Seth Godin recently posted a blog: The buddy system. I liked the idea he suggested on writing your buddy’s business plan. It also made me think of a group of lawyers I coached who created their own buddy system.

A couple of years ago I worked with lawyers in the Richmond, Virginia firm Christian Barton. Ford Stephens was one of the leaders in the coaching group. He created a buddy system within the group. I asked Ford to share with me his thoughts. Here is what he said:

At our September meeting, our group decided to use a buddy system.  In a few short weeks, it has had positive results.

Knowing that we will be meeting weekly in small groups has given each of us further incentive to refine our short term plans and act on them.  You don’t want to show up empty-handed.  And you don’t want to have left undone those things you ought to have done.

From my own experience, during the first meeting with my “buddy,” we were both jotting down ideas on our respective “to do” lists.  He also gave me a few good ideas on how to broaden my appellate practice in Virginia, and I’ve already started getting the ball rolling on his suggestions. After our meeting this week, I sent him materials to forward to several existing clients, with an eye to providing value.

Although we had planned to switch around the groups each month, one group has requested that they stay together for at least 60 days.  We also have been flexible as to the size of the groups.  We started with the notion that they would consist of two lawyers, but now we have a few groups of three, which may even be a better approach.

The buddy system has seemed to have given us a renewed sense of engagement.  Moving forward, persistence and perseverance will be among our polestars.

If you are a runner or staying fit at the gym you know the value of having a friend run with you or work out with you. Client development with a colleague can provide the same benefit. As Ford aptly points out it will give you a renewed sense of engagement and help you be more persistent when you are not seeing immediate results from your efforts.