Five Steps That Improve Your Quality of Life

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Lawyer's Quality of LifeThis 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.

Why?

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.

Formulate Goals

We next discuss three specific goals.

  1. Your exit strategy
  2. Your three year milestone
  3. 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):

The Step-by-Step Guide to Connecting with Someone New

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.

How to Start a New Relationship

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.

Increase Client Lifetime Value by Becoming a Trusted Advisor

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.

Are You Right for this Role?

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.

My Gift to 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.