The Mentorist


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Getting the Important Stuff Done (or Why You Can’t Stick to Your New Year’s Resolutions)

Let’s have a show of hands:  How many of you have kept the New Year’s resolutions you made last January?

Just as I thought.  Me neither.  (In fact, I can’t remember what mine were.  They seemed profound at the time….)

So why are we so bad at accomplishing the stuff that resolutions are made of?  The very stuff that we know will make us better human beings?

Theories abound.  But one put forth by Peter Bregman (a Harvard Business Review contributor and management guru) particularly speaks to me.  The thumbnail: Continue reading


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From the Client’s Chair: Little Big Things — How to Build Client Loyalty

‘From the Client’s Chair’ is a series of blog posts offering a client’s perspective on working with law firms.  The observations are based on my 20+ years as a General Counsel, spent hiring and working with firms worldwide.

Let’s face it:  Most big law firms are bursting with competent lawyers.  It takes smarts to get a BigLaw job offer and an off-the-charts work ethic to avoid having to find another.  In this world, competence is table stakes.

Once upon a time, that was enough to keep your clients happy and loyal.  Today, all that has changed:  Law-firm hopping makes speed dating look like commitment.

So, what’s a lawyer to do? Continue reading


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A Legend in His Own Mind: How to Write a Self-Appraisal

Apparently, I’d hired Alexander the Great.

Working incognito as one of my staff lawyers, he’d chosen to write a self-appraisal that would blow his cover:  This guy was God’s gift to men (and, to the extent they touched his career, women).

His delusions of grandeur annoyed me.  Big time.

More importantly, I wondered how someone so far down on the self-awareness scale could ever hope to overcome (or, at minimum, work around) his weaknesses.

Shrinks have been telling us for years that acknowledging the need for change is the first step toward getting there.  Applying that notion to the business world, you realize why people who present themselves as perfect tend to have bumpy trips to the top (if they don’t stall out from the get-go). Continue reading