THE FRIDAY FIVE
Celebrating Lessons Learned
At Attorney at Work, we believe virtually no event is too small to justify some sort of celebration. In the workplace, it’s one way managers recognize the value of contribution, build camaraderie and keep everyone’s chin up. At home, celebrating birthdays, anniversaries and other accomplishments can keep any member of the family from being too cool to be positive and teach children to embrace life’s passages with joy.
Twelve Months of Nearly Anything Warrants Celebration
So we’ve got a really big one to celebrate today and we are inviting you to join in. One year ago today, we released Attorney at Work into the world. And, oh, what an interesting, extraordinary year! It began as a project among good friends, to help showcase the best ideas of some really good people, regardless of affiliation. Our goal was to have fun doing what we love, help fill a need in the legal profession and learn some things. Today—this is where you come in!—we’re sharing just a few from that really long list of things learned.
- Taking calculated risks can pay off. We didn’t know everything when we started this. But by doing the research and then taking a flying leap into the void, we’ve found some success we never would have if we insisted on sitting safely at home. It’s something enterprising lawyers talk about all the time: If you’re not taking risks, you’re not doing anything. Check out these two brief posts on intelligent risk-taking by Steve Pavlina and Scott Bartell. Then do the research, get out your worry beads and just jump!
- Collaborate or compete? Last December we ran across the article “Why You Should Make Your Competitors Your Frenemies” by entrepreneur Mark Suster, and it inspired a whole new way of thinking about competition. Way too often lawyers confuse the concept of business competition with the “going to war” mindset they carry into a courtroom. If you set that aside and approach it differently, you may find there is much to be gained. Stewart Levine makes the point nicely in Don’t Negotiate: Collaborate!
- Doing business at the speed of the Internet can pin your ears right back. But it also allows you to provide faster and better service to your clients. And, boy oh boy, you can see those results at the speed of thought as well. Oh, speaking of speed, go download Bill Gates book Business at the Speed of Thought to learn how to transform your practice by using technology as a strategic asset.
- With friends like these. Just because someone is your friend doesn’t mean they aren’t also the world’s authority on something. Have you taken a look at our contributors list lately? Pardon us while we brag, but we found most of our authors in our personal contact lists. Bet you’ve got friends who are experts, too. Check it out!
- People need and welcome help. A lot of lawyers—from all quarters—are looking for some help with the basics in their lives and practices. A lot. We’ve learned this year that once you take a position that you want to help, well, people are much more eager to listen. It’s so easy to slip into thinking you have to impress people with how wonderful you are so that they will “buy” when that stuff hardly matters. What they care about is whether you can help them. Apparently, that’s what they call relationship selling.
There’s a lot more that we’ve learned. And we’d tell you about it, but another lesson we’ve learned is to keep it brief. So, briefly, thank you for subscribing to Attorney at Work and for sharing an exhilarating year with us! May the next year be just as good for you.