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This sounds so easy, but can be much harder in practice. You know you have said things, likely out loud, when driving and some car cut you off. Maybe you would say it to the person when you end up next to each other at a traffic light or not. People who do are risking their life because they let their emotions get the best of them. Other situations may not have the physical risks of road rage, but they instead have personal and professional risks.

This easily can happen in the workplace, whether with co-workers or, if you deal
Continue Reading Don’t be a jerk – always take the high road

Monday night I watched the college football National Championship game between Alabama and Georgia. You probably know (or in case you don’t) Georgia won after it looked like their quarterback fumbled away the game with around 11 minutes to go in the game by playing great defense and the quarterback stepping up and seemingly willing his team’s offense to play better. Why am I telling you this? Because after Georgia won, quarterback Stetson Bennett was interviewed and in response to how he lead his team back he said “Just keep fighting. Keep your mouth shut. Work hard. Life is tough,
Continue Reading Just keep fighting. Keep your mouth shut. Work hard

I heard someone say this on a podcast and it stuck with me. It is a way to reframe the narrative of change as we enter the new year or at any time. The point is to spend more time looking forward than obsessing on the past.

Did you have a good 2021 professionally? If so, will you keep doing what you did or seek to improve on your success? If not, will you spend time thinking of what could or should have been, or spend more time looking to make 2022 a better year. I’m talking about a mindset,
Continue Reading Don’t rewrite your story, make something good going forward

I know, another person telling you to be thankful during the holiday season. Kind of, but not really. You should be thankful for what you have, but year round, not just because it’s this time of year. But that is not what I am talking about.

This time of year and all times of the year are good times to remember to show gratitude. Yes, you should do so year round, but it is better late than never, and should be done in both your professional and personal worlds.

Are you lucky enough to be in a position to have
Continue Reading Be thankful … year round

Beginning in 2014, many of you probably read my blog regarding having a checkup for you and, if you have one, your business. This does not involve the doctor, but it does involve all the other professionals in your personal and business life. Based on the positive feedback, I have made this an annual tradition.

Some of you said “What a great idea. I am definitely going to do that.” Others said “Sounds like a good idea, maybe I will look into that.” Another response was “I wish I had thought about this before the end of the year or
Continue Reading Why it’s time for an annual checkup – for you and your company

Communication is a singular important matter in all interactions between people. But most people don’t focus in a manner befitting this importance. Communication does not always happen in a way leading to understanding on the same level between the participants in the conversation. This is high-lighted by a quote that I like:

The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place – George Bernard Shaw

Do the people you communicate with understand what you are trying to convey? If you think so, how do you know? Odds are the communications are not as clear as you
Continue Reading Communicate to be understood

Many of us just celebrated Thanksgiving – near the end of another odd year. In thinking about writing about being thankful or gratitude, I thought back to posts from the last few Novembers. I can’t say it better, so here is my annual blog for the week of Thanksgiving.

This is a good time of year to think of gratitude generally and what you’re thankful for specifically. At the same time, it’s a great time of year to spread good feelings, which you can do by letting others know when you appreciate something they have done for you. In the
Continue Reading Show gratitude always – don’t delay, start today!

Who you associate with is important in business and in life. You should surround yourself with people who add value. In business it may be a mentor or connector. In your personal life it may just be someone who makes you laugh. Never underestimate the value of humor and laughter.

The saying “everything is who you know” exists for a reason. In the context of business, this makes a difference.

I used to grab lunch or coffee with anyone who asked or was connected with me. Over time, I came to value my time enough to think about who I
Continue Reading Wealth is the company you keep

There are many facets to success. The road is different depending on your profession, but in all situations it involves opportunity and preparation, as well as timing and hard work. The preparation and hard work count as investing in yourself and your future.

Preparation makes the hard work look easier to those on the outside. It’s the investment in yourself. Sometimes you can wing it, but most times you aren’t fully prepared, someone who matters will know. Preparation may be easy, which is always nice. But other times it’s hard and trying. In all situations it’s imperative to do so
Continue Reading Success = opportunity + preparation

Thinking about celebrating is inspired by my wife, who has a big birthday tomorrow. We have made special plans with people we care about. In these times it would have been easy to not do so, have a quiet moment with immediate family, and move one. But when you do that time keeps marching forward and you’re missed an opportunity.

The opportunity missed is the chance to celebrate a person, an occurrence, a moment worth celebrating. This applies in the workplace too. For me, I know the times I received a huge ruling from a court on a trial or
Continue Reading Celebrate the moments

In our scattered multitasking world focus still matters. Our brains aren’t built to do multiple things at once, at least not well. This is a problem when we have tasks or projects requiring focus and attention.

You probably have tools or processes you use to try and focus. This may include closing your office door, putting your phone on do not disturb, or doing the work at a time or day (think early or on the weekend) when interruption is less likely. I find it easier to have uninterrupted time earlier or later in the day and I’m not the
Continue Reading Focus

We live in a world of entrenched people and positions. Right now you may be thinking of politics and similar high level issues, but I am not. I’m considering this on a day-to-day level in relation to your work and personal lives in how you deal with people on any topic. For me it’s about my clients and who I have to dal with on their behalf.

I certainly deal with entrenched people and positions professionally dealing with opposing parties and attorneys who have positions directly conflicting with my client’s positions. I dread conversations where an opposing attorney is going
Continue Reading Listen fully and then question respectfully

Delivering outstanding advice to your client or customer is what you should strive for. My firm has defined its culture and “Deliver outstanding legal advice” is fundamental #1 of the JW Way – http://www.jaburgwilk.com/mission-statement. Without this, nothing else we do matters because this is central to why clients hire us. The same is true of your clients or customers no matter the nature of your business.

To achieve the goal of delivering outstanding legal advice, I have to strive to meet the challenges of the other fundamentals set forth in the JW Way. The list is long, but without clarifying
Continue Reading Deliver outstanding advice

I recently heard someone on a podcast say part of why he thinks his children have grown up to be good young adults included ingraining in them the idea of “doing the right thing, even if it sucks.” Many times doing the right this is easy (and some people still choose doing the wrong thing). Other times it’s hard.

An example of the way this comes into my world is when a calendaring or similar mistake is made and may negatively affect the client. I haven’t had this happen in a long time, but when it has happened it may
Continue Reading Do the right thing, always

Dreams are great. They can sustain us through hard times or hard work. They can lift us up and let us down. We can learn from them no matter whether they are realized.

Have you followed any dreams in your life? Most dreams die. When this happens to you, what is your reaction? Does it drag you down or paralyze you? If so, you need to rethink how to look at failure; you just need to find another dream.

I know I’m making it sound so easy. For you it may or may not be. But if you don’t try
Continue Reading Follow your dream?

We all make mistakes. Regularly. Do you think about what happened and try to learn from them, or do you beat yourself up? Or does it depend on the mistake and what and who it affected? Next time you make a mistake, take a step back and think how you prevent such a mistake from happening again.

The cycle of beating yourself up does no good. It wastes time, which is a precious commodity. It also can be a vicious cycle dragging you down and affecting all aspects of your professional and personal lives. This will compound your issues and
Continue Reading Make mistakes and move on