Last weekend I was honored to be the luncheon speaker at a large law firm’s annual partners’ retreat. Of the 175 lawyers there, I may have met about 10% of them before my presentation. Immediately after I finished, a lawyer with 25 years’ experience rushed over to introduce himself. He then said, “I hate consultants! So when I heard that we were having a consultant speak to our partnership, I really wasn’t looking forward to it. But you really surprised me. Your talk was relevant, interesting and useful! You’re nothing like most consultants!”
Music to my ears, and a great affirmation of what I’ve been doing. When I began my business, I knew that I also didn’t like consultants and therefore didn’t want to be like one. But after more than three decades, I knew the realities of practicing law, and after 20-plus years as a managing lawyer at Procter & Gamble and working with scores of law firms around the country, I had learned a great deal. As I conceptualized how to approach my new business, I decided to work as a colleague and peer of my clients, bringing to bear my experiences and knowledge to the realities of their situations. No pre-packaged products to push down my clients’ throats, no HR jargon, and no high cost organization that I needed to support through bloated client billings.
Just me sitting down with you and offering a fresh perspective regarding the problems you face. From the larger, organization-based issues that arise from mergers or how to build your firm’s capabilities and, with it, the firm’s ability to compete better in the post-2008 economy. Down to managing the “problem partner” who needs a surgical but sensitive approach. Take it from the managing partner last weekend who told me after my speech, “You hit it out of the park.” Or from that lawyer who introduced himself after I spoke to his partners. I’m nothing like most consultants.