When I coached lawyers, I frequently heard
Cordell, I’ve been too busy to do any client development
When I practiced law unless I was in the middle of a trial out of town, I was never too busy to do client development. In fact, I did more client development work when I was busiest than when I wasn’t busy.
Now that I’m recruiting lawyers if a lawyer candidate told me he or she was too busy to do client development activities, I would likely not recommend that person to a great firm.
Why? It is really pretty simple: I believe it is because they don’t have a strong enough motivation to cause them to “make” time for client development. And, the law firms I try to help don’t need that kind of lawyer.
Years ago, a lawyer I was coaching told me he had heard a sales seminar where the presenter said:
Time management is a waste of time.
The lawyer asked what I thought. Here is how I replied:
Interesting. I did a Google search and saw this article: How Managing Your Time Is a Waste of Time. I noted the writer said:
It’s the compulsive aspect I find problematic. Our national obsession with self-improvement and personal productivity bears remarkable similarities to the self-help genre and our endless pursuit of quick fixes, miracle cures and wonder pills.
I don’t view time management or pursuing excellence to be an “endless pursuit of quick fixes, miracle cures and wonder pills.” If anything it is the opposite of a quick fix.
Then I saw this article by a guy who said he used to think time management was a waste of time: How To Get More Done: Time Management For The Rest Of Us. He wrote:
I now rank everything that is important to me–both professionally and personally–on one piece of paper. They are the most important things I want to accomplish written done in list form.
I personally feel I am better able to focus on my top priorities by doing what he suggests.
To me, saying time management is a waste of time is similar to saying creating a business plan is a waste of time.
Some successful lawyers in my old firm told me they didn’t need a business plan. They kept their plan in their head.
I suspect they did not want anyone able to judge whether they were doing what they put in their plan. I wondered how much better they might have done simply by thinking through a plan and putting it on paper.
Time and energy are your two most important resources and I don’t think you can waste either.