I recently wrote Two Sure Ways to Not Reach Your Potential and included what a young lawyer had shared with me:
Most young lawyers are still fairly apathetic and are comfortable to just get by or let others “feed” them.
Seth Godin recently posted a blog Avoiding the pips (and the MGs) that aptly describes what happens to lawyers who let others “feed” them. He asked what would happen if Gladys Knight had fired one of the Pips or if Booker T had fired one of the MGs. Then he said:
The problem with being a sideman is that you make it (or not) at the whim of the front man.
When I was a young lawyer I had a chance to be a “sideman” relying on two rainmakers to “feed” me. Even though, I didn’t know much about developing business, I quickly figured out I was very uncomfortable relying on the front men for my success.
Are you comfortable being a sideman at the whim of the senior lawyer who is “feeding” you business? Gosh, I hope not. If not, what are you doing about it?