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How to Make Your Wildest Dream Come True

You have wildly ambitious goals for your law firm. But do your team members know what your goals are?  No, they don’t. How can you achieve your wildest goals if your team doesn’t know what they are? You can’t.

What if you could rally your team around the goals for your law firm?  Every day, your progress is tracked by your team members and everyone rallies around a single goal. It’s amazing what’s possible when your team can achieve when they are focused on a single goal.

The concepts set forth herein are based upon the transformative book, “The 4 Disciplines of Execution”, by McChesney, Covey & Huling.

The Difference Maker for Your Law Firm

The whirlwind is the day to day grind.  You set big goals, but stuff happens and the day to day grind seems to get in the way of your goals. Even with the best intentions, the whirlwind sucks you in and diverts your focus from your wildly important goal. This is precisely why the 4 Disciplines are critically important.

“The inability of leaders to focus is a problem of epidemic proportions.”

McChesney, Covey & Huling, “The 4 Disciplines of Execution

The 4 Disciplines create focus, alignment and accountability around the most important goals of the law firm and each of your team members.

Discipline #1: Focus on the Wildly Important

If you could achieve one thing for your law firm, what would it be? DREAM BIG.  Think of the perfect scenario for your law firm and if you can dream bigger, don’t stop.  Concentrate on one wildly important goal at a time.

“While it might seem instinctive to you to have a lot of goals, the more you have the fewer you will achieve with excellence.”  

McChesney, Covey & Huling, “The 4 Disciplines of Execution

Write your wildly important goal on a Scoreboard (whiteboard) and place it somewhere that everyone on your team will see it (e.g., your conference room).

Discipline #2: Act on the Lead Measures

The lead measure is what the team can affect (e.g., diet). The lag measure if the result the team wants (e.g., body weight). Define the daily or weekly lead measures.

Act on the lead measure.  

  • What is it that you can do that will make the greatest difference? 
  • What can you do differently that you’re not already doing?
  • What is that you haven’t thought about?

Data on the lead measure makes the difference.

Discipline #3:  A Simple Scoreboard for Tracking Performance

Make sure everyone knows the score at all times.  Update the scoreboard daily.

“Without a compelling scoreboard, not only would the game be lost in the whirlwind, no one would care.”

McChesney, Covey & Huling, “The 4 Disciplines of Execution

If your team members don’t know the score, they won’t know if you’re winning.  The highest level of engagement comes from knowing the score.

Discipline #4:  The Cadence of Accountability

The team plans weekly against their lead measures. Report on commitments, review the scoreboard and make new commitments. The WIG session should be held on the same day and same time every week.

“It is truly amazing what you can accomplish by the simple discipline of meeting around a goal on a weekly basis over an extended period of time.”

McChesney, Covey & Huling, “The 4 Disciplines of Execution

Every team has weekly WIG sessions.  Make commitments for the coming week.  WIG sessions create accountability and follow through.

How to Engage Your Team Members in the 4 Disciplines

You have ambitious goals for your law firm, but  your team doesn’t.  And even worse, your team doesn’t always care about the goals for your law firm (who cares about your revenue goal, other than you?). What can you do? 

Set aside a day to focus on the one thing that each member of your team can do to help your law firm. The one thing for an intake specialist might be the number of phone calls with clients and for a litigation paralegal, it might be the number of discovery responses served.  Here’s the secret to success: let the team member create their own WIG.

Step #1:Create Wildly Important Goals for Each Team Member

Ask your team member to identify their own WIG and the lead and lag measures for their goal.  Let your team members plot the lead and lag measures on a whiteboard and let them be creative and have fun. 

Once your team member creates their own scoreboard (e.g., a player’s scoreboard), they will be far more likely to buy into the concept of the 4 Disciplines.  If you force your team member to embrace the 4 Disciplines without their input, the process will have less meaning for them.

Step #2:A Visible Players’ Scoreboard

Place the players’ scoreboards (whiteboard with magic marking) on easels in their offices and have them monitor their success on a daily basis.  With a scoreboard in each employees’ office, there will be visible evidence of their success, or lack thereof, toward their individual WIG and lead measures that they created.

Step #3:Weekly WIG Meetings

Meet once a week, ideally on the same day and time of the week, to review progress on the players’ scoreboards and team scoreboard. Always focus on the lead measures that will advance each team member toward their Wildly Important Goal.

At the weekly WIG meeting, reflect on progress that’s been made, and solicit feedback from your team about obstacles they face and what you can do to help.  Then, focus on the goals for the upcoming week.  

A Test of the 4 Disciplines

We did a test of the 4 Disciplines and here’s what we discovered.  On January 8th, we set a WIG of having 250 Google reviews for our law firm in 12 months (target date: January 8, 2022).  Our law firm began the 4 Disciplines test with 124 Google reviews.

We confronted a reality: even when the results of their case are extraordinary, our clients will not post a review UNLESS WE ASK.  Our lead measure for achieving our WIG is the number of requests that make for a Google review.

We plotted our WIG and lead measures on a scoreboard (whiteboard) and began tracking our progress daily on scoreboards with 2 metrics: 

  • # of Requests (usually via email)for a Google review, and 
  • # of Google reviews.

We kicked up our focus by challenging a large, prominent South Florida injury law firm (the Law Offices of Craig Goldenfarb) to a contest: the first law firm to reach 250 Google reviews. Must admit, I lost to a worthy opponent--the Law Offices of Craig Goldenfarb won (congrats, Craig!), but the results for both firms were hard to deny.

The Magic of the 4 Disciplines

On February 2nd, 2021 (11 months before our target date), our law firm received our 250th Google review.  So, what do we do now?  We created a more ambitious WIG of 500 Google reviews for 2021. 

To date, our law firm has 297 Google reviews and during the span of 3 months, we increased the number of our firm’s Google reviews by 173. This, my friend, is the power of focus on a WIG, combined with simple scoreboards and the cadence of weekly accountability.

Will the 4 Disciplines work for you? In my view, there is nothing that is more powerful for engaging your team, creating focus and accountability and most importantly, getting results.  

BTW, if you post a review for our law firm at www.ReviewFisher.com, we will send you a signed copy of my new book, The Law Firm of Your Dreams, with our compliments. Just send an email to jfisherlawyer@gmail.com with the note, “I left a review and want your book”.

Photo by Alex Fu from Pexels

Leave a comment below telling me what surprised, inspired or taught you the most (I personally respond to every comment). And if you disagree with my take on running a personal injury law firm, or have a specific, actionable tip, I’d love to hear from you.