95 Women Law. J. 20 (2010)
Make Yourself a Standout and Thrive against All Odds

handle is hein.journals/wolj95 and id is 74 raw text is: Make Yourself a Standout and Thrive Against All Odds
By Susan Letterman White, J.D., M.S.
Susan Letterman White is a former managing partner of a Philadelphia law firm, who also
practiced employment law and litigation before graduating with a Master of Science in
Organization Development with Academic Distinction for Exemplary Field Work. She
now consults to law firms, law departments, and lawyers. She designs and facilitates
retreats, workshops, Women's Initiatives, and other programs and coaches lawyers in the
areas of Strategic Communication, Power and Influence, Leadership, Team Development,
Business Strategy and Client Relationship Development, and Career Advancement.

Standouts are people and businesses that appear to
thrive against all odds. Standout lawyers advance their
careers and standout law firms increase their firm's
profitability by spotting and leveraging opportunities in
their external environments. This article will take you
step-by-step through a strategy design process to create
a standout future for yourself or your law firm.
IBM's recent research report, Capitalizing on
Complexity, concluded that coping with [the type of]
change, demanded by the complexity of a volatile
and uncertain world, is the most pressing challenge for
CEOs, making creativity the most important leadership
quality.' Whether you are leading a law firm or designing
a personal strategic action plan, innovation is the key to
finding and leveraging the opportunities in your own
complex, volatile and uncertain world. Innovation is
more than a set of skills one can learn in a classroom.
Motivation is required to maintain focus while you look
until you find the right opportunities and experiment
with innovative strategies until you hit upon the ones
that work. Where will you find your motivation?
I. Finding the Motivation to Become a Standout
Motivation flows from the following: a clear vision of
your future; your passions, values and principles; and
knowing how your circumstances will improve as you
move closer to your vision. Standouts have a clear
vision of what success means to them. A clear vision of
what success looks like for you will be a driver toward
future success. It keeps you oriented and on target.

Your passions, values and principles tend to keep you
energized, especially as you face difficult challenges and
your default tendencies rise to the surface. I'll explain
these tendencies in more detail later in this article.
Your values and principles may remain relatively
constant, while your passions may change over time
and according to circumstances. The difference may be
nuanced or stark. For example, why did you want to
become a lawyer before you entered law school? Why
do you want to be a lawyer today?
Rosabeth Moss Kanter talks about passion. She says,
Leaders who create extraordinary new possibilities
are passionate about their mission and tenacious in
pursuit of it. Many people have good ideas, but many
fewer are willing to put themselves on the line for them.
Passion separates good intentions and opportunism
from real accomplishments.'
Building the motivation to implement any strategy
design process starts with being able to clearly articulate
how circumstances will be better as a result of your
taking charge of your success. Can you identify what will
be different and better if you become an equity partner
in your law firm or double your business generation
next year? Can you explain how you and those you care
about most will feel differently and better if you reach
your goals? Can you verbalize how you will feel as you
carry out each action step that will bring you closer to
your vision? The more detailed, specific and aligned
with your values and principles your answers are to
these questions, the more motivation you will build.

National Association of Women Lawyers : the voice of women in the law


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