Five Steps That Improve Your Quality of Life
This past week I was in three different law offices. Each of them run by a successful lawyer who is making more money than he/she ever thought possible.
Want to know the reason I was there?
I was invited in to each of these firms because the owners were living chaotic lives, disconnected from their families, and putting a strain on their health.
They had the “make a great living” part of my mission down, but they were failing to “live a great life.”
Whenever I see this problem I know it is more difficult to address than a lack of new clients.
You see, if a lawyer has a client attraction problem, he will be motivated to take action. Hunger has a way of focusing your attention.
But the successful lawyer who is running to court in five different jurisdictions each week and doing client intake and negotiating deals and attending networking events and writing articles and working up cases is actually afraid to make any changes.
Because this formula has helped him become successful.
So he thinks.
That depends upon your definition of success.
If you make more money than you ever imagined possible yet spend the first 15 years of your child’s life missing out on every event and celebration and then die of a massive heart attack at your desk, were you successful?
Yeah. I know.
You don’t miss ALL the events. Just a few here and there.
And you are never going to have a heart attack. You just have a slight blood pressure issue and some mild aches and pains to go along with your nightly routine of an Ambien and a glass of Johnnie Walker.
But you’re successful.
Let’s say at some point, you wanted to make a couple of changes and you invited me in to visit with you. Here are five things I’d recommend:
Identify Your Strengths
Most law firm leaders don’t know what they do exceptionally well and what they struggle to complete adequately. They plug away at things for so long that they believe they can do everything.
In reality, each of us is wired with a predisposition toward certain activities. Some of us are great public speakers. Others are fantastic with numbers or computers. Still others know how to focus like a laser beam on the details of a project. The list goes on…
Identifying your areas of strength will help set the stage for the formation of a “plan of attack” for your leadership in your law firm.
I will sit down with you and do a thorough analysis of your strengths.
We next discuss three specific goals.
- Your exit strategy
- Your three year milestone
- You daily outcome
This is a different type of goal setting. By figuring out what the end will look like, we have a complete picture. (If you are an executive in a big firm, we figure out what your legacy will be.)
The end goal can change over the years. Life has a funny way of dropping things in our lap that can alter our plan. Nevertheless we always have a horizon we are racing toward.
The three year milestone is a set of outcomes you will have achieved that will help you identify whether or not you are on course.
Your daily outcome is the one thing you need to do today to help you get closer to your goals. It can be as simple an activity as making a telephone call.
Linking daily activity to long term goals is essential to success.
List and Assign All the Activities in Your Law Firm
This may take a week or so. But everything from calendaring new matters to preparing marketing material to working up cases must be listed.
Once this list is done, it’s your job to assign each task to a person in your firm.
You should only work on things in your area of strength.
For example: if you are bad with numbers but great at writing, hire a bookkeeper and focus on marketing.
Hold Everyone in Your Firm Accountable for Outcomes
At least once each week you should have a 10 minute meeting with each of the members of your team. Discuss what they will accomplish in the next five days and what they have accomplished in the last five days. Coach, counsel, and reward them them as needed. This includes reviewing your own productivity.
Compensate People Generously with Time and Money Based Upon Outcomes
Your compensation plan should be based upon achieving outcomes. When people do well, reward them. My experience has shown that providing people with days off can be as effective (in some cases more effective) than paying them extra money. A healthy mix of both is usually the recipe for long term success.
Ultimately, this five step leadership process will help you improve your quality of life. If you hire the right people and implement the plan as outlined above, you need to only be involved in the areas where you excel. That means you enjoy your day-to-day work and your people enjoy what they do.
If your systems are in place and your outcomes are clearly defined, the firm will be able to operate without your direct involvement for significant periods of time.
Even if you want to work more hours because you enjoy what you do, you will cut down on the stress you feel because your systems will prevent every little thing from becoming a crisis.
Give this some thought and, if you’d like to invite me in to help you with this type of initiative, we can have this up and running in less than 90 days. Simply give me a call to schedule it: 888.444.5150
Last week I shared some information with you in each of these areas. I know how busy you are and I know how hard you work so I figured I’d take a minute and provide you with a summary of the five most impactful articles I shared last week.
These are the articles you voted most important (via social media):
This is a video guide to making a new friend.
In business our “friends” help us by referring business to us.
If you’ve ever felt awkward when meeting someone new, this video will help you break the ice.
Want more detail on getting people to like you do business with you? This article can help. In this article, I write out, in detail, the things you can do to build a relationship with a new prospective client or referral source. Follow the guidelines as I’ve laid them out and you will be well on your way to sourcing your next big client.
Too many professionals, especially lawyers, don’t know what to do once they have attracted a great client. This audio program will help you deepen your relationship with your clients and maximize the lifetime value they can deliver to you.
The two most important qualities any attorney can possess are empathy and understanding. When you meet someone new, if you immediately launch into a lengthy diatribe about your background and experience, you immediately lose the trust of that person.
This short article is a quick reminder of why people like you.
Did you get my free CD? I’ve offered it to you several times. Make sure you get a copy. We only have a couple left. Click this link: Million Dollar Lawyer Secrets and I’ll send you one. It only takes a couple of days and I even cover the shipping.
Go through these articles and pick and choose the things you want to implement. Remember the ideas are great but they are nothing without your action.
Four Minute Fixation 9: How to Take Fast Action
In case you have not heard me say it enough, action is the key to success in any business.
When you combine action with speed you have the making of a serious competitive advantage.
Each week in our video series I highlight a specific area of focus for you.
My hope is: You take action for just four minutes each day during the next seven days on this one thing.
This week, we focus on fast action.
Here is the video that highlights how I take action quickly:
Please take four minutes during the course of the next week and take fast action on something each day. Even if you focus on something small the momentum you create will help you move your law firm toward your goals.
Here’s some fast action you can take that will make you more money. Read the five most important articles from the past week:
This is the totally free CD I offered you several times before. I’m not sure why you haven’t taken me up on my offer.
But this may be your last opportunity to do so.
Act now. I even cover the cost of the shipping.
This is the eighth installment of our Four Minute Fixation Series.
This series offers you information you can implement in just four minutes each day in order to have a dramatic impact of your law firm and your life.
In this video we tackled the question: “How frequently should I communicate with my clients?’
This video is required viewing for anyone who wants to improve their level of influence with clients, employees or members of the community.
Are you baffled when clients ignore your valuable advice?
Honestly, it drives me nuts too.
You spend your lifetime acquiring wisdom through experience and hard knocks and you want to save your clients the pain of doing the same.
Yet they do not respond.
Read my rant/guidance on how you can remedy this situation.
This is an audio program that even surprised me.
Can you believe it is possible to develop and implement a legal marketing system for under $400 per month?
I didn’t believe it either.
I reviewed all the elements of my internet marketing system and it turns out, that’s the cost if you do the heavy lifting yourself.
If that’s not appealing, don’t worry.
We provide you with all the vendor information you need to get this system going without lifting a finger (if that’s your preference).
This is a great program designed to help lawyers build a law firm the way a CEO builds a business.
In this audio program and written article we cover the 10 disciplines of law firm leadership.
You really need to download this program and implement the guidance included today.
Enjoy each of these golden nuggets but more importantly, take action on at least one thing this week.
Four Minute Fixation 7: Three Tools For Success as a Law Firm Leader
Most law firm leaders end up accepting their role by default.
It is something that has been thrust upon them.
Not only is this unfair, it is also counterproductive. Both you and your law firm suffer as a result.
There are three important tools you must bring to your work as a managing partner, managing shareholder or as “the owner” at a law firm.
This week in our weekly video we share these three tools with you.
These three “C’s” hold the key to your future.
Confidence gets you through those long, lonely times when you must make a decision on behalf of your firm or it’s members. This confidence must be developed over time. You must be rock solid in your decision-making and leadership.
You already possess above average Capability in the practice of law. Unfortunately, when you went to law school, they left out the capability to recruit, hire, train, and develop people. The also left out the capability to develop systems to ensure your law firm would run efficiently. They left out the capability to attract new clients and the capability to continuously improve your productivity.
The finally tool at your disposal is Clarity. You must have the vision to guide your firm down a path that may not yet exist. This is a discipline that must be nurtured over time. You need to recognize this opportunity and capitalize upon it.
Watch this video for an excellent summary of each of these success tools and then focus four minutes each day on how you can improve each of these three areas.
That’s not too much to ask. Is it?
Are you ready to take your law firm to the next level?
I’ve developed a six week intensive coaching program specifically for law firm leaders. It is designed to help you take your law firm from “Good to Great” while helping you get home on time for dinner every night.
Does this sound good to you?
This is a one-on-one program working directly with me for six weeks. By the time we finish working together you will think differently, work smarter and surround yourself with high caliber people and effective and efficient systems.
There are only a couple of slots left to help you get ready for the upcoming year. Don’t miss out. Visit this website today:
How to Hire Top Talent for Your Law Firm
One of the questions I am asked most frequently by my clients is: “How do I make sure I am hiring the best available person for this position?”
The question is important especially when the person asking it has an empty role within his organization and he needs to fill it immediately with a superstar.
This is part of the problem with the conventional view of attracting top talent. People view it as a situational activity. That means: someone quits, you begin the process of recruiting, interviewing a person to fill that role.
This is dead wrong.
That approach is based upon the view that people are an expense.
People are actually are an asset and they should produce a return on your investment in them almost immediately.
Note: If you do not have this view and you need to be convinced, please listen to last week’s podcast titled Six Strategy Questions that Predict Your Future.
Once you view people as an asset to your business, you begin immediately looking to attract as many of these highly valuable assets as possible because they will help you exponentially grow your income.
But What If I Don’t Have Any Money?
If you are making the proper hiring decisions, you only need to “bridge the gap” between their hire date of this person and the day they start producing a positive return on your investment in them. In most cases, that time frame is 90 days.
Here is an example:
As a transactional Intellectual Property attorney you hire a lawyer and pay her $150,000 per year. That’s $12,500 per month (I’m using round numbers and not including benefit costs.) If you only use her to work with new clients and her role is to only file new trademark applications and respond to office actions, how many months will she work with you before you begin seeing a positive return on your investment?
Well, let’s say you offer a package service. You do a United States specific search, file trademark applications and respond to office actions until the mark is approved or the pursuit of trademark protection is abandoned for $3,000 per mark.
If you bring in just five new matters each month, and this attorney handles them, you area receiving a positive return on your investment.
That is a simplistic example. Don’t get hung up on the specifics. It simply illustrates the point of how you can receive a positive return on your investment quickly.
Always Be Canvassing
It is for this reason (return on investment in talent) I encourage my clients to always be on the lookout for talented people.
I use the A-B-C acronym, not dissimilar to the one in Glengarry Glen Ross. Except the “C” in my model stands for “Canvassing.” Which is to say “searching for top talent.”
Through the years I have developed a system to help identify, attract, hire and retain top talent. It works well and it has become a competitive advantage everywhere I have initiated its use. I have shared that system with my listeners in this week’s podcast.
Listen to the audio program on the player below or follow the link to download it.
Talent can not only be your competitive advantage, it can also add enormous value to your firm. Consider implementing this system immediately.
Here is Your Reading List
Today I am delivering five opportunities for you to grow as a law firm leader. Each of these articles offers guidance on how you can improve your personal acumen while growing your law firm.
While the links below will take you to some of the most powerful law firm leadership content you will find, it is worthless without action.
Read these articles, digest them, and then take action.
This article outlines the ten qualities necessary in a law firm leader. If you want to grow your firm and lead it through good times and bad, you should read this article and listen to this podcast. In it we outline the ten most powerful habits of successful law firm leaders.
As a side note, the podcast (link and player included in the article) this is my most popular podcast to date.
Your law firm is also a business. This article offers you a chance to take a good hard look at yourself and your law firm and decide if you have what it takes to build a business.
This is an article that provides you with a bucket of cold water over the head. If you want to discover how to create a law firm marketing plan, this article will be a great start.
I regularly promote the need for assistance in developing your capabilities as a law firm leader. If you have thought about seeking advice on business strategy or law firm marketing, here are three great options.
Here is the offer I have made a few times in the past. Claim your copy of my law firm strategy cd now before we run out. It is f-r-e-e and you don’t want to miss out.
Please take a few moments and read through these articles (and listening to the podcast). This is phenomenal guidance and it comes to you at the exact appropriate time.