Advice from Gordon T. Herrin of Herrin Kervin Injury Attorneys
If Steve Jobs were born 10 years earlier or later, then he would have been too early or too late to build Apple. He grew up in an area later to become Silicon Valley. Jobs would not have led the development of Apple and Pixar had he grown up anywhere else. This is important because a significant component of great leaders is being born in the right place and time.
Obviously, you cannot control when and where you were born, but you can implement three simple strategies to lead your company to success.
Take time to think. Six days a week, I get up at 5:00 am to think. I drink coffee and think about business and case strategies. No agenda or list. I simply think for 90 minutes. My best ideas come during uninterrupted thinking time, not at the office. Warren Buffett estimates that he spent 80% of his career quietly thinking. Have your notebook handy to pen those good ideas or you will likely forget them.
Evolve or die. Change is not only frowned upon in my profession, it is detested. Today’s court decisions are based upon last year’s decisions, which are based upon last decade’s decisions and so on. The legal industry’s tradition of looking in the rear-view mirror hinders it from embracing technology. Law firms are the Nero of modern businesses. They are so busy making music about the past that they ignore Rome burning around them. Our judicial system is a wooly mammoth forever stuck in the technology tar pits. No one will argue that our legal system is fast or efficient.
Why is the legal industry perpetually 10-15 years behind in technology? Because it fights evolution. It fights efficiency. It fights productivity. The legal world lumbers along mumbling about tradition and reassuring itself that the past is the future.
Never, ever be like this. Years ago, I implemented a paperless law office, a notion that sends frightful chills down the spines of most lawyers. I also employ loads of software. Technology allows my firm to run lean, fast, and consistently profitable.
Invest in productivity software. Learn from the best by skipping the routine vacation and attend an industry conference.
Ego is your enemy. The Stoic philosophers lectured on the detriments of ego. Tamping down ego in this age of “Me-Me-Me” and endless Instagram selfies is difficult. But, it’s absolutely necessary. Ego hinders you from taking chances, because ego holds hands with fear of failure and embarrassment. Emperor Marcus Aurelius famously wrote, “The impediment to action advances action.” Without obstacles, you will never have failures, solve problems, and explore alternatives. Do not fear obstacles. Figure them out. You will sharpen your skills and rightly move toward success.
Try thesestrategies and get positive results.
Gordon T. Herrin is senior partner and lead trial attorney at Herrin Kervin Injury Attorneys in Covington, LA
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