Let’s Define Forward Thinking
One of the telltale signs of a successful person is forward thinking.
What exactly is forward thinking? It’s planning for the future; looking ahead; innovation. In many cases, it even means embracing change today for a more successful tomorrow. Or possibly settling for less today to enjoy more in the future.
From the outset, kids are very reactionary from a young age. They have no patience to wait for anything. Their only “plan” is to make the most of the moment. Their mindset is, “I want, and I want now.”
In fact, many of us continue this unfortunate cycle well into adulthood. We carry it over to our hobbies, spending habits, jobs, entertainment. It’s a great method for instant gratification but an extremely poor solution for future stability and long-term success.
So what is the solution? Forward thinking.
Adopt a Different Mindset
As an attorney, how can you be a forward thinker? You can start by adopting a different mindset than the one you have now.
Yes, you are an attorney who endured law school, studied relentlessly for the bar exam, and now enjoy the fruits of your labor in an esteemed profession where you are applauded for your smarts and hard work.
But what do you think is more important to your client? Your degree and award-covered wall or the respect you show them throughout the completion of their case?
Do you preoccupy your time more with squeezing in as many potential new client consultations in a week or do you spend more time listening to your clients and communicating effectively with them?
Being a hard-nosed, no nonsense, efficient attorney might very well be your trademarks. There is a time and place for each of those essential qualities, but do you also place importance on empathy and outstanding customer service?
The area of law is seeing a shift in client expectations. As this culture changes, you need to, at the very least, change along with it. But an even better idea is to be at the forefront of the change. So be a forward thinker and change your mindset a little bit.
Think less about yourself and your successes and more about your client.
Collaborate More with Professionals in Other Areas
If you want to offer a superior service, you’re going to have to use others’ expertise along with your own. This means more than just an attorney or group of attorneys and your employees (paralegals, legal secretaries, assistants, etc).
Reach out to professionals who can add value to your service such as process servers, private investigators, and public record retrievers.
The legal profession does not operate in a bubble. Take the time to learn best practices from other related professions so you can bring that knowledge and value back to your own profession and become a leader of innovation. It’s really that simple.
Change is all around us and happening at warp speed in so many areas today, including the law. It’s true in any profession that those who embrace change today are those who will be the front runners of their professions tomorrow.
If you are resistant to change, you and your practice will soon be regarded as outdated, irrelevant, and unnecessary. Your clients will pass you by and become a new client to the forward thinking attorney across town.
Don’t let change leave you behind.
Stay On Top of Technology Developments
Part of change includes technology. It’s just a fact. Love it or hate it, technology is changing the face of every job out there, including yours.
If you’ve never taken time to explore the myriad of legal software, case management, apps, financial solutions, and other technology-based options available, you are seriously missing the boat.
No one ever gained great things by playing it safe. No one remembers the status-quo guy.
To be a forward thinker, you must be a risk taker. If you fail, you don’t just throw in the towel and call it a day. You pick yourself up, keep moving, and prepare yourself for the next opportunity. Then when it comes knocking, you take that leap again and again and again.
Take a risk. Be different. Think ahead. Achieve success.