Why Tenacity Will Help You Build A Thriving Legal Practice
by Dave Zumpano, with Guy Remond
Tenacity is one of the key skills required to grow your law firm, overcome challenges, and deliver the services your clients want; without it, your business is likely to flounder.
Over the past three decades, I’ve listened intently to feedback from consumers about the ways in which existing legal services or products failed to meet their demands. However, many of my ideas to solve these problems have been met with resistance by my mentors and peers.
For example, I was repeatedly told that it wasn’t possible to create an irrevocable trust where the grantor is the trustee. It is possible, and I’ve been doing it myself for more than 20 years. I own a national company of over 1,000 lawyers who have implemented it!
You have to learn to trust yourself and be tenacious if you want to get ahead.
There’s nothing wrong with maintaining the status quo if you’re happy, but if you are not striving to deliver at a higher level, you are at risk of having the carpet pulled from under you at any time.
Why does this matter?
Clients are telling us that they want to access legal documentation online at a time and place that suits them, and to have the support of a local lawyer if they want it. If your law firm does not respond to this need, you will rapidly lose business. There are multiple online platforms offering online legal products, but Guidr is the only one that we know of that keeps a local law firm at the heart of the service so that you don’t lose out (and the client has documentation they can trust).
In this blog, we’re going to explore tenacity, where it comes from, and what you need to do to develop it so that your law firm doesn’t get left picking up the crumbs of business.
How tenacious is your firm?
Our scorecard will help you gauge the tenacity level of your law firm to transform the way it does business.
There are four levels:
- At the first level, if your tenacity is low, it’s likely you’re happy with the way things are and have no desire to change or challenge anything.
- At the second level, you’re likely to know that things need to change and you want to add value to your products and services, but unless you find an easy way to do this, you likely become frustrated and stop trying.
- The third level is where you’re willing to challenge the status quo in order to benefit you and your business, and you’re likely prepared to do what it takes to make that happen. This is what we call the “danger zone” because complacency often sets in. For example, it’s easy to become blindsided by technological advances because you’re no longer hungry for change.
- We encourage you to live in the fourth zone where you constantly strive to add value by challenging and questioning the norm so that you create a win-win situation for your business and your clients.
Guy Remond, Co-founder of Guidr, underlined the importance of striving for excellence.
Guy: “The rate of change is quickening, it’s not slowing down. Entrepreneurial lawyers have to have tenacity in their toolbox if they want to make the most of new opportunities. Every time you see a change coming, be ready, collaborate with some of the forward thinking companies, find out about the latest platforms, and make the most of the latest software to run your business.
When you hear about a new product, get curious; assess it and ask, ‘How can we benefit from this? How can we be tenacious?’ Don’t take no for an answer!”
Why a tenacious team matters
Change can be hard, particularly if you are trying to do it all on your own. Over the last 30 years, I’ve noticed that lawyers frequently become dependent on key personnel; if those team members aren’t enthusiastic about transforming systems or processes, they are blocked.
As a result, that lawyer is more likely to shut down their own goals and dreams, and become the prisoner of the one or two people in the office that they rely on (and don’t want to risk losing). Each law firm needs to build a team that is willing to embrace change and support progress; being rigid and closed limits growth.
It’s vital that you have the tenacity to realize a new vision, and sometimes you need to use that same tenacity to walk away from team members who aren’t prepared to support your vision.
Occasionally it also happens in reverse: key personnel are trying to expand and grow, but the lawyer is scared to death. The whole team needs to be open to change.
How to get your whole team on board
As an entrepreneurial lawyer, commit to building a team based on people’s Unique Ability® (this is a concept developed by Strategic Coach®). Find out more about this by reading Who Not How: The Formula to Achieve Bigger Goals Through Accelerating Teamwork by Dan Sullivan with Dr. Benjamin Hardy.
When you hire people who naturally excel in specific areas, you build a strong team that offers complementary skill sets.
Engage your whole team in learning and development. Ask them to read forward-thinking books, listen to podcasts like ours, and read blogs.
We’re all subject to our own backgrounds. We carry around our own “backpacks” of memories and beliefs. It takes tenacity to work through that and find the common ground so that your whole team is heading towards effective and efficient progress.
The next step
If you are interested in taking your legal practice to the next level using technology, check out our book, and get in touch with me, Dave, at firstname.lastname@example.org or Guy Remond at email@example.com.
Once you understand the scope of the opportunity for your firm to make money while you sleep, it’ll change the way you do business for the better!
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