Who wouldn’t want to find ways to work smarter? Fast Company always has great insights we can adapt to the legal profession. And I’m sure you will find these tips no exception. Leadership editor, Erin Schulte writes in her article… Make 2012 Your Best Year Yet... "As our gift to you, we present our very best advice and tips on how to work smarter, manage your career, and lead a more meaningful life."

Work Smarter
Do sweat the small stuff. The combination of an insane attention to details and neurotic focus on customer experience is what sets the great companies apart from the good, Box CEO Aaron Levie reminds us. Organizations that adopt this level of intensity will always have superior offerings, an instant differentiator from the indistinguishable competition.

Embrace gratitude as a business strategy. Almost everyone suffers from Gratitude Deficit Disorder. We want to know that we matter, that our efforts make the world a better place. And so do your customers, vendors, coworkers, employees, friends, and family. So make an action plan to communicate your appreciation in 2012.

Figure out your social media strategy already. Twitter still give you hives? Not sure how to connect with your customers on Facebook? Accept it: Social media is not a fad. Syncapse CEO Michael Scissons answers the most commonly asked questions about developing a social media strategy.

Brand early, not often. Branding, done right, is a rigorous process, and shortcuts almost always end up costing more in the end, says Emily Heyward, owner and partner of Red Antler. An early investment in branding is no different than taking the time and money to set up a proper operating agreement or purchase efficient machinery that won’t break down.

Don’t botch your pitches. We all have something to pitch–your start up to VCs, yourself for a new job, or your product to customers. In any situation, one rule applies: The better the pitch, the better the results. Here are five rookie mistakes that will sink even the best ideas.

Make LinkedIn work for you. If you’re not a digital networking ninja, you’re missing out on the best way to steer your career. Tips from LinkedIn SVP Deep Nishar.

Give kick-ass presentations. If you’ve made it this far without getting good at presentations, the time to work on it is yesterday. Take advantage of these seven (somewhat snarky) new rules for public speaking in the social media era.

Make every single day count! There is plenty we can borrow from the business world of Fast Company. Work smarter and your 2012 results will be what you envision. (I have more for you later in the week on: managing your career, and leading a more meaningful life…. stay tuned.)