Tuesday, December 8, 2015


A few weeks ago I got to go to a high school football game with a good friend. One of the top rivalries in the country and a school that he went to. Fifteen thousand people, tickets on the 50, perfect weather, the home band has over 400 members and they and the visiting band filled the field before kickoff. I jokingly asked…”Did we really HAVE to be here an hour early?” He said, “HAVE to? You GET to..!”

What a perfectly simple way to look at this time of year.

Around Halloween you take a look ahead and the activity calendar fills up pretty quick. Thanksgiving, shopping, singing Christmas trees, parties, sporting events, travel, family events, religious services. From one busy to the next. From one choice to the next. One opportunity to the next.

This time of year brings out the best and the worst of emotions.

Maybe you just remember how the holidays made you feel. Maybe yours was the Facebook update family with all of the perfectness, or this time of year can have toxic memories.

Rarely, when you recall the holidays when you were 7, 17, 27, etc can you recall a specific present that someone gave you. There are always the big ones. Maybe the bike or the toy that you really wanted.

The biggest presents are the times when someone forgave or showed grace and kindness when you didn’t deserve it. It didn’t cost money, but carried a burden. Your present to others can be the same. Not because you HAVE to, but because you GET to.

If love is spelled by the closest ones to you, T.I.M.E, then give it. Not because you HAVE to, because this life is short, you can’t take it with you, and you GET to.

Moments are captured rather than enjoyed. On a device, to be seen years later and probably deleted, rather than experienced at the moment.

I wish you all of the blessings of the season and that your greatest Present given and received from the ones that you care about the most is Presence.

Andrew Wilcox at (850) 629-9073, or Andrew@Wilcox-legal.com.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015


On a drive to Atlanta a few weeks ago I was struck by the similarities from farm country to downtown. Both have tall silos that hold valuable resources, tied to measurable market conditions, that stand alone next to each other, and hold perishable material if not used in a timely manner.

Of course silos downtown house people, knowledge, and technical resources that can measure market conditions, and in theory, act. Cultivate your resources, brand it, price it accordingly.

The problem is that within most offices there are several silos on the same floor, perhaps in the office next door. All separate, all different pricing, all different clients, all different need of resources. Protected like a farmer protecting their crop.

When speaking with firms about cross-marketing I either get a chuckle or a plan. The ones that do it effectively get granular in their metrics (but in a way that everyone understands), incentivize, and only hire or retain people that buy into that culture. They train associates to become client developers and communicate constantly.

There are plenty of “eat what you kill” firms. Not many are going to the top of the AM list.

The inverse is the firm mindset that, “If we train associates to develop their own business they will just leave..” So what happens when they become partners and need to have clients? Great attorneys that may have never had a business discussion in their lives are told that their career is on the line to do something that they have never been asked to do before.

Other favorites:

“As a litigation partner, if a corporate matter comes in I have no idea who to go to..”

“I only get paid on my originations that I work, no incentive to bring anyone else in, and if I did they would probably try and poach my clients..”

Getting new clients is hard enough. Why always chase new ones? The firms that take their talents and multiply them start out doing a percentage of work and leveraging other practice areas from their firm or network into that client to help manage their risk.
The price for services becomes a value when risk is reduced. Otherwise it’s just a cost...and there is always someone to do it cheaper and faster.

How can you tear down the silos in your environment and utilize the rich resources that are right around you?

Andrew Wilcox at (850) 629-9073, or Andrew@Wilcox-legal.com.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Broadcast Delay

In 1952 WKAP in Allentown, PA introduced a concept of a tape delay by 6 seconds because they wanted to add live calls to their on air format. The delay was simple in that they spaced the playback tape reel along rollers from the record reel. The time that it took to get from origin to broadcast was 6-7 seconds.

Now the delay is digitized and is used for sporting events, news, and any time Kanye West gets near a TV camera. The idea is to filter out the bloopers, profanity, etc.

With the political debates beginning and pundits taking batting practice it got me thinking how valuable this tool would be if we all had a 6-7 seconds from origin of thought to broadcast.

Think how many fewer divorces there would be, how many arguments, how many “oops” moments in a day. Imagine if emails and texts couldn’t be sent for 6-7 seconds from when your finger hovers over the send button. Would people have to misread intentions? Instead we are stuck with adding smiley faces and emojis to messages like we are writing in some sort of modern hieroglyphics just not to hurt someone’s feelings. Sure I called you an offensive name, but I added :) so you cant be mad.

In reality, the inverse is true. People don’t use the 6-7 seconds to listen, reflect, and respond. Being first and having the answers, right or wrong, is the norm. If there are 6-7 seconds it’s to craft the perfect zing or Tweet. #GOTCHA. #Whohas2thumbsandissmarterthananyoneelse.

Reflective conversation is a gift…at times. Everyone has that friend that is completely unfiltered and gets away with it. Well that’s just Joe.

I would assert seconds 5-7 are where the coddling or politically correct words get formed. When you can actually see people contort themselves to try and frame and qualify every word and statement to the point where you want to shake them and say, ”JUST SAY IT!”

Maybe it would be easier to just say the first thing that comes to mind and just finish every sentence with “Bless your heart.” Joe is just touched in the head, bless his heart.

“My fellow candidate for office is clearly a racist, puppy hating, deviant, who doesn’t think the rules apply to him…bless his heart.”

That seems easier than defining what a “micro aggression” or “trigger warning” is. Seriously, Google it, then wait for your head to explode.

Or to paraphrase the 80’s song, “Do what you say, say what you mean, one thing leads to another.” No delay needed.

To discuss your client development messaging contact, Andrew Wilcox, Andrew@Wilcox-legal.com, 850-629-9073

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Father Time

Young dad walks up the aisle of a flight to some well planned out trip. The kids excitedly skip up the aisle drawing smiles. Mom has the monogrammed bag with some snacks, a travel mag and the equivalent of the "Presidential football" in hand. Dad looks like he is off to war. Every finger holds a bag, stroller, backpack, diaper bag, extra bag in case the airlines lose the main bags, and his laptop. Exhausted already, and set to cram a lost year into 5 or 6 days, the man in his 80's sitting next to him taps him on the arms and says.."You're doing good, son.."

You would have thought the young dad just heard the Gipper speech. Dads don't get that affirmation often. If Moms are the family quarterback, dads are the lineman. It's about the blocking and tackling. Lineman rarely make the ESPN top 10 highlights. The good ones just go to work everyday with a servants heart in hopes of making the team better.

A few days later, I noticed something on my family trip, a clear view through the back window. No strollers, potties, diaper bags. Just a sinking feeling as I looked at my daughters that time is moving WAY too fast.

Maybe all dads think this way. Maybe parental guilt for dads is a new thing. I don't remember my dad sharing a pain for the times he wasn't around during the week when I saw him on the weekends. Beyond football and mundane subjects most dads don't. He just did the blocking and tackling. Made the ballgames, showed how to cook a steak, replace the tires and get a tune up before your 16 year old drives alone for the first time, and said he was proud of me.

A few years ago I was part of Men's Fraternity by Robert Lewis. He said that kids need to know 3 things from their dads. You love them. You are proud of them. They are good at..____.

I saw successful grown men break down that never heard that from their dads. Some men spend their days chasing affirmation from a dad that died years before, and fail to offer that affirmation to their kids. So much lost time and wasted talk.

Spending the weekends with my dad left all week to seek mischief. The great dads reach out to those kids without realizing it. To this day, I call the Bursa's friends. Brian manages the Tampa office of Lewis Brisbois. He ran with my brothers, I ran with his brothers. Sports, scouts, school. Brian's dad, Big Ed worked 6 days a week, but never missed a game. Every few years he'd have to come by my house. Until the age of 72, he cleaned septic tanks and I never saw him without a smile on his face. In fact, he had heart problems at 62 and worked 10 years with congestive heart failure until the family made him retire. 3 kids graduated with advanced degrees, 2 others own businesses, and their mom stayed home playing quarterback. He moonlighted at a convenience store and still worked there for 6 months after being held up at gunpoint, and he did it with a smile.

I don't know if he ever had parental guilt or just was the bridge between a Pennsylvania farm family and his kids.

Doing what he wished he could always do. Good dads try to make the next generations life just a bit better. They walk the house one last time to check the locks, take a hand when words are tough to come by, drop off close to the door in the rain, hug for the heck of it, make funny noises, inappropriate aromas, and quietly worry to the core of their being for their kids. They are giants in spite of what the latest sitcom tries to portray them as.

Guys talk without talking in many ways. Younger men approach the tee and hit the ball with every ounce of energy looking to impress, often leading to failure. There is something older men have learned about hitting the ball 150 yards at a time and playing for par. It takes a while to settle a restless boys soul into a dad bod.

Some dads are worthy of the Greatest Dad shirts, some arent. If your dad wasn't, forgive him, even if he isn't around to hear it. If he is, a few words will make him think that he heard the Gipper speech, don't waste them on sports and filler talk. Father Time is short and cruel, but it's the best time of you and your dads life.

Psalm 145:4

Andrew Wilcox at (850) 629-9073, or Andrew@Wilcox-legal.com.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015


Jason and I started out in the first class together, on the first day of freshman year at South Plantation High. To say that we couldn’t stand each other is an understatement. He wore a Gator shirt, I wore FSU, and this is back in the 80’s after FSU had lost 6 in a row.

Everyday on the basketball court, track, field, in the halls, we would jaw at each other. Then came baseball tryouts. We both pitched, but tried out for other positions as well. If I tried out for 2nd, so did he. If he went to left, so did I. I wanted the number 18 jersey and he got it first. He wanted 20 when we made varsity and I got it first.

For 3 years, one thing was becoming apparent, neither was going to let the other get the best of them. Extra ground balls, running more laps, more time in the bullpen.

Like what happens on not very good teams, eventually the coach had a meltdown and kicked most everyone out of practice, EXCEPT for the ones that he knew cared. There were 4 of us left and Coach O verbalized what now seems obvious. If it wasn’t for the other, neither of us would have been on the team, and neither would have made All-County. We realized both wanted to get to the same place and had been helping the other get there all along.

My family has been listening to a series by Dr. Ed Young called 50 Shades of THEY. (I know) He discusses the THEY in our lives. The people that we surround ourselves with that have our attention and also have our backs. Some call it their Board of Directors, inner circle, 2 am friends. THEY are the ones that push you and that you can hear the real deal from.

After doing legal search and consulting for over 13 years, I can tell you the most successful attorneys have the most successful THEY in their lives. Rainmakers know other rainmakers. They may not be best friends, but they push each other. The best litigators study each other. THEY challenge you, lift you up, and sometimes grate on your nerves. THEY wouldn’t have that affect though if YOU didn’t let them.

Too often, I speak with attorneys that feel stuck. Their practice has reached some barrier that they do not feel that they can get past. Perhaps it’s a comfort zone, often it’s where the rest in their peer group is. THEY are toxic and can make YOU feel like your best is behind you. YOU don't deserve more. YOU should spend ever waking hour catering to how THEY feel. THEY will exhaust you emotionally. Time for a friend-ventory..

One of the easiest client development tips that I give is find the person that is trying to get to the same place, and help them get there. Run the laps with them, spend time in the dugout strategizing, silently commit to outworking each other.

A few years later, I was at Jason’s contract signing party and a few years after that reading a USA Today article that he was the Triple A player of the month for the Arizona Diamondbacks. I called to congratulate him and he said, “When I made it, we all made it.”

Can YOU say that about your THEY?

For more information on client development best practices contact please call Andrew Wilcox at (850) 629-9073, or Andrew@Wilcox-legal.com.