What will 2011 bring?

“There’s Michael Jordan and then there is the rest of us.”

Magic Johnson

I like watching basketball but it is not something that I have spent much time studying in the same way as cycling (I will forever remember watching Hinault and LeMond knock lumps out of each other – here is a fantastic stage up Superbagneres in the 1986 Tour de France).

But one thing that keeps coming up is Michael Jordan’s fearless challenge to make himself the best basketball player. Perhaps the most oft quoted of his many (reputed) sayings is:

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

Now I am not suggesting that lawyers or those in professional practice should set themselves up to fail – the consequences could be hugely damaging – but the challenge, particularly around my raison detre EXCELLENCE, is not to (always) view failure as bad.

Consider:

  1. Management;
  2. Leadership;
  3. Training;
  4. Marketing;
  5. Developing profitable client relationships;
  6. Working on cross-departmental excellence;
  7. Making your off-line and on-line material remarkable;
  8. Managing for profit;
  9. Going after the very best client that you feel equipped to work with;
  10. Recognising and rewarding talent;
  11. Meeting new clients;
  12. Telephone prospecting (I can feel the shudder …);
  13. Attending networking events;
  14. Engaging with social media (start with LinkedIn);
  15. Saying the wrong thing in the wrong way to the wrong person; and
  16. Going with the consensus and not challenging (enough) the status quo.

If you knew you could do any of these differently, better, stunningly better, with panache and at the edges of your firm’s ability and someone told you couldn’t fail then how would you do things differently?

I am in the Michael Jordan camp and yes I know I am going to screw up from time to time but I will view failure (I am not afraid to use this word as opposed to 6 months ago when it just wasn’t in the vocabulary) as the negative feedback I need to change my direction, improve my performance, WOW my client with my recovery and move on to greater triumph. Sounds egotistical? May be but self-confidence is not the same thing as self-delusion. I know my limitations, and will be looking to get better in every way that I can.

Forget New Year’s resolutions, but ask yourself how you are going to get better and live up to your capability this coming year.

If you need an inspired read then go read It’s Not About the Bike by Lance Armstrong, which will give you an incredible sense of what you can achieve when you truly, deeply and purposefully put your mind to something.

I won’t be posting on Christmas or Boxing day but will be back at it again on the 27th.

Thank you to everyone who has inspired me this year and have a wonderful, magical and beautiful Christmas.

~

Julian

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