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Be it Resolved 2017

Success Begins With Your Own Resolve

By The Editors

“Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other.”  — Abraham Lincoln.

Abe Lincoln knew that success begins and ends with your own resolve. How will you ensure 2017 is your most successful year yet? Today’s New Year’s resolutions come from law firm branding guru Burkey Belser, HR expert Susan Manch, marketing and strategy consultant Mark Greene, law firm web guy and publisher Steve Matthews, and Attorney at Work’s Merrilyn Astin Tarlton.

be-it-resolved-super-adFor all the resolutions from this week’s series, download your copy of the “Be It Resolved” compilation here.

RESOLVED: Honor your brand not in the breach but in practice

Match the communication of your brand in your website, collateral materials and all other communications with your behavior so all actions match your brand promise. Do not settle for sloppy brand implementation or third-rate materials because they are cheap. Your brand will inspire your mission and your troops — all your troops, not just the lawyers but your staff and clients and prospects because they will all demand that you live the brand. This is not a campaign promise to be jettisoned as soon as it becomes inconvenient. This is a business and life stance.

Burkey Belser
President & Creative Director
Greenfield Belser

RESOLVED: Invest in your team

Commit to thinking more deeply about the assignment process, looking not only at who has the time or who has done it before, but also who needs to learn a particular task. Conduct project debriefs with team members, providing constructive and developmental feedback that highlights both strengths and areas for growth. Engage your developing lawyers and staff in strategic planning as well as client development and relations efforts. When hiring, look more closely at experience, attitude, commitment to achieve, and ability to innovate than at their grades. Thank people for their efforts and truly appreciate the full team of people who make it possible for you to run a successful practice. It is only when you have a highly skilled, engaged and committed team that you can build a vibrant, successful practice.

Susan G. Manch
Chief of People & Development
Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP

RESOLVED: Know your clients

Be more in touch with your clients, personally, regarding their business challenges and especially concerning their legal needs. Get regular news updates (Manzama and Google alerts, for example) about your most important clients. Conduct regular face-to-face “relationship reviews” to deepen your firm’s connections with key clients. Arrange third-party surveys to objectively ascertain what you’re doing right and wrong, and what you can learn from other firms. And never ask any client any question unless you are committed to promptly following up — even if you don’t have a good answer — on their response.

Mark T. Greene
Strategy and Marketing Consultant
Mark T. Greene Consulting

RESOLVED: Toss a wide net

Enhance the company you keep, and enlarge your circle of influential peers. Take your focus off websites and publications and reset your attention toward people. Get to know other professionals who write books, magazines and blogs. Get to know the academic who publishes relevant research on SSRN, and identify those individuals who sit on editorial boards at key industry publications. If there’s an article in the local newspaper that fits your practice or interest, document that name and the journalist’s contact information. Then build spreadsheets, sign up for email alerts, and create Twitter lists to track — and more importantly, engage with — these people and their writing going forward!

Steve Matthews
President & Founder
Stem Legal Web Enterprises Inc.

RESOLVED: Honor your own heart

Let this year be the year you trust your gut and do what you want to do. Sure, you should listen to others, especially those who know something about the issue at hand — or who will be affected by it. But in 2017, having listened, trust yourself to make your own excellent decision when it is about you. Do that thing you always wanted to do but never got around to, before it is too late. Take that trip that seemed too extravagant, but, come on, you know it isn’t. Switch careers — or ramp up this one with an investment in more education or a relocation. Whatever it is … this year you get to have the last word on what is right for you.

Merrilyn Astin Tarlton
Attorney at Work

The “Be It Resolved” download was a collaboration with our friends at Greenfield Belser, a full-service brand strategy and interactive design agency focused exclusively on professional services, financial services, associations and other knowledge-based branding and marketing.

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Categories: Business Development, Daily Dispatch, Law Firm Marketing, Managing a Law Firm
Originally published December 29, 2016
Last updated April 14, 2018
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