Friday, January 24, 2014

Follow Through

A few months ago, I played in a golf tournament with a few attorneys and we finished dead last. The winning teams at these events tend to either have a ringer, use creative compromise arithmetic when tabbing up scores, or buy enough Mulligan’s to overcome an afternoons worth of shots into the water.

So there we are getting our dubious award of free golf lessons and absorbing the good natured ribbing. 3 free lessons with a golf pro and some end of the year free time to use them.

Dan was part Zen master, part troubled looper on the undercard circuit for a few years, and from the poses that he put me in either found his only pleasure in life twisting people into pretzels, or he had discovered a new form of far eastern yoga that he no doubt repaired himself with while playing his way through a hostel filled golfcation through Malaysia.

His message was clear, however. My follow through troubled him.

The follow through in sports can be mind-numbing. What difference does it make how I end up if the ball has been hit or thrown where it needs to go? The “where you end up”, as you learn, is a result of all of the correct or incorrect actions up to that point. Billions of dollars are spent every year on golf by people who cant figure this one simple thing out. A series or random events, tied together by hope and luck, caused them to hit a perfect shot. Now they come back time and again, trying to find that one shot, when they should be focused on the action that happens after the shot.

Aren’t we guilty of the same thing when trying to develop business? I hear attorneys all of the time that have no idea how much business that they have or how they get it. It just is kinda there every year, until it isn’t.. Some tell me that they have given countless seminars, networking, social media activities, etc, but have no idea if any of it really works. They just step up and swing.

Sometimes the worst thing that can happen is that they give a seminar and have a ton of early business. The next time, it gets hooked into the woods. That first one though, keeps you coming back.

Conversely, just because your follow through is good doesn’t mean nothing bad will happen. Sometimes you hit a sand trap. It’s a process. Having a process and knowing all of the actions that make up a perfect follow through, let’s you know where you need to correct. What questions you need to ask about your activity to not waste movement, time, and energy.

Dan the Zen Master finished the lesson with what seemed like a couple of sun salutations and vinyasas and a urging to “end on a high note”. He pointed to a flag 180 yards away as a spot to aim, stood behind me a few feet and watched my feet, elbow in, slowly back, turn the wrists, come down smoothly, eye on the ball… club out front…WHAACK!!

Right into the trees. Hate that stupid sport..!

For more information on client development best practices and process contact please call Andrew Wilcox at (850) 629-9073, or

Monday, January 13, 2014


Recently, my family was invited to my wife’s best friends church to pay tribute to her 98 year old grandmother. For 3 hours, family came, hymns were sung, and then her grandmother, who in her 80’s got a college degree, sat and played piano perfectly. That would have made for a beautiful service on it’s own. After the song, this little woman who has been a matriarch to an entire community and seen some of the worst racial elements of society, and as recently as a few nights earlier counseled a family on her street that lost a teen son to a shooting stood and preached Galatians 5 with more force than I have ever heard a sermon delivered before. Love, joy, peace, goodness, faithfulness. Her common refrain, “Feel the joy..!” It absolutely filled my heart.

As we walked to the car, my mind turned to a church that I would be sitting in two days later, and how a family that we have known for years could ever find joy again.

Trent was 10 years old and a schoolmate of my daughters. I met him on opening night of practice coaching t-ball a few years ago and his mom told me that he may miss some games and practices because he was diagnosed with brain cancer. 4 years of doctor visits, therapy, radiation, traveling to and from cities to see specialists. They had just brought hospice in a few weeks ago before the schools boosterthon race. Trent still ran a couple of laps and was carried the rest of the way. A perfect Tallahassee day and his smile showing pure joy of being alive and around his friends.

Neighbors on his street decorated for Christmas so that he could have one last experience. The joy of the season. The next day he passed away. As a parent, you cant imagine, and you don’t know what to say.

I didn’t expect to hear joy. “We had him for 10 years, and get to love him forever..”

I’ve heard describing faith is like explaining a color to someone that can’t see. Perspective is the same way.

As a recruiter, I thoroughly enjoy getting to know people. People share amazingly inspirational stories. I also hear about the divorces. Not seeing kids. Health issues. Financial despair. The holidays are the best or worst time of the year depending on your perspective. No amount of money or title changes it.

This season I wish you love, joy, peace, goodness, faithfulness.

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

Information vs. Knowledge

“I have only come here seeking knowledge. Things they would not teach me of in college..” The Police

My daughter walked in to my office the other day and asked a question. “How far is it to the center of the earth?”

My first instinct was to Google it. Then something struck me. If I had an random question at her age, I would have had to get on my bike, go to the library, sorted through the Dewey Decimal system, find books on the earth, scan through various chapters and FINALLY get the answer to my question. In the process, I would have stumbled upon what the earth’s crust was made of, the percentage of water, micro-climates, theories on what formed the earth. It gave me knowledge, not just the answer to a question that will quickly be forgotten.

So, we got in the car and went to the library. 2 hours later, we got the answer, and she wanted to bring home a couple of books on Lincoln and Florida history. (Be honest you already Googled the question didn’t you..?)

I hear a common refrain from hiring partners and recruiting directors at firms. They seek attorneys that seek knowledge with a curious mind, and are having a tough time finding it. Not just with younger attorneys that grew up in the digital age. It’s part of the process that makes for a successful partner. Rainmakers are curious about a customers business, and dig deeper than their website. Seeking knowledge is going beyond the questions into the theory. The how and the why. The “what’s next” and how can you be useful to them.

Since early 2009, I have spoken with thousands of attorneys about their client development practice. The increase in their books of business directly correlates to the types of questions that they asked about how they develop clients. Prior to the economic collapse, many just did their thing and business came in. Billing pressures, leverage, clients closing or merging, and several other factors changed the landscape. The nimble attorneys adjusted by asking how those changes affect them. What types of clients to call on, what changes need to be done in approaching them, guarding against losing clients. All kinds of questions they asked themselves and asked their clients.

If you are not where you want to be with your client development goals, question everything and everybody.

Or to quote the great Parrothead poet:
“Answers are the easy part, questions raise the doubt”, Jimmy Buffett

How many miles you ask…? Take 2 hours with your kids and email me with the answer..:)

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