Boost Your Efficiency
JW Way Fundamental #14: Work Smart. "Be organized and plan work for maximum efficiency. Have the tools necessary before starting your work. Be thoughtful about your schedule and have a game plan for calls, tasks, and the workday. Establish priorities and work on them first."
I love this fundamental. My brain likes to work in efficiency mode so this fundamental deeply resonates with me. Since this is not an easy … Read More
Be Open to Other Perspectives
JW Way Fundamental #13: Embrace Diversity. "Celebrate our differences. Be aware of and address implicit bias. Be open to learning from others, regardless of their background or role. Be mindful that we make better decisions when we consider multiple perspectives. Hire, mentor, compensate, and promote based on merit."
Workplace diversity is typically characterized as diversity in human traits and characteristics: … Read More
Be a Mensch, Not a Jerk
JW Way Fundamental #16: Don't be a jerk - always take the high road. "Maintain professionalism at all times. Keep emotions under control. Advocating forcefully for the interests of our clients does not require bullying, condescension, foul language, or temper tantrums. This applies to co-workers, opposing counsel, and vendors. Always be a “mensch”. "
This is wise advice, and certainly makes many of … Read More
Separating Your Desire For Personal Validation
JW Way Fundamental #9: Leave your ego at the door . "At all times, stay focused on serving the needs of our client and our firm, rather than on serving your ego. Remember – it’s about the client and our firm, not you!”
When we urge litigating clients to seriously consider a settlement offer, we usually remind them of one thing: the uncertainty of trial. We can rarely predict with any degree of … Read More
Developing Personal Integrity
JW Way Fundamental #8: Act with integrity. "Demonstrate an unwavering commitment to doing the right thing in very action you take and in every decision you make. Own up to your own mistakes and apologize. If you make a mistake, clean it up. "
The expression of integrity is a virtue. Many of our JW Way Fundamentals reflect our aspiring to have cultural integrity throughout our firm. Fundamentals such as respect, … Read More
Stay Focused on the Outcome
JW Way Fundamental #18: Speak constructively. "Address issues in a candid, direct, kind and respectful manner with those involved or affected. Be courageous enough to say what you believe should be said. Ask questions, share ideas, raise issues, and be open to responses. Make constructive suggestions in a way that helps make progress. When possible, speak in person rather than hiding behind email or voicemail. " … Read More
Make Room for Fun
JW Way Fundamental #27: Don't take yourself too seriously "Maintain a healthy perspective on your work and professional life. There are more important things going on in the world than your daily challenges. And remember to have fun. Fun renews our spirit, keeps us energized, and helps us think more clearly. "
We work in a serious profession, and we are often doing very serious work. We exist to … Read More
The Potential Cost of Being Right
JW Way Fundamental #9: Leave your ego at the door. "At all times, stay focused on serving the needs of the client, and our firm, rather than on serving your ego. Remember – it’s about the client and our firm, not you!"
All humans have ego. It is an essential ingredient in all successful people. The challenge is when one’s own ego needs are undermining their goals and … Read More
To Understand a Client's Needs Requires Exploration
JW Way Fundamental #4: Walk in your client’s shoes. See the world from their perspective. Empathize by understanding their fears and concerns and showing you care. Ask, “If I were in their shoes, what would I want to know and how would I want to be treated?"
When clients come to us for estate planning, they have to address difficult questions including end of life questions, life- … Read More
Do as I Say, Not as I Did
JW Way Fundamental #23: Always remember that we are in business to serve our clients' profitably. "The happier our clients are the more likely we are to get paid. Pay attention to billings and to receivables. There is no need to apologize for making money. The goal of every engagement is happy clients AND paid bills."
When I was in solo practice, I made an Excel spreadsheet tool that I called my " … Read More