Month: December 2015

Fear is the Enemy

Fear is the Enemy

There is only one thing that can prevent you from becoming the leader you should be: fear. Fear of failure. Fear of risk. Fear of taking a chance. Fear that you may lose a client. Fear that your staff won’t follow your lead. Fear that you won’t make enough money. Fear that the rainmakers might face a drought.

Ultimately, fear is an illusion. Any of these things can happen. But fear can be controlled. Replace your fear with faith. Faith that even if you fail, you can overcome. Faith that the risk is worth the reward. Faith that if you lose a client you will have more. Faith that your staff will believe in you because you care. Faith that when you do things the right way the money will come. Faith that the producers will keep on churning.

Don’t let fear control your firm. Fear is a choice. Choose faith instead.

Lawyer Moneyball

Lawyer Moneyball

I’m a sucker for underdog movies. Rudy, Rocky, the Rookie (why do they all start with R’s?) all speak to me that anyone willing to go the extra mile to overcome their obstacles can succeed. Another of my favorite “underdog” movies is Moneyball.

Moneyball is a baseball movie that shows us that success is not based on what you have but on what you measure. Rather than looking solely at what you see, the successful leader evaluates based on statistical analysis of one (or possibly more) specific criteria necessary to win. Sometimes our eyes lie to us; stats, on the other hand, are just the facts.

The problem with the legal field is that we aren’t very good at measuring. Much like the baseball industry, lawyers are slow to change and are even more deeply-rooted in traditions. But what if we started measuring how much it costs to obtain a client? Or the probabilities of winning a custody case versus settlement? Or measured the true value of the billable hour to alternative fee structures?

I have been searching for answers to these questions. Most of the articles out there are simply opinion or what ifs (sort of like this one). But I would love some input as to how lawyers in leadership roles are addressing these issues. What tools are you using? Are you even asking the questions at your firm? If so, what are you finding? I would love to get some feedback that I can share in future posts.

Time to Recharge

Time to Recharge

Lawyers underestimate the need to recharge. Personally, my heart begins to beat a little faster and harder just thinking about stopping the grind to take a minute to think. Despite all of the research and articles by those who are stunning successes, lawyers stubbornly disregard the advice to set aside time to think, meditate, and visualize. And I am the chief of sinners in this area.

Fortunately, I had the opportunity to go to Myrtle Beach this past weekend for an early Christmas gathering with my side of the family. We do this every year before the actual Christmas holiday week so that we can take time as a family to reconnect and have some fun. It’s also a nice retreat from the hustle of work to allow me an opportunity to step back and see where I need change.

This trip I read The Energy Bus and wrote in my journal about my reading of Think and Grow Rich. The clear message of these books, and countless others, is that to be successful you need to know where you want to go, develop a plan of action to get you there, and focus your passion to getting the result you desire.

Persistence is a key. Failure is inevitable. But true failure only comes when you quit. When are you most likely to quit? When you are tired, lack focus, and feel stressed. This is why recharging your batteries is a must. Why not take just five minutes each day to turn off the TV and computer and let your brain rest. You’ll be glad you did.