Chapter 11: Clients
When she met with Bernie, her client, that day he could see the spring in her step. “What’s got you looking so happy these days?” he asked with a twinkle in his eyes.
“Well, I have been making some terrific progress with my team. For the first time, we’re working together on building a foundation for growth. It’s been great to have this new synergy as a group.”
Bernie, himself a retired businessman, said, “Let me tell you, having a quality team that you can trust, train, and grow is the best thing you can do for truly building a business. You can’t be a pillar all on your own. You always need other people in order to succeed and truly grow as a person, as a woman, and as a leader. You are an amazing lawyer and have been very good and professional in all of our dealings. I think it’s great that you are extending that same effort to your employees. They should be the ones you invest in the most as they will help you grow your business in ways no one else can.”
“Thanks, Bernie. I am finally realizing how important the team is and how much I used to take them for granted. I always thought my time was better spent with my clients; I didn’t realize how important it was to have partnerships with both.”
“You know, you can train your team to start seeing some of your clients as well. You will see that in the long run, it will be a better business model for you. If you do everything on your own, there is only so much you can accomplish. Personally, I have found that people who have a big support system around them usually can accomplish more because of all the people with whom they are connected. Trust in yourself and in your people. Create an environment in which they trust you because then you will gain their loyalty and admiration and make them believers for life.”
“Thank you, Bernie. Only now am I realizing the value in what you are saying. I never really paid attention before, and yet my employees are my biggest assets.”
“If you do not have the right people on board,” he replied, “it can be a nightmare. Putting the right people in the right positions is the most important thing that you can do from the beginning. Hiring the right people is a critical task. Finding them can take time, but it’s worth it.”
“You’re right. I know I have the good people in house now, but I am just learning how to add the right people to add that team. I’ve have struggled with that for years.”
“To get the right team you get qualified headhunters and executive search firms to help and also get recommendations from others if need be. You need to find good channels for getting the right people in the door. Other lawyers in your group must have found some good people. How are they finding them?”
“Yes, they have built some good teams and found some quality people. I have been asking them, but have not been able to get the same kind of people. Again, I am realizing it may be how I interact with the people I work with that has been turning them off from my office. But I’m beginning to shift the way I work with people and what I look for in people and I think that will make a big change.”
Bernie nodded and cocked his head a little to the side. “Anything else that is making you so happy? There seems to be an additional twinkle in your eye.”
Scarlett blushed a bit. Bernie had been her client for a long time and was almost like a second father to her.
“Well, I have gone on a couple of dates with a really nice gentleman. So far it has been really pleasant.”
“Only pleasant?” Bernie asked.
“I don’t want to jinx it.”
“Well, I hope it goes well for you. You deserve a nice gentleman in your life. Use the tools you are using now with your employees with him —building trust and invest time in him. The principles are similar!”
They both laughed and then got on to business. When Bernie left, she had a lot to think about. Bernie had given her really good advice both about business and about her personal life. She was suddenly thankful for all the great people in her life giving her such valuable insight.
Monica Thakrar has over 18 years experience in business focused mainly on strategy, change management, leadership development, training and coaching resulting in successful implementations of large scale transformation programs.