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In my world organization can mean many things including time management, having an organized office, or being organized in the work I am doing for cases generally and in relation to deadlines. As in all worlds, disorganization leads to disaster. It not only can make you late on your commitments, it can adversely affect your business and personal life. For me it can mean losing time (and therefore money) or malpractice if I miss certain types of deadlines. The point is we all have consequences if not organized, if we miss deadlines, or if we don’t meet the expectations we
Continue Reading Being organized matters

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A favorite saying of mine is “If we all were the same, the world would be a boring place.” I believe this to be true. Some people are more comfortable with people just like themselves. I don’t understand that manner of thinking because I believe diversity breeds innovation and opportunity and makes the world more interesting. It also can mean so many different things.

This comes into focus when you are in a group setting. It can be a team meeting at work, a non-profit board, or any other group setting. Having
Continue Reading We all bring different things to the table

Is this you? To honestly answer this question requires self awareness, which many people lack. We all know that person, the one you meet in a business or personal setting who cannot stop themselves from dominating a conversation or room. At the end of the conversation they think it went well while you hope not to run into them again.

When that type of conversation is over, you know too much about them (most people like to talk about themselves). At the same time they didn’t let you speak enough to learn about you to have anything substantive to remember.
Continue Reading Do you talk too much?

Are you content with where you are in your career and, if so, why? Maybe you just want to do the same old and punch the clock. Sounds boring to me, but it could be your thing. For most of us we see there can be more. What that is depends, but, for you, there likely are many options. It’s like the books where you read a page and what page you go to next depends on the option you choose. The point is we each have the ability to choose our own paths.

You always can do more, move
Continue Reading Keep asking for more

Go to new places and put yourself in new situations with new people. Don’t only stay in the places or with the people with whom you’re comfortable. You either get this or you don’t. If not, you need to think broader about the big world out there. No one grows by doing the same old with the same people every day.

When I heard “the world begins at the end of your street” the context was focused on travel to another city, another country, being exposed to other cultures and ideas. I think that context is important and everyone should
Continue Reading The world begins at the end of your street

Networking is the base onto which your business development efforts sit. Who you know matters. The broader your network and reach the better chance it will lift you up towards success.

It seems obviously that you should want to be known by as many people as possible. We all have different ideas of what networking is or should be. You and I may meet at an professional event, but that doesn’t mean our respective networking activities will be a mirror of each other. You may be there with the goal of collecting business cards and meeting as many people as
Continue Reading Networking and deepening your connections matters

We all know the cliché “overnight success.” In the real world overnight successes have put in time and most people don’t even realize it. For instance, the Beatles are viewed as an overnight success. Actually their rise to the top took approximately five years, thousands of hours of practice, and hundreds of live performances. To think they didn’t put in the time and sacrifice to get to the top is incorrect.

Their first UK number 1 was in May 1963 and their first US number 1 was in January 1964, but John Lennon and Paul McCartney first met in 1957.
Continue Reading Overnight success is a myth

A lot of people sugarcoat what they say to save other’s feelings. This is good in theory, but detrimental to your business. If you cannot have honest, hard conversations with your peers and employees, what does that say about your business? Who are you training them to be (or not)?

It reminds me of a quote from Zig Ziglar: “The only thing worse than training employees and losing them is not training them and keeping them.” True statement. If you can’t be honest with peers and employees it will be an element of your company’s cultural. It likely will put
Continue Reading Direct and honest communication matters

Being respectful isn’t just good manners. It’s a way to connect with others and try to understand their position or opinion. It may be about differences in how to approach the strategy in a case, a workflow process with those on your team, or dealing with opposing counsel. In all situations realize two important things: (1) the likelihood of you changing someone’s position by being disrespectful of what they think is zero; and (2) the reputation you will be building may not be what you think or would hope for. Your actions and words follow you and speaking in the
Continue Reading Demonstrate respect

This topic covers a lot of ground in my mind. Depending on what you’re reading, you may be escaping your day or learning something new. It may be pure fun or investing in yourself and your future.

It means reading news and knowing what’s going on in the world. It means reading books including fiction and non-fiction, which can include books related to my career and business. To me, reading for all of these reasons is important and adds value to my life, whether an entertaining fiction book, an article on an area of the law relevant to my practice,
Continue Reading Read, learn, and invest in yourself

Being envious of other does not help you in your life. A better title or having more money doesn’t mean the person is happy or has an easier life. Walking in someone else’s shoes for real would be eye opening to see they have worries and problems, just like we all do. No one has “perfect” life. This is why envy is waste of time and energy.

For instance, people you view as being “higher up” may hate the position they are in. People who seem to have money may be living on debt. You shouldn’t make assumptions, but that
Continue Reading Don’t envy others because walking in another’s shoes isn’t as easy as you imagine

I know some of you are thinking “What is he talking about? Fun at work?” But it’s that simple and that’s exactly what I mean. If you can’t have fun at work, then why are you there? Fun and good work do go together. A joke can reduce tension during stressful times at work. The saying “Laughter is the best medicine” exists because it’s true.

This doesn’t mean you will joke around with co-workers every day. Of course, even if you do, it’s unlikely a minute or two will derail you from the tasks at hand. Fun doesn’t need to
Continue Reading Do you have fun at work?

Just because the thought comes into your head does not mean it should come out of your mouth. In many situations, it matters what you say next. This is why it’s so important to think before speaking. It doesn’t mean uncomfortable long silences, but it means you need to plan for important conversations, negotiations, or presentations. It also means you need be able to think on your feet.

This can be difficult in emotionally charged situations. But those situations require the most thought and patience.

This was brought home to me a few years ago when an opposing attorney answered
Continue Reading Do you think before speaking?

In everything you do you can do better, you can be better. Always. If you disagree you are only fooling yourself and being intellectually dishonest. Investing in yourself is the best investment you can make.

If you put your money in a can and bury it in your backyard, it has no chance to grow. If you invest your money, it has the chance to grow. The corollary is if you don’t take the time to improve yourself, to learn, you will become stagnant and, in this fast-paced world, probably be passed by others. If you work to improve you
Continue Reading We can always do better by working on ourselves

Are you the workaholic each of us knows? You know the one. Checking email from the moment they wake up, when they are at lunch with you (rude, by the way), and checking it right before they go to sleep. Every social opportunity is really a networking opportunity with people they probably would not socialize with. All conversations point towards and relate to business, money, etc. You are not sure what their interests are other than work and making money. Or is this you?

It is no secret that hard work is required for success, and there are times you
Continue Reading Do you have work/life balance?

Expectations are important whether it’s your expectations of yourself or setting expectations for others. In both cases it’s good to be realistic. If your expectations aren’t, it is a negative because you set the expectation too low as if you didn’t have faith in yourself in a given situation or set the expectation too high and don’t come close to touching it.

In setting expectations for yourself, you need to think them through. It may be the expectations you have regarding a co-worker, family member, or friend. Or maybe about a new job or opportunity. The hard part is thinking
Continue Reading Expectations