Transitioning to a new firm can be daunting, especially when you’ve been where you are for a long time. Things are comfortable. You know your way around. You know the people, the culture, the expectations.
Making a move means new people, new culture, new rules! And what about the uncertainty? Is this the right move? Will I fit in? It can be very stressful. Change is hard.
Ask yourself one simple question. ‘What prompted you to consider this move?’ It’s likely your gut telling you it’s time, it’s a better platform to work from, it’s a good move for your career.
Once you’ve made up your mind to make the move, start with a plan. Map out your way forward. Identify your key clients and the approach you will take to bring them with you. Reach out to your new firm, new partners and look for ways to create more cross-serving opportunities. This can be a great move for your clients and the clients of your new firm if you look at it that way.
With the right plan you can walk in the door of your new firm and hit the ground running and never look back!
As a coach I am acutely aware of how people in general look at change. It’s big, scary, unknown, and can be intimidating; filled with apprehension. The funny thing about change is that it is one of the most ‘constants’ of our daily life.
If you are looking to change something, anything, it all starts with forming new habits. I encourage you not to look at how far you need to go, but look at what you can do today to start on the path forward.
Based on my work and my own life and business experience, the most important thing about forming new habits is consistency. It’s less important how much time you devote to this new habit, and far more important to do it every day-that builds the habit! Let’s face it, we are all busy, Some days you will have more time than others to focus on your new habit. That’s ok.
The other day I was at the gym. I had a busy day but decided a short work out was better than no work out. I was chatting with a couple of personal trainers about this. They work with people every day, just like me, helping them to form new habits. They both totally agreed that it was far more important to establish the ‘habit’, than how long you were doing it.
So, one day at a time. Whatever new habit you are looking to form, whether it’s about eating, exercise, business, relationships, giving more time to yourself; do something, even it it’s just a little focus, everyday. Before you know it, this new habit will become second nature, a part of your daily routine. And you will be one step closer to your goal. In fact, keep it up every day and before you know it, you won’t be able to live without it.
Situation: A very unhappy 5th year associate decides he can no longer practice as a litigator. He approaches his firm to get support in making a shift to build a solicitor practice. The marketing department hired me to work with him to turn his career around.
Approach: As we began to create his business plan, we focused on his definition of success, what did he ultimately want to create for his career? We focused on his values and what was important to him. Before we decided where he would focus his attention we spent some time figuring out what made him tick. As it turned out, environmental issues were very important to him. So we investigated the ‘green’ market and how it was being served. Through his connections and contacts he was able to get some meetings with green start-up companies.
Results: It didn’t take too long before he was bringing in new business. He created an IP practice and worked under one of the partners at his firm. The shift that he experienced was clearly visible to his colleagues at the firm. He was happy, engaged, motivated and committed to building his practice. It wasn’t too long before he was basically caught up to the partner track he had been on. What was that worth to him and his career? What was that worth to his firm instead of losing this talented and loyal associate, they made a small investment in him and helped turn his career around? And what did it mean for his career?
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.” That quote from Charles Darwin is particularly relevant to lawyers and law firms right now. So much change is happening and it seems the speed at which it’s changing is constantly increasing. You have two choices. One, do nothing and hope for the best. What’s the definition of insanity again? Or, adapt, look for ways to change your approaches and habits and how to increase your client satisfaction and loyalty. Look for ways to do what you do better, faster, more cost-effective. Look for ways to further develop your people and increase productivity and loyalty. If you’re stuck and don’t know where to start, give me a call. I can help. That’s what I do.
When it comes time for business development you seem to have a habit. That habit is not making time for some of the most important tasks. If you want to grow your practice or your firm, you have to make time. How much has that habit cost you over the years? I know times are tough and you are challenged with time. It could start with looking at your priorities and making adjustments to allow more time for business development.
You attend conferences and listen to webinars. You read books on marketing and business development. You even get a little excited on these webinars. But then you go right back to your old habits and create an excuse or excuses for not to jump into action. I challenge you right now to think of one action or strategy that you’re learned recently and run with it. Run with it all the way to the bank. Just one thing. That will start a chain reaction of results and motivate you to try more and different things. As I tell my clients, “Nike”-just do it! If you want help, call me. That is what I do; help my clients get into action. Do the work, and live the results.