Monday, December 28, 2009

The Year in Pictures

Following that old journalistic convention, I'll close out 2009 with the year in pictures--fun photos used in the Blog, and posts that I've particularly enjoyed writing. See if you can match the photo to the post:

Here's to more fun in 2010! See you next year!!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

On Gingerbread Palaces, and The Good Mother

Last Mother's Day I wrote about my formative years as a mother, and my dreams of building the ultimate gingerbread house with my kids. Here we are on Christmas Eve and I've once again fantasized about building a lasting (or at least edible) memory of the good mother in my children, one that conjures love, commitment, creativity, "home." I bought a fancy gingerbread house pre-packaged mix, along with all the ingredients (except the egg and water), and it arrived last week. My daughter had been begging for me to help her build it, but I told her to wait, we are going to do this as a family. Then according to plan my son who is a fabulous cook arrived home. A few days later, my engineer son arrived. And my scientist husband is home from travel and showing signs of life and interest in the holiday (he even put the tree up!) So, now I have all the home grown talent one could possibly need.

Here's the status: the cardboard frame has been sitting on the table for a week. The gingerbread dough, made by the engineer and the daughter, seems much too crumbly to roll out and bake. The chef-son is still sleeping and apparently won't condescend to making anything from a package. Husband's teeth hurt because the orthodontist tightened his braces a few days ago, and he can't eat anything but mush for the next month anyway. I need to go run some errands and finish shopping (and ride the horse, of course.) Said daughter apparently just wants to eat the candy, she doesn't really care about the act of decorating. And I'm thinking pies would be much easier to make.

Maybe next year; the oldest is only 25....


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Haiku #12

Holiday Greetings--
Peace on Earth, Good will to all
My wish for you: Joy.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Holiday Connections and Client Development

It's that time of year again: baskets of goodies arrive in the office daily, be-ribboned bottles of wine sit alongside deal trophies on partner desks, doorframes festooned with holiday cards brighten the halls. All but the Scrooges among us pester the marketing folks for help with distributing some memento to the clients and referral sources. There's no shortage of advice about the best ways to "give." Sara Holtz has some great ideas at ClientFocus this month, the ABA has a podcast, and most legal publications have some advice as well.

But if you ask 10 lawyers for advice on the topic of giving and networking with clients and prospects during the holiday season, you'll probably get 20 conflicting bits of advice, and an equal number of criticisms of them. Last year I wrote in Attention Shoppers about my ideas for how I connect with my clients and referral sources. What works for me, though, doesn't necessarily resonate with everyone.

Consider looking at holiday connections and all of this advice with one over-arching perspective: how do you want your connections/prospects/clients to feel about you when they receive the gift or greeting? People will quickly forget what you did or what you gave them; what people will remember is how they felt about you. Consider an approach with a view to the emotional reaction you want your contacts to remember long after the holidays. Do you want them to feel appreciated, valued, special, unique? Then choose a gift or acknowledgement accordingly. Many holiday greetings or client gifts do just the opposite (e.g., spam email greetings, bottles of wine, "gifts" in the form of charitable contributions to your favorite charity). Do you want them to remember their relationship with you as innovative, creative, forward thinking? Then choose a gift or greeting that is truly unique. Do you want them to remember you as a person who gives freely of your time? Then a leisurely lunch, or an invitation with spouses to the theatre or a sporting event, would be a good ticket.

There is no "one size fits all" approach to holiday giving, just as there is no single client development idea that works for everyone. Use holiday greetings as an opportunity to build your brand, not just an obligation to fulfill and check off the to do list.

Happy Holidays!


Thursday, December 10, 2009

It's Party Time!!

Here are two videos that may help you survive the holiday parties:

And this one should be sobering:

One final comment: If you spent any time looking in the mirror and convinced yourself the blouse isn't too low cut or too revealing: yes, it is. You only convinced yourself.

Good luck, have fun, and remember it is a work party, with the emphasis on work, not party.

Happy Holidays!


Sunday, December 6, 2009

Updated Links to Lawyers Assistance Programs

Last Friday I attended an inspirational fundraising breakfast for Walden House, California's leading drug and alcohol treatment program. What a powerful organization! As I listened to the amazing stories of recovery told by their graduates, it occurred to me that December is a great time to remind lawyers about the resources that are available to them, and any colleagues who are struggling with addictions. I've updated my listing of resources for lawyers with substance abuse problems, and have checked the links below. All of the links provide some information, but I did not check the phone numbers or other information on each site. I am looking for better on-line information for Hawaii and South Dakota. If any of you readers can provide a better link or other contact information for lawyers in those states, or any others, please let me know either directly or by commenting.

Here are links to assistance programs and other information for members of the Bar:

New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
West Virginia
Washington DC