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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

I mean this in two ways. First, read news and know what’s going on in the world. Second, read books. Doing both is important in all facets of life.

As for news, read whatever you like, such as the Wall Street Journal, the New Your Times, the Washington Post or other papers. Better yet, read or skim two, preferably with different takes, such as being left or right leaning. Reading different points of view allow you to process issues, ideas and positions. It also will help you craft your own point of view own coming from a well-read place because
Continue Reading Read

Efficiency and organization are important. We all work hard, but, if you’re going to put in the effort and time, are you reaching your goals? This could be the calls you planned to make in a given day, or tasks or projects on your to do list, assuming you use one – it’s one way to try to be efficient and organized. Many ideas exist to help with this and most are right in front of us, but can be easily missed.

For example, are you a morning person or a night owl? Either way, do you schedule your days
Continue Reading Work Smarter

Do you have a passion? I specifically am talking to a passion outside of your work. Maybe you like to play golf, or paint, or play an instrument alone or with others. If you don’t, can you pinpoint where you lost yourself into work or the interests or control of others? Feeling good about your work is important, as is enjoying what you do, because it takes up a lot of your time. Your passions outside of work provide texture to your life.

I’m an attorney who prides himself on doing the best I can for my clients to manage
Continue Reading Follow your bliss

The title is a quote from Einstein, and it’s true. In addition to thinking it’s better to approach matters from a positive perspective, I think he is getting at being open to ideas. When someone has an idea, some people jump on the bandwagon too fast and others pick the idea apart until nothing is left. Neither of these actions or reactions is helpful. Instead, new ideas should be approached with an equal amount of positive skepticism and thoughts on how to make the idea a success.

By positive skepticism, I mean you bring negative thoughts in a constructive manner
Continue Reading Negative people have a problem for every solution

Routines and patterns are important to the thread of many of our daily lives. Things such as getting up at the same time, eating the same breakfast, and driving the same route to work are extremely common. If one of these types of tasks changes, how do you react? If an ingredient you need for your usual breakfast isn’t available, is it easy for you to change course? What if there is an accident on your usual route to your office?

The ability to change mid-course during any action or activity is important. For many people, changing course is very
Continue Reading Spontaneity

Today is the end of the second quarter 2021. We are halfway through the year. You should constantly be assessing and reassessing where you are in relation to your business and goals. If you haven’t done so this year, it’s better late than never.

If you have written goals, you should review them and assess whether the end goal and the steps to get there still make sense. If so, do any of the steps need adjustment. If a goal is too easy or too difficult, can you adjust to make it more realistic? Note this should not be used
Continue Reading How is your year going?

I know you think you can multitask. We all do at least with certain tasks or situations. In reality, none of us really do it well. Ever.

The obvious one is when you’re on a call or a Zoom meeting. We hear you clicking on your keyboard either opening and responding to email or surfing the Internet. On Zoom, we see where you’re looking, and it’s down at your phone. Yes, we all do it, but it is a good idea to try and stop.

Active listening and participation is important. If you disagree, you should think about why you
Continue Reading Be present

It’s been a long 15 months. Many people continue to work remotely, with some never to return to an office. Others never stopped going in. One thing most of us didn’t do was take real and meaningful breaks.

I don’t mean going for a walk or a family barbeque. I am speaking to vacation, to time away, where you can relax. Based on the numbers of people flying and travelling this summer, our country is waking from the long slumber of the pandemic. Are you getting away and really taking a long needed break?

Maybe you’re still not comfortable traveling
Continue Reading We all need a break

Those of you who know me well have to be thinking about me and music, but that is not exactly what I am speaking to today. Instead, I’m asking what are the things you like to do that drive you, bring you joy and keep you centered? For me music is definitely high on the list, as is hiking and travel. I also like to combine these activities with my family and friends. By doing so, I create a flow in my life where I believe I end up in a work hard-play hard existence allowing me to live life
Continue Reading What is the soundtrack of your life?

Ideas are important. If you have them and don’t act, then ideas don’t matter. The ability to put ideas into action is a separate skill, and one you need to succeed.

This may not be you. Many people are the idea people, but follow through isn’t their strong suit. What can you do if that’s you? The first thing is to work with someone who has complimentary skills, someone who will take action and move ideas forward. If you are that person, but not an idea person, you need to work with an idea person.

The point of teams is
Continue Reading You need to be able to execute, or find someone to work with who can

Many people can’t help but compare themselves to others and judge others. This accomplishes nothing other than maybe making the person doing so feel good, at least for a moment. Talking about people doesn’t breed success or opportunity. Nor does it reflect well on those who do it.

On the other hand, talking about ideas and thoughts leads to learning, growing and success. I can talk about successful attorneys who develop a lot of work or I can talk about ideas to develop business myself and come up with a plan to do so. One has a chance to lead
Continue Reading Successful people talk about ideas. Unsuccessful people talk about people.