No, this is not a typo.
This is the g-a-p between what lawyers say they know and what they actually know:
- Working on the business as opposed to working in the business;
- The use of technology;
- Understanding a balance sheet; and
- Dealing with client service.
They will say “I know how to do that” or “I know all about that” or “What do you think I am, stupid!”
But in truth, lawyers feel that they know it all or at least pretend that they do even when they don’t.
The problem may be arrogance but it is usually the risk of looking inferior to a colleague or messing up their career chances that drives this behaviour.
Lawyers need to take their careers much more seriously and understand that knowing about the law and how to process voluminous amounts of work is not enough. It is important, going forward, that everyone understands what is really involved in running a profitable and successful practice, paying particular attention to getting the best out of people and delivering a WOW client experience.
Best practice needs to be shared, and even though practice areas are dissimilar, the 7 issues identified above are common to all lawyers.
Lawyers need to be more self-reflective, honest and open to change if they and their firms are going to face down the changing dynamic of the market and client expectations.
Challenge yourself to work on closing the knowing ~ knowing gap. This is not about creating a plan but challenging yourself to be the most that you can be.
Start by asking more open questions. As Chris Brogan has said, Grow Bigger Ears and make sure that the feedback you receive is used for maximum return.
But most of all be humble enough to know when you are out of your comfort zone and need a helping hand.
~ JS ~