Definitely Mabey

Recapture Your Attitude of Gratitude

Summer is a upon us and like everyone it is hard to sit inside and concentrate long enough to come up with a full column on one of the many topics that arises from being in and around a law firm. So with your indulgence, I am going to touch on a variety of topics all which easily lend themselves to a full diatribe and which you are likely to see expanded upon in future columns.

Stephen Mabey Author

Attitude of Gratitude

I attended a retreat recently and the closing speaker was a motivational one who may have not been everyone’s cup of tea. However, he left those members of the audience who had their active listening ears on with a couple of points worth further consideration by all, but perhaps particularly by those in the front lines, back office, and back rooms of law firms.

The concept is simple — we need to recapture an attitude of gratitude. We don’t spend enough of our awake time being grateful for all we have! We all fall into the trap of focusing on what we don’t have rather than what we do.

The side benefits of an attitude-of-gratitude approach include:

  • shifting focus from negative to positive;
  • that anger can’t co-exist with gratitude; and
  • it’s difficult to feel jealousy and gratitude at the same time.

Profits per Partner

It is with great interest and, I confess, skepticism that I watch various consulting firms and periodicals disassociate themselves from profits per partner as the ultimate metric, the holy grail of law firm management. These were the same parties clamouring to publish it, report it, dissect it, and explain it to all who would listen — and lots did, so the profession is not without its share of blame.

Don’t get me wrong — what gets measured gets done!

At the same time, all that can be counted may not count!

Further, there are no best-in-class metrics for law firm management. Rather your guide should be that as long as the metric measures progress towards the goals set by your firm then they are the best indicators for you. But most importantly, no metric is a valid substitute for common sense and judgment, they are simply measurable inputs to the management and leadership of the firm.

And what penetrating glimpse into the obvious made them see the fallacy of this particular calculation?...

The rest of this article is available in Stephen Mabey's new Book

Book Cover - Leading and Managing a Sustainable Law Firm - Tactics & Strategies for a Rapidly Changing Profession by Stephen Mabey

Available for purchase on BookBaby.



So I hope you have a great summer and remember:

"Those that leave nothing to chance will do few things ill, but they will do very few things."


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First Published in Canadian Lawyer August 2010. Copyright © Applied Strategies Inc.

Legal Strategy Consultant