The One Question That Will Help Solve Your Law Firm’s Problems
Does your law firm face recurring problems? For example, do you struggle to find new business or attract younger clients?
Do you find it frustrating? Is it costing you time and money?
In this blog, we’re going to share a powerful concept that will help you adopt a different approach so you can deliver a higher level of service and boost your bottom line.
Start by asking yourself one simple question
The founder of Strategic Coach®, Dan Sullivan, came up with the concept of Who Not How®. He recommends that you stop trying to work out “how” to fix issues that aren’t in your personal area of expertise and instead hire someone “who” excels in that area.
In other words, stop trying to work out “how” to do something and start asking, “Who can do it better?” This one question will save you time and effort, allowing you to focus on your own areas of brilliance.
For example, Dave Zumpano and I have completely different backgrounds. I excel at building businesses and teams that develop software. Dave has been a lawyer for more than 30 years. Together we founded Guidr, a legal platform that enables clients to access legal documents online (with the support of their local lawyer).
Neither of us had the skill set to create this platform alone. When you recruit people for their Unique Ability® (another concept developed by Dan Sullivan – more on the term below), you can build a robust team that gets high-level results.
You can hear my full conversation with Dave on the Legal Community Podcast.
What you need to know about the term Unique Ability®
Dave: “We all have things that we do well, things that we do really well, and things that we do uniquely and exceptionally well. We have different levels of skill around different things. The idea of Who Not How® is that each person works best within their Unique Ability®.”
How do you find your Unique Ability®?
If you ask 10 people to describe how you do what you do, you’ll find commonalities in their responses. You might think that what they say is too simple because it feels effortless to you, but that’s because it’s your Unique Ability®. Other people cannot do what you do in the way that you do it.
There will likely be times when you need to undertake tasks outside your Unique Ability®, but when you focus on recruiting people for their Unique Ability®, you build a strong team that can help skyrocket your law firm.
How do you know if you have the right team in place?
Dave asks a brilliant question to verify if he has the right team members.
Dave: “We have a three-word question, ‘Is it occurring?’ For example, if you know that you want 100 sales leads and you need to know if you have a good salesperson in place, you can ask yourself, ‘Is the desired result being delivered?’ If you are not getting 100 leads, it is not occurring, so you might choose to change who is in the sales team. The right ‘who’ will know how to get you 100 leads.”
If you find that you don’t have a team member ideally suited to a recurring problem, then it’s time to recruit one.
Recruit based on attitude, skill, and knowledge
Dave shared a fantastic strategy to help you build the right team.
Dave: “I created an organizational chart with my role and then three or four roles below me. Each time we grew the team, we assessed what role we needed to fill next. There are three main elements involved in hiring the right person: attitude, skill, and knowledge.
I used to be a wrestler and a football player. If I jump into a swimming pool, I sink. I am never going to be an Olympic swimmer. I am not designed or built that way. To teach me to swim would be a waste of my talent. We need to utilize our skills in the proper areas, which means that we make the most of our Unique Ability®.”
When I started my business, it was critical that I built a highly skilled technical team because we specialized in software. Over time, people demonstrated their Unique Ability® and leadership skills. We followed it up with a commercial team, an ops team, and then recruited strong board members so that we had a full suite of people we could rely on who offered a broad range of expertise.
Know when to bring in new expertise
Dave suggested you ask a simple question to help structure your team.
Dave: “If you are really struggling with something, consider the possibility that you’re not the one for that role. Ask, ‘What do I want?’ and then seek the people you need to make it happen. We say buy it, rent it, or build it. We bring in an outside consultant where necessary, because then our firm can make the most of their Unique Ability®.”
When you hire new staff members or external expertise based on their Unique Ability®, you speed up your capacity to overcome problems. For example, if your law firm is struggling to attract new business from the younger generation but you know they enjoy the ease and accessibility of online legal documents, find a way to make that happen that works for your firm.
Every time you are faced with a situation that is outside your Unique Ability® ask, “Who can do this better than me?” Stop focusing on the “how”. This one question will change your business for the better.
If you’ve been reading our blogs for a while now, you’ll know that Dave and I co-founded Guidr, a self-serve online legal platform where people can access what they need and have support from their local lawyer if they want it. Unlike many online platforms, we directly connect people to their local law firm, so it’s a win-win for the client and for you.
If that’s not an area where you already excel, you might like to check out our book which explores why now is a great time to revolutionize how your law firm does business, and how you can simplify the whole process by bringing in the necessary Unique Ability® your team needs.
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