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.