So many lawyers are out there trying to be everything to everyone – and I just don’t get it.
Here’s a standard legal profile that lawyers use:
Bob acts for small, medium and large corporations, government small countries. He is an expert in franchising, litigation, contracts, conveyancing, tax, personal injuries and construction law.
Sorry Bob – you’re full of garbage, as is the person who wrote your profile for you.
You Have to Know What You’re Good At
Self-awareness among lawyers is such an important issue. Here’s the truth, just in case nobody told you when you were little: you’re not good at everything.
Start looking in the mirror and realising where your strengths lie and where they don’t.
Here’s an example from just the last week. I’m about to release my next book, called In Practice – Moving Beyond Law School Theory.
Obviously it’s going to be awesome.
But you know what wouldn’t be awesome? It wouldn’t be awesome if I did my own cover design. I’m just not that good at it. Sure I could throw a stock image into a book cover and lob it into the internet. But that’s not my strength. Instead I went to the experts, and started reviewing designs by people who actually have a clue what they are doing. As a result, instead of one half baked idea from my own brain I get to choose from dozens of designs like these:
How to Find your Strengths?
Perhaps you don’t have a good idea of where your strengths are? There’s plenty of ways to find out, but the cheapest and easiest is to find someone you trust and have a real conversation with them. Give them permission to tell you where you are strong and where you are not. Don’t respond – just listen.
Another way is to do the “Strengths Finder” test from Gallup, which is a great assessment of your aptitudes and strengths. You might be surprised what you find out about yourself here. My top 5 traits are apparently (using their language, not mine):
- Strategic (I plan stuff)
- Achiever (I do stuff)
- Arranger (I bring stuff together)
- Learner (I learn stuff)
- Responsibility (I feel a sense of duty… about stuff).
Obviously these come with more explanations and elaborations, but they are inherently a good guide to help you develop a bit more self-awareness if that’s something you’re interested in doing a bit of soul searching about.
So What are Your Strengths?
It helps to say them out aloud – what are YOUR strengths?
On the flip side, what areas should you stay away from?