BREAKING NEWS:

I’m retiring December 31. ” It’s possible my last post here will be on December 28 or December 29. Is there anything you want me to write about before I quit posting?

“Why am I retiring?” you ask. It’s a great question since I’ve said many times I love my work and I don’t want to play golf every day with the guys.

Law firms are not hiring outsiders to coach their young lawyers on client and career development. Or, at the very least, they aren’t hiring me. In 2010 I coached 125 lawyers. In 2017, I’ve coached only 10.

I was recently asked if I had it to do all over again, would I have left my law practice? That’s also a good question. I enjoyed my law practice and we would be more financially secure, but there’s more to it than that.

I’ll miss my work, and more importantly the outstanding men and women I have coached and mentored over the last twelve years. I coached some of you who were single, got married and now have children. (One lawyer, was single and now has three children).  I coached many of you when you were expecting a new baby. (Actually several lawyers I coached became parents of twins when I coached them). I coached many of you who had young children, who are now off to college.

When someone asks me why I care anything about Facebook, I tell them it enables me to keep up with high school friends, and I have the opportunity to keep up with many of you and your families.

I’ve been to some of your homes. I’ve been to dinner with some of you and your spouses. I’ve eaten meals with some of you, your spouses and your children. I’ve been to events with you in your city, including the Sugar Shack festival in Montreal pictured below.

Some of you after the coaching program came to Dallas for a follow-up weekend of coaching, including dinner out with Nancy and me. Some of you came to Dallas for the Annual Outstanding Women Lawyer’s Roundtable and got the opportunity to meet other outstanding women I coached. Some of you participated with a group of lawyers I coached from other cities for telephone coaching or group book studies.

Many of you have gone on to become firm leaders, or top firm rainmakers in your firm. Some of you were considered so valuable by clients that they made you an offer you couldn’t refuse to come work with them.

That’s enough reminiscing about the great times and great relationships. All I can say is please feel you can keep in touch with me if you have a question or want to brainstorm.

Here are some parting tips for firms who are contemplating creating a coaching program in 2018.

If you are contemplating starting a client development coaching program in 2018, I have one important suggestion: Do not include lawyers who “need” coaching. They likely do not want to be in your coaching program and will drag down your other lawyers.

I always admired Vince Lombardi. In When Pride Still Mattered : A Life Of Vince Lombardi, historian David Maraniss talked about what happened when Vince Lombardi arrived in Green Bay.  I learned that early in his first season, Lombardi gathered the players and told them:

With every fiber of my body I’ve got to make you the best football player I can make you. And I’ll try. And I’ll try. And if I don’t succeed the first day I’ll try again. And I’ll try again. And you’ve got to give everything that is in you. You’ve got to keep yourself in prime physical condition, because fatigue makes cowards of us all.

In that one statement, Vince Lombardi let the players know that the right people for the Green Bay Packers were the ones who wanted to become the best football players they could be and were willing to give everything they had to accomplish that goal. I loved coaching lawyers who share that burning desire.

  • Travis Crabtree

    I know it has been awhile since we talked, but I did want to say thank you and I am glad you got in the coaching game. Good luck trying to match your better half’s skills on the golf course.

  • Mark Lowes

    Cordell, loved working with you and having you as a partner. I suspect you will attack retirement with the same energy and passion you have always shown.