In the previous issue of Strategies and at the LMA Annual Conference, I spoke about the potential for transformation of our profession. I keep coming back to this concept because I firmly believe that transformation in the practice of law is sorely needed, and legal marketers, in a multitude of ways, are the best positioned and most capable people in the profession to lead transformation.
I say this for three reasons: We are trained to position things positively; we know how to make the impossible possible (think about how many overnight miracles you've performed, responding brilliantly to last-minute requests, negotiating happy compromises between two or more lawyers who are competing for your resources and keeping several layers of clients happy at the same time); and we know how to champion people and causes when no one else will--we are working for lawyers, after all.
Although we are well-equipped for the feat of leading the practice of law through transformation, if we are to be change agents, it is important that we do two things: 1) have a clear sense for why we care about change, and 2) develop a habit for generosity.
To my first point, you have to be clear and fearless about what you care about. As Helen Keller said: "Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold." So be clear about what standards you consider nonnegotiable. What are the values around which you are convicted? Those values exist for all of us, but we're often unclear what they are because we haven't bothered to actually think about them. Without clear and conscious thought, our direction gets set for us instead of us taking the helm to navigate toward something important.
The second part of becoming change...