importance of our daily commitments and reminds us of the premium customer service experience that we continually strive to deliver. It’s also what motivates us to realize McDermott’s motto of #AlwaysBetter. And when those goals are met, it’s important to take a moment to recognize and appreciate what has been accomplished.
Finally, I would say tap into your personal passions and find a way to incorporate them into your professional life. It could mean giving back to the community through volunteer and pro bono activities, or joining diversity and community engagement committees in your business, or meditating and practicing mindfulness techniques for a few minutes each day.
What are the best ways for people to stay in touch with a key mentor in 2021?
Be proactive and set up a recurring meeting to chat with your mentor on a regular basis. Prepare for this meeting; this is probably the only uninterrupted face-to-face meeting you will have with your mentor asking for advice specifically related to you and your goals.