Successful people take action, right? Leaders apply certain principals to get results. Top performers do certain things to rise above the pack. Successful law firm leaders tend to excel at rainmaking and/or practice management. Indeed, when we think about successful people, we naturally think about the things they do that lead to their success. They work hard, they stay focused, they constantly develop their knowledge and skills.
Furthermore, high achievers typically also hold beliefs about themselves that are equally important to their success. For example, they trust themselves to assess a situation accurately and to exercise authority firmly. As a result, they tend to believe that they’re usually right about things.
But here’s the paradoxical rub: the very things that successful people do and believe often can be stumbling blocks to their achieving even greater success.
Do any of these situations ring a bell?
- You’re so reliant on a long-standing procedure that you ignore a colleague’s suggestion for how it could be improved
- You so quickly determine a client’s core legal situation that you begin dispensing advice before letting the client finish telling you what really matters to him/her
- Your commitment to excellence allows you to justify holding on to work which an associate or paralegal could otherwise be trained to handle at a perfectly acceptable level
In his outstanding book, What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become More Successful, Marshall Goldsmith outlines the 20 beliefs and behaviors we should stop doing in order to achieve even better professional results— while becoming happier people in the process. Goldsmith is widely considered to be the world’s pre-eminent executive coach, having helped more than 80 Fortune 500 CEO’s become better leaders. Check out the 20 Bad Behaviors here.