Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Bill Gates—those at the highest echelons of business success have always preached an interesting gospel about mistakes. Bill Gates, for instance, said “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” Thomas Edison famously mused: “I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.”
If you are running a law firm–or really any business–you are going to make mistakes. That is the ticket you pay to ride the entrepreneurial journey. This fact forces you to reflect on two questions:
The mindset piece is easy in theory but quite challenging in practice.
Let’s say something terrible just happened in your firm:
The first step is to avoid a purely reactive response. The bad news will trigger emotions and thoughts beyond your conscious control. Your job is to avoid suppressing these emotions and thoughts. Instead, strive to be conscious of them. Pause when they hit you.
Again, this is easier said than done!
Since you know that mistakes have occurred (and will occur), work to get better at the “mindful reaction” response. Whenever you make a mistake—or when the firm makes a mistake—track your responses.
We all have useful and pathological ways responding to crises. Discover yours. The knowledge will be profoundly powerful.
In the next piece, we’ll talk about techniques you can use to extract useful lessons from terrible things that happen to your firm. The point being—you want to react to those terrible things, such that they:
Rather than wrestle with these complicated challenges on your own, reach out to our team. We’ve helped hundreds of attorneys like you deal with their demons constructively. Please call or email for help.