Over the last 10 months I’ve had the pleasure of working with one of the best clients I’ve had in the 14 years that I have been coaching. So why is this client so good?
He was open and eager to receive help and guidance from the beginning. Even through the busy times, he did what he could in the way of moving things forward. He has a great attitude. Excellent work ethic. He’s smart. Well, you are all smart. But this guy is really smart! Business smart.
He has great instincts. He follows through on homework assigned. He reaches out in between our calls (as instructed but rarely fully leveraged by most of my clients). This guy is fully engaged and committed to getting the absolute most out of working with me. He wants it. Like a star athlete going for the next level, this is rare. I always say, I can show you how, but you have to ‘lift the weights’! He lifts the weights.
He checks all the boxes. He is a great example, actually one of the best I’ve seen, of what can be accomplished when you fully commit to coaching and getting support. You get out of it what you put into it.
Perhaps the most important quality he has, he has a great attitude. More on attitude next week.
Oh, and by the way, he is just entering his 5th year and already showing signs of leadership.
by Linda Ellis
“I read of a man who stood to speak
at the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
from the beginning…to the end.
He noted that first came the date of her birth
and spoke of the following date with tears,
but he said what mattered most of all
was the dash between those years.
For that dash represents all the time
that she spent alive on earth
and now only those who loved her
know what that little line is worth.
For it matters not, how much we own,
the cars…the house…the cash.
What matters is how we live and love
and how we spend our dash.
So think about this long and hard;
are there things you’d like to change?
For you never know how much time is left
that can still be rearranged.
If we could just slow down enough
to consider what’s true and real
and always try to understand
the way other people feel.
And be less quick to anger
and show appreciation more
and love the people in our lives
like we’ve never loved before.
If we treat each other with respect
and more often wear a smile…
remembering that this special dash
might only last a little while.
So when your eulogy is being read
with your life’s actions to rehash,
would you be proud of the things they say
about how you spent your dash?”
How are you spending your Dash?
Although this might be self-serving, I didn’t write it or speak to it. If you’ve ever thought about getting a coach to help you grow and manage your business, I highly recommend you watch this TED Talk. Warning! There are some graphic images. And it gets a little emotional at the end. It’s inspiring, uplifting and real life proof of what coaching can do. Enjoy.
Several years ago I predicted that at some point the larger firms in Canada would look to bring on full-time in-house business development coaches. It has recently come to my attention that it’s happening now. New positions are being created where coaches are working in-house with specific practice groups. Unlike other business development and marketing roles, these new positions are purely about coaching. They are there full-time to help the lawyers create a plan of action and then support them through implementation teaching them various skills along the way. If this isn’t a resounding statement in support of the value of coaching lawyers in business development, I don’t know what is.
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?