If he was a lawyer, I would love to coach Peyton Manning. Did you watch any of the game on Monday night? I read this article on Tuesday: 5 things to know from Broncos win over Raiders. Number 1 on the list was:

  1. MANNING’S A MASTER: Nobody can break down an NFL defense better than No. 18.

Then I read: 2013 NFL Grades, Week 3: Peyton Manning’s getting better somehow. I loved this quote:

Peyton Manning is good. That’s non-breaking news, of course, but you know what is shocking? Manning’s getting better as he ages. Less than two years from being in football limbo because of his age and his health, Manning just set the NFL record for most touchdowns through three games.

I am not an expert, but I don’t think Peyton Manning is the most gifted athlete playing quarterback. But, I am convinced that he studies defenses and works on his technique better than the more gifted athletes.

I believe throughout his entire life, Peyton Manning has been more coachable than most other quarterbacks. He and Eli still consider coach David Cutcliffe a mentor. See: Duke coach David Cutcliffe coached and serves as mentor to Peyton and Eli Manning

What does it mean to be coachable? I searched and found this DEFINITION OF COACHABLE:

Someone who is committed to their own development,
who is hungry for feedback from others
and open to anything that may improve themselves.

I often wonder why so many lawyers are not “coachable.” I received an answer in an email this week from an motivated, hard working lawyer I coached a few years ago. After sharing how I had helped her, she wrote:

The problem is – many lawyers just aren’t receptive to input from coaches and just want to take a magic pill and have a book of business.

Her observation, while true, still surprises me. If Peyton Manning is receptive to input from coaches, why wouldn’t every lawyer (at least those who follow football), be receptive?

The lawyers I coach who remind me most of Peyton Manning’s desire and effort have most of these attributes:

  1. They are never content with their achievements and are always striving to get better.
  2. They focus on what they do not know and are willing to reinvent themselves if the situation requires it.
  3. They regularly do things that others do not enjoy doing.
  4. They are focused on the long term.
  5. They persist until they succeed.
  6. They are intrinsically motivated and do not get caught up in comparing themselves to others.
  7. They strive to become comfortable outside their comfort zone.
  8. They are comfortable under pressure.
  9. They have set and achieved hundreds of goals and have confidence they will achieve more.
  10. They focus on the process that produce the end results rather than the end results themselves.
  11. They know their health is essential to their success and make time to stay healthy.
  12. They are focused on their priorities and do the most important things each and every day without getting distracted.
  13. They genuinely enjoy their clients and their work and they authentic in their appreciation.
  14. They anticipate their clients’ and potential clients’ legal problems, create a solution and call them.
  15. They work at becoming both an outstanding lawyer and trusted advisor.
  16. They think optimistically and plan their non-billable time purposely.
  17. They have healthy paranoia, which causes them to focus more intently on adding value for their clients.
  18. They view everyone they meet as a potential client.
  19. They are always playing to win, as their clients define that term.
  20. They share credit and build their team as a result.
  21. They look for other work the firm can do that their clients will value.
  22. They help their associates succeed in their own right and are constantly rebuilding their team.
  23. They are willing to fail and they rebound from disappointments or setbacks.
  24. They are on the cutting edge of change, including technology changes.
  25. They are always seeking new ideas and feedback from coaches and mentors.
The most successful lawyers I coach have many of these attributes before I work with them. My hope is always that they build on these attributes through our work together. When I get a chance to see that happen…it is awesome.