In the private practice of law, law firm leaders must be successful at client development. At least in this day and age, it's nigh impossible to have any influence on law firm management or leadership without a solid book of business. There are few shortcuts to that pre-requisite; a lawyer can't lead or influence other lawyers without a client base that has been developed with strong legal skills and hard-earned client trust. Maybe in a utopian universe law firm leadership would focus more on competence and training in business and professional management skills, but today's reality looks to those skills only as an afterthought to the size of the book.
So today's post is about developing that book of business. My friends know that I have a somewhat lame approach to organizing my thoughts for speaking engagements. When pressed for time or at a loss creatively, I just go back to that old standby--a top ten list. Sometimes they are unintentionally funny. Sometimes they are just boring. This one I think is more the latter, but might be useful to someone out there anyway.
My friends also know that my inspirations often arrive when I am out in the barn. In any event, I came up with this graphic approach to business development and a training scale when I was first learning about equine dressage. Those of you who ride are probably familiar with the classical training scale for riding horses that is often illustrated as a pyramid of training with rhythm and regularity at the base, upon which are built relaxation, contact, impulsion, straightness and then at the highest level of training, collection. See http://http//www.artofriding.com/articles/trainingscale.html for an accurate explanation of the equine training scale.
In any event, it occurred to me at the time that successful business development can be viewed in a similar pyramid of development. Here is my pyramid of training for a lawyer's business development skills, and the top ten list of ways to build it.
Next Up: Rose, or The Importance of a Personal Life