The Courage of a Successful Lawyer

One of the most underestimated qualities of a successful lawyer is courage. It seems attorneys who make a great living and live an extraordinary life exhibit more courage than those who never seem to have enough money or have plenty of money yet don’t have the lifestyle they desire.  

Here are five areas where courage is incredibly valuable to the successful lawyer: 

Setting Priorities: 

The Courage of a successful lawyer to laugh at himselfEveryone complains about not having enough time. Time is not an issue. We all have the same 24 hours in a day. How do successful lawyers get all their marketing done, manage staff, and provide an exceptional experience for their law firms’ clients?  

The answer lies in prioritizing daily activities. This requires courage. The decisions you make today affect tomorrow and beyond. If you do not set your priorities, you will not achieve your desired results.

Interpersonal Interaction: 

For many lawyers, passive-aggressive behavior is the rule of the day when dealing with difficult situations. All of us want to avoid having a tough conversation. Those conversations make the difference between people who are good and great. It takes courage to confront difficult situations head-on, but that’s what successful lawyers do.  

The essence of leadership for a successful lawyer is doing things that need to be done before they reach a crisis point. If you want to control your business and your life, you must be courageous when addressing difficult issues and having difficult conversations.

Addressing Risk: 

As a business leader, you must initiate your law firm’s growth. Sitting around, waiting for the telephone to ring is an ineffective strategy.  

Businesses grow when leaders take risks. If you do not take a chance, you will not reap the reward. It is up to you to decide which risks are worth taking, and then you must charge headlong into those situations.

Sometimes this risk will involve hiring staff. For many lawyers, the risk is attempting any marketing at all. The stigma surrounding marketing for lawyers can sometimes limit a good lawyer’s motivation to promote himself. It takes courage to break through this wrongheaded assumption.    

Embracing Change: 

Few people like change. Yet one of the constants in life is the inevitable need to adapt to the ever-changing environment in which we live.

As you become more and more successful, people will copy what you do, making the market more competitive. You must innovate faster than others can imitate. You must be able to change quickly, and you must embrace the fact that change is constant. This requires enormous courage because the status quo is comfortable.

Forcing yourself and your law firm to embrace a constant state of change is a practice the most successful lawyers follow with enthusiasm. They set the standard for both the business and the practice of law. Having the courage to set a precedent is not only relevant to what happens in a courtroom, but it’s also applicable to what happens in the boardroom.

Managing Yourself: 

Great business leaders are comfortable with themselves. 

You must know your strengths, your weaknesses, and leverage your strengths and use them 80 percent of the time. You must also find ways to work around your weaknesses. 

The act of acknowledging your weaknesses requires courage for successful lawyers. Taking action to leverage your strengths and hire people and set up systems to minimize the impact of your weaknesses is incredibly difficult for many lawyers who rely on ego and self-confidence to get through each day.  

Yet this is necessary to grow your law firm into the kind of business that will have value beyond the legal services you provide.  

Most lawyers do not think of themselves as brave warriors going into battle, yet they face decisions and activities that require courage each day. Go back through this list and give yourself a grade in each area. Think about ways to improve and how that improvement will result in more money in your pocket and more freedom.

If you’d like some ideas or looking for a plan to address these issues, join my Private Client Experience. This is an exclusive coaching program that I customize based on your strengths and needs. It offers strategy and accountability.