As president and founder of The Lawyer’s Edge, Elise Holtzman helps clients, including legal organizations and individual attorneys, achieve professional and personal success by providing highly customized professional development services in areas including business development, leadership development and career advancement.
As a former practicing attorney with experience working at Fried Frank and Morgan Lewis, Elise brings a deep understanding of the practice of law (and the demands of operating a firm) to her work.
Elise is the host of the popular podcast, The Lawyers Edge.
Learn more about Elise in this installment of Women Who Wow.
Why did you choose your profession?
After practicing law and loving it but opting out a couple decades ago due to work/life balance challenges, I chose the coaching and training profession because it allows me to blend what I love and what I’m good at. I think when you do that, you’ve hit the sweet spot!
What do you love most about what you do?
I absolutely love teaching and guiding others, inspiring people to see the possibilities for their own growth and development, and helping them take action in the direction of their goals. I love being a part of a cycle of lifelong learning.
Any advice to women about succeeding in the workplace?
If you want to land and succeed in a more senior role, let go of perfectionism and pursue excellence instead. As Reshma Saujani demonstrates in her book (and Ted Talk) Brave, Not Perfect, girls are socialized to pursue perfection while boys are taught to be brave. While perfectionism wins us rewards early in life and early in our careers, it begins to hold us back as we become more senior and our roles require more big picture thinking, innovation, and risk-taking.
What do you wish you could tell your younger self?
To stop being so hard on myself and not worry so much about what other people think of me. Letting negative self-talk go is freeing and allows you to do what you want and be who you truly are.
What is the best career advice you’ve ever received?
“All the lights don’t turn green at the same time.” Just start the journey and you will be able to navigate the obstacles along the way.
How do you achieve work/life balance?
I’m not sure I do! At least not in the sense of achieving work/life balance on a daily basis; instead, I would say the pendulum swings back and forth rather than staying in the middle. I am truly happy when I’m working but I also have a tendency to overdo it, so self-awareness and planned relaxation are key (and the occasional nap doesn’t hurt, either). When my three children were younger, I was fortunate to be able to choose to work part-time.
How are you breaking barriers faced by women in your field?
I have a bent toward taking action rather than overthinking things. Whatever it is I want to achieve, I’m convinced that I can either do it or find someone who will help me figure it out, so I may get frustrated but rarely stay stuck for long.
What do you think is the key for success in a role like yours?
It’s crucial to listen deeply, not judge others, remain compassionate and inspire clients to see and seize on their own uniqueness and power.