As I have reflected (literally and figuratively) over the past several months on my firm and its future direction, the re-branding, name change, its internal culture and the overall client experience we offer, I have come to realize that perception and reality may not be the same.  And, I have had to truly FORCE myself to take a long hard look in the mirror at myself, my personal strengths, my professional strengths, and ask those people I trust most to honestly tell me what they believe those to be as well.  Lastly, I have had to evaluate how all of the things I have listed above inter-relate to make up my life and in turn determine how truly happy I am with my life and the lives of those people I love and care about.

So, here is my challenge to you:  You need to look in the mirror.  Look at yourself and who you really are.  Examine your “ego”.  Most personal injury lawyers have “egos”; it is what they are “known for”.  We joke about it, some of us even brag about them.  Some of us see them as good things and some as bad things.  They are neither, they are what they are.  They are a part of us as human beings.  But, they must be examined.  So, you need to.  You must.  Take a long look at who you are. 

Make a list – handwritten, type it on your Smartphone, your iPad, or your PC/laptop. I don’t care, but make a list, NOW!

What makes you “tick” professionally?  (being the boss, being in court in front of people, being recognized on the street by strangers because you’re on TV, out maneuvering your opponent in court, being super prepared for a trial, helping someone who can’t help themselves – BE HONEST!)

What excites you every day when you get out of bed?

What parts do you like the least? 

What part are you great at? 

What part do you stink at?  (BE HONEST with yourself. Right now, no one else is going to read this but you).

What would others say are your strengths?

What would they say are your weaknesses?

Now – look at how you “live your professional life”.  How do you communicate with your partners and staff?  Are you happy with that?  Is it easy?  Do they seem happy?  Does your office seem like a great place to work?  Are you and your partners “friends” or is it an “obligation” to spend time with them? Do you know anything about the people on your team?  Do you think of it as a family?  Do you think that they do?

There are a million questions to ask yourself.  Just keep asking, Just keep thinking.  Don’t be afraid of asking others to do the same and don’t be afraid to ask them to give you their honest thoughts.  This exercise is crucial to the success of your firm.  We will continue this article and process next time….until then, keep looking in the mirror, you might just like what you see and if you don’t, it is never too late work on it!

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