Gary Mitchell's Biz/Dev Coaching Blog
There are many reasons why boomers should be working with millennials and vice versa. For this post I want to concentrate on what I believe is one of the most crucial reasons-succession.
As we all know these two demographic groups are currently the largest within the current workforce. Aging boomers looking to retire in the next few years need millennials to step up and take the helm. Millennials who are starting out or fledgling in their careers need the boomers to teach them, mentor them and groom them for future leadership.
Whatever differences these two demographic groups have, they must be overcome for the benefit of all.
#millennials #businesscoach #lawyercoach #talentpool
To kick off 2018 I’ve created a new LinkedIn Group-Professional Services Marketing Group.
The purpose is twofold. 1st, to offer a forum where professional service providers can share insights and knowledge, wins and challenges as they grow their businesses. There is power in collective wisdom.
The 2nd goal of this group is to allow you to network ‘virtually’ with other professionals; build relationships and develop more referrals.
The concept of the ‘Mastermind Group’ comes from author Napoleon Hill, in his book “Think and Grow Rich”, published in the early part of the last century. I’ve always loved the concept and many of my clients have and continue to use this strategy to grow their businesses.
And then invite your best referral sources and contacts to join. The more members, the more collective wisdom and the potential to build more relationships leading to more referrals, leading to more business.
#businesscoach #mastermindgroup #growyourbusiness
Follow the positive trail is a phrase I’ve coined while working with my clients. It simply means follow the positive people, reactions, results, interactions, energy etc. It has many applications in business. Whether you are looking for another job, working to build your book, looking to build more internal relationships, heck, life in general.
Don’t let the negativity drag you down. Focus and follow what is positive. Here are a few examples.
- You are working to build your book. You send out a number of emails to reconnect. Don’t worry about the people who don’t respond, focus and put your energy towards the people who do, and work to take those relationships to the next level.
- You are starting at a new firm. You are working to build relationships with associates, staff and partners at your new firm. Watch for how people react to you. If they don’t give you the time of day-move on. Focus on the people who respond in a positive way. Invest your time and energy in them.
We are surrounded by negativity all day long. This is one approach (proven) by my clients to help you stay positive, motivated and moving forward towards reaching your goals.
Going beyond business development and your ability to generate work, there are a couple of considerations you should think about if you’re looking to get on or speed up the ‘Partner Track’. The first consideration is to learn how to play well with others. Here I am referring to everyone with whom you come into contact on a daily basis; your assistant, paralegals, IT professionals, receptionists, firm management, marketing, library services, etc. Go out of your way to treat these people with the utmost respect and watch how in turn they will over perform and deliver for you. You will not become successful in your career without their support. So when they go out of their way for you, acknowledge their efforts. Take them out to lunch from time to time. Ask them how they would like to contribute. Find out how you can help them achieve their career goals by first understanding what they are. Treat them as you do your clients. In other words get to know them as much as possible.
Giving back to the firm
By this I am referring to what can you do outside your practice to provide value to your firm. Consider answering these questions as a place to start:
- What committees can you be on and contribute to?
- Are their opportunities for you to mentor a summer or articling student, or even an associate more junior then you?
- What can you do outside the walls of your firm in the community to better position your firm?
Follow this advice and you are more likely to become a partner at your firm.
Due out September 24, 2014 from Carswell is my second book aimed at helping lawyers and law firms grow. In this edition I take you through my proprietary methodology TST™, Targeted, Strategic and Tactical. Working with Lawyers these past nine years I developed systems and processes allowing you to get more clients with less time invested. When you become more targeted, strategic and tactical in your approaches, you will see better results.
There are two editions, one for lawyers at large firms, and one for lawyers in small firms. The small firm edition includes an entire chapter aimed at law firm leaders wishing to grow the firm. It includes:
- Becoming more effective as a leader
- Balancing Lawyering, leading, and rainmaking
- Engaging your entire team in business development
- Compensation models to reward your people and incentivise them to achieve
- Succession planning
If you are looking to grow your firm or practice, this book is a must read. You can pre-order it online from Carswell. Just follow this link. http://www.carswell.com//product-search/?qa=prod&qt=Raindance
Recently I had a senior partner hire me to coach him. When he sent me his profile, I was a little surprised he needed help given his amazing profile. Pages of speaking engagements, tons of published articles, three text books published. So one of the first questions I asked him was “How did your practice come to this?” He told me the not-so-uncommon story of cruising along for years with a very large client that had a lot of ongoing work. So he rested on his laurels. Then one day that client vanished. Even some of his other clients have become smaller with fewer needs for his services. So here he is with one of the most impressive profiles I’ve ever seen for a lawyer in his practice area, and he very few contacts to draw from. This is another reason not to stop building relationships and growing your network of potential leads and referral sources. You never know if it will just vanish one day.
If your firm is like the small firms I’ve worked with, you have a cohesive and happy team. If you follow the advice I’ve shared with you, it will only improve that culture of team and success; which is why you must be relentless when bringing on new talent.
First thing is you must ensure anyone coming on board will be open to business development. Moving forward that should be a part of the staff and lawyer profile you are looking for. This is one way you can ensure your firm will continue to grow.
Another thing to keep in mind is ‘fit’. One of my clients has his law clerks and associates do the initial interview. This gives them the opportunity to see if this person is someone that they would like to work with. After you’ve done such a good job creating a cohesive place to work, the last thing you want to do is upset the apple cart by bringing in a dud.
I can tell you one thing, if you have created a culture where people love to come to work, it won’t be as hard as you think to get more great people. There are a lot of unhappy and unengaged people in the legal industry that would jump at the chance to work for someone they respect, be a part of a team, be a part of growing your firm. And when you are selecting lawyers ask yourself if this is someone you think could become a partner one day? Which leads nicely into the next section.
As you seek to grow your firm it will be advantageous for you to become the best possible leader you can be to inspire, motivate and lead your team. I read somewhere that great leaders don’t create followers. Great leaders create more great leaders. That is a great approach to take, to empower your people to become better, to take on more responsibilities and leadership roles within the firm. This is also a great way to support your succession plan (which I talk about later in this chapter). Some tips on becoming a better leader. In most cases, it boils down to having great communication skills.
- Treat each member of your team individually.
- Have regular one-to-one time with each team member and get to know what truly motivates them and what they want to achieve in their career.
- Provide regular feedback on their work. Tell them what they are doing right or great and why, and tell them how and where they can improve.
- Set up clear expectations from the beginning so there are no miss-understandings later.
- Ask for their feedback on client and firm matters-this is a great way of empowering them. They have a ton of ideas that could benefit your clients and the firm-just ask them.
- Always remain approachable and willing to listen.
- Share your vision for your firm and engage your team to be a part of that vision. Most people and especially this younger generation like the team approach. Take advantage of that and leverage it.
- Create systems and processes to make it easier for your people to do their jobs. And if you don’t know where to start-ask your people how you can make their jobs easier.
- Share your knowledge and mentor your people. Share what you have learned about time management, client management, file management, email management and help your people become as efficient as you’ve become.
- Lead by example. If you are asking your people to do something that you don’t or won’t do yourself, you can’t really expect them to do it either
In addition to speaking at conferences and events, putting on educational workshops is another excellent business-building tactic. There are many applications for this. You can offer workshops to current clients as a value-add, and it’s a great way to strengthen your relationship. It’s also and excellent way of building more relationships in your prospects company or organization. One of the reasons I like this tactic so much, is that you’re not asking your contacts for anything. You are providing them with valuable content and knowledge.
The final installment of this three-part blog series is all about “Where is your target market?” If you know who you wish to serve and what kind of practice you want to build, then the next question to ask yourself, is “Where are potential clients and referral sources?”
This question is easy to answer. Ask your current ‘ideal’ clients and best referral sources, “Where do they hand?” In other words, what associations do they belong to? What events do they attend? What publications do they read? if you want to find more of them, start with them. They will tell you everything you need to know about how and where to market yourself to your target market.