Success Magazine. What a great name… You Had Me at Hello for sure! Who doesn’t want success? That’s a silly question… isn’t it? Of course, EVERYONE wants success. The real question is… Who is willing to do what you need to do to have success?  Success magazine’s online newsletter, Seeds of Success ran a list of the six things you can do right now to be successful this year… from the leadership guru, Steven Covey

1. Be proactive. It’s more than just taking initiative. It means being responsible for your own life. Empower yourself to lead and spread your influence no matter what position you hold.

I know you’re thinking… "Sure, I’m proactive!" Yes, but are you… responsible for your own practice, your own book of business, and therefore your own life? I think there are few who could answer with a resounding YES. Where do you stand?

2. Sharpen the saw. Decide what’s truly important. Sharpen your saw early in the day by learning to say no to the unimportant and yes to the important.

I think we all struggle with this one. Making progress in this area would certainly turbo charge our productivity… don’t you agree?

3. Seek to understand before seeking to be understood. It’s human nature to want to be understood, but when both parties are trying to be understood, neither party is listening. By making the investment to understand the other party, you can magically transform the course of your conversations.

I think this could be a game changer if it were to be applied to your referral source strategy. First understand your referral source’s practice and how you can help them… THEN and only then should you talk about yours. Remember that few people listen… so, imagine what a gift it would be for you to REALLY pay attention and listen to your referral source and commit to try to help them.

4. Begin with the end in mind. Start today with an image of the end of your life as the frame of reference by which everything else is examined. With a clear idea of where you are going, examine everything in the context of what matters to you most.  

Think about it… what matters most? This is where your Life List comes in. Where are you going? Are you just letting life blow you from here-to-there? From case-to-case? From firm-to-firm?  

5. Develop a vision mission statement. Get a deep sense of your life’s mission, purpose and value system, then establish your goals and a system of accountability that keeps you on track.

This is at the core of your personal brand… what do you want people to think when they hear your name?    

6. Think win-win. There is enough success for everyone, so don’t view anther person’s success as success achieved at your expense or exclusion.  

OK. I can just hear all of you lawyers moan in unison! I admit that this one is a bit hard for you to embrace… let’s take it out of the context of the practice of law and think of it in the context of the business of law. Does that seem more appropriate?                                     

Six action steps that if applied throughout the year could ensure success in 2012… build stronger relationships… be more productive… know where you’re going!

Black Pearl: Here is a brilliant tidbit from Seth Godin to ponder… "One option is to struggle to be heard whenever you’re in the room… another is to be the sort of person who is missed when you’re not there. The first involves making noise. The second involves making a difference."

Which do YOU want to be?