How many times have you done something that was not successful? Many times I’m sure… like all of us. The question is… do you stop to take note of the lessons learned? Then to vow… "I’ll never do THAT again." Here are some lessons that would be much easier and less costly learned from others! 

Eric Jackson contributed an article to Forbes… The Seven Habits of Spectacularly Unsuccessful Executives. He shares the work of Sydney Finklelstein who wrote "Why Smart Executives Fail."  With examples like John Chambers at Cisco, Carol Bartz at Yahoo and Jerry Katzenberg at Disney… high-flying company that is for sure. Lawyers take note… there are lessons to be learned from habits one, three and seven. See if they don’t sound familiar?

"Habit #1: They see themselves and their companies as dominating their environment. Warning sign: A lack of respect." We see it so often in the legal profession, where a firms seems to have a lock on a big corporate client, and they get complacent. They over bill, they have too many lawyers on the matter, they aren’t as responsive as the should be… the list goes on and on. No matter how big or small a client is or how much they seem to love you… treat them as though they could walk out the door tomorrow. It will keep you on your toes.

"Habit #3: They think they have all the answers. Warning sign: A leader without followers." This is the kiss of death… lawyers who don’t listen. When you really listen… and I do mean listen… not just wait to talk. You can get to the core of what your potential client is looking for and what is keeping him or her up at night. Then and only then will you be able to truly connect with your prospect. Without listening your responses can only be educated guess… unless you happen to be clairvoyant.

"Habit #7: They stubbornly rely on what worked for them in the past. Warning sign: Constantly referring to what worked in the past" Unfortunately this one is much to common in amongst lawyer. Not many have an entrepreneurial spirit. If you are one of them… I applaud you! I have the privilege to work with a high percentage of them. Think about it… out of the box thinkers are the kinds of lawyers that want to be exposed to new ideas and different ways of doing things. Find your entrepreneurial spirit… it will serve you well.

If any of this hits a bit too close to home… it’s never too late to change. If you’re not sure… look for the warning signs.