Definitely Mabey

Predictions of major shifts in the profession for 2011

This is a challenging time of year to write for me at least, as the basking in family, friends, food, wine, and gifts readily distracts one's focus from the environment we will be returning to and embracing once again.

Stephen Mabey Author

The challenge is particularly daunting as it is this time of year when you directly or indirectly confront the gap between promise and performance. Nothing brings this home more clearly than when you begin to prepare a list of things you want to accomplish in the new year and see how many of them are “bring forwards” from the prior year(s).

But as the old Chinese proverb implies, weaving a net is better than praying for fish so here are some of the things I hope to do in 2011:

  • Continue to make mistakes; to do otherwise likely means I have stopped having ideas;

  • To accept that I am likely to walk on thin ice some part of the time and have both the wisdom and courage to know when I am and dance when I do;

  • To see the herd of elephants coming and order peanuts and barricades rather being called to clean up the droppings when the herd smashes through;

  • To grasp that real prosperity is the ability and desire to subordinate what I want now for what I want eventually;

  • To convince lawyers wishing to become leaders in their firms, communities, or profession that best leaders do not necessarily set out to be selected as a leader, but become one by the quality of his or her actions and the integrity of his or her intent;

  • To understand that efficiency is doing a thing right, that effectiveness is doing the right thing, and great service requires both in balance;

  • To focus more on the execution of the solution than the definition of the problem; and

  • To try something beyond what I have already attempted (helping around the house doesn’t count I am told).

While there were a lot of new books authored, sold, and read in 2010 there are two that stand out from my vantage point as having offered both practical and substantive principles and ideas.

The first is...

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.




Until next month remember,

"The simplest explanation is most likely to be true.”


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First Published in Canadian Lawyer January 2011. Copyright © Applied Strategies Inc.

Legal Strategy Consultant