" Don’t Ever Be Late. Ever."

FINALLY it is the subject of conversation! Thank you Tom Kane for your post yesterday. He writes…

Okay, sometimes you can’t help it. Unfortunately, with some people it is just a bad habit. From a lawyer marketing standpoint – in the case of this bad behavior – it is dumb marketing. Oh yeah, did I also say it is rude.

Whether you are perennially late to a client meeting, or court, or a deposition, a negotiation, or a bar luncheon, etc., you are sending the wrong message, which likely includes:

  • My time is more valuable than yours;

  • You’re not important enough for me to be on time – you are not the President or the Pope for goodness sake;

  • Didn’t mean to be late, but I’m not organized today (as in make sure to hire me, so I can prove how disorganized I can be on your next legal matter); and

  • Even though I’m suppose to be a professional, I’m not able to “get it together and act like one.”

"Those points were raised by Otto Sorts (who apparently is an anonymous friend of Merrilyn Tarlton)  in posts on both Attorney at Work and HeyYouKidsGetOffMyLaw. He reminds us that bad habits can be overcome. Accordingly, if you are interested in gaining new clients and matters, you just may want to impress your clients, referral sources and prospects by showing them respect by being on time.

THIS is personal branding my friend! If this is you and you were a product, you need to be "re-called". Many lawyers think that their EXCELLENT work is all that matters… absolutely not! I wrote in an earlier post…

Take a moment to reflect…

Are you a listener or do you talk too much?

Are you energetic or passive?

Are you punctual or are you habitually late?

Are you open-minded or are you argumentative?

Are you focused or scattered?

Are you in control or are you always behind?

Are you kind or are you dismissive?

Are you decisive or are you wishy-washy?

Are you a approachable or are you a sour-puss?

Are you a resource of information or do you horde information?

These are traits that are visible to the world and reflect who you are… your brand personality. Identify the traits that best describe you… be honest. I would suspect that you are not particularly proud of some of them… right? (We all have them.)

So now let’s answer the questions… What do you want to be known for? What do you want to do about the things you’re not so proud of? Can you adapt a new way of being? Do you WANT to?

If you have the desire and the commitment… 2011 can be the year you move to a whole new level of how you project your personal brand and how the world responds to you. Be the person you want to be… your personal brand is the most powerful tool you have. It can enhance your legal skills or undermine them. It’s your choice. Create a personal brand that you are proud to step into each and every day. And when you get off track… pull yourself together and get back on track.