Are you open, generous and connected? That is a loaded question for a lawyer. I bet most of you are thinking… “That depends.” When it comes to business development the answer should be… absolutely! That is because you never know where your next client could come from, a referral from an existing client, a friend of your receptionist or a colleague in your firm. Seth Godin points out why we should focus on these values…

Open, generous and connected. Isn’t that what we seek from a co-worker, boss, friend or even a fellow conference attendee?

Open to new ideas, leaning forward, exploring the edges, impatient with the status quo… In a hurry to make something worth making.

Generous when given the opportunity (or restless to find the opportunity when not). Focused on giving people dignity, respect and the chance to speak up. Aware that the single most effective way to move forward is to help others move forward as well.

and connected. Part of the community, not apart from it. Hooked into the realities and dreams of the tribe. Able and interested in not only cheering people on, but shining a light on how they can accomplish their goals.

Paradoxically, the fancier the conference, the more fabled the people around the table, the less likely you are to find these attributes. These attributes, it turns out, have nothing to do with fame or resources. In fact, fear is the damper on all three. Fear of failure, intimacy and vulnerability. Fear closes us up, causes us to self-focus and to disconnect.

When we find our own foundation and are supported in our work by those around us, we can get back to first principles, to realizing our own dreams and making our own art by supporting others first and always.

For lawyers this couldn’t be more true. I’ve seen the loudest lawyer in the room in reality be the most insecure. Closed minded, not letting others speak and disconnected from the group. As Godin points out, it’s simply fear. It is clear that this condition is not fertile ground for building relationships and developing business. So, ask yourself… Are you open, generous and striving to connect with others?