Mentors, Mentees and What to Wear for a Successful Career

I reconnected with an early mentor recently when an old piece of business brought us back together again. At the time we worked together, I appreciated his guidance—he showed me how to improve my writing, cross-examine an expert witness, pick juries and so much more. In hindsight, my gratitude has deepened. Like an invisible hand, he continued to guide me through situations that occurred long after we ceased working together. With great mentors, you can access their advice in many instances without even asking because their philosophies and logic are so deeply embedded. The night before our first jury trial [...]

Cycling Through Life’s Career Highs, Lows and Uncertain Times

You know the feeling—you just got a new job, client or case and you're all charged up. Ignited by the challenge, you are optimistic, goal oriented, focused and excited. During a phase like this, you are unstoppable and always looking for what's next. But, what happens when that feeling abates? When the opportunity is no longer new and the exiting aspects have given way to feelings of disenchantment? It turns out that all through our lives we are always moving through a cycle of renewal, according to Frederic M. Hudson, an author and thought leader in the field of managing [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Lawyers and Marketing – What You Need to Know and Didn’t Learn in School

Last year, I read a post on LinkedIn titled, "Why Don't Law Schools Teach the #1 Factor for Success?" It was authored by Cole Silver, director of client relations at Blank Rome, and a perusal of his profile revealed a wealth of solid, crucial advice for lawyers on how to thrive regardless of layoffs, mergers and firm closures. Because marketing is a huge stumbling block for lawyers I coach, I asked Silver for an interview. Silver's role at Blank Rome was created to drive revenue, coach and train lawyers on how to acquire and retain clients, bring the client's voice, [...]

Cultivate Optimism to Grow Your Practice and Your Life

Are you a natural optimist? When adversity strikes, do you tell yourself it's temporary and not your fault and consider all of the things in your life that are going well despite the one setback? Or do you chalk it up to inherent personal failings and give up? Evidence shows that if you tend to the former, you have a greater chance at being happier and more successful in business. If you tend toward the latter, it's not too late to change that habit. For me, optimism is not a default setting. Raised in a deeply cynical home by a [...]

Effective Niche Marketing for Lawyers

Niche marketing describes a firm narrowing down its focus to stand out from a marketing perspective. There are many advantages to carving out a niche legal practice. Marketing to a specific area is more cost effective, separates you from the pack, emphasizes your uniqueness, conveys a concentration on a particular area rather than a general practice, and can foster a belief that, by limiting yourself to a chosen field, you will be up-to-date on the latest precedents and well-versed in nuances that could elude a generalist. However, marketing to a niche is vastly different from marketing against a niche, particularly [...]

How to Communicate With Intention

Global law firm Clifford Chance was in the news recently because of a memo it circulated called "Presentation Tips for Women," which contained 163 nuggets of practical advice for its female lawyers. Some of the guidance included: Don't giggle; don't squirm; don't tilt your head. Practice hard words. Think Lauren Bacall, not Marilyn Monroe. Wear a suit, not your party outfit. Your friends will still like you afterwards, even if you adopt a formal tone. The memo was leaked to AbovetheLaw.com by one of the recipients who said in an email, "Female associates are very upset by not only the [...]

By |2016-06-03T16:12:47+00:00December 2, 2013|Categories: Executive Coaching, The Legal Intelligencer|Tags: , , |