Former law firm CMO, Eric Fletcher, discusses what constitutes leadership, some of the challenges and characteristics of being a leader, and how it applies to law firm and marketing leaders. A concept we kept coming back to agin and again is the importance of listening. Intentional listening.
What constitutes leadership?
Real leaders are often the people who speak less than anyone else in the room. They’re the individuals that we almost always want to hear from more. Just having a certain job title does not make someone a true leader. If you find yourself dreading what you do, then maybe the vision isn’t something that lives inside of you. A leader’s job is to communicate, inspire, and instill a vision that motivates people to be engaged. Without a vision, it’s difficult to lead.
How can law firm marketers apply these principals?
By listening and understanding the challenges that come with connecting lawyers with the market. It doesn’t necessarily matter how great the creativity is. The only thing that matters for marketers in a law firm space is enhancing the brand of the firm and connecting lawyers with potential clients.
Know your target audience. For the most part, law firms talk endlessly about what they do because they don’t always know who they want to connect with – lawyers are often unsure of their ideal client. If you know who your target is, you can then craft a strategy accordingly.
Begin with the idea of listening instead of what your message will be. No communication takes place until somebody actually decides to listen. Carefully listen to your clients’ and prospects’ needs and then you can understand their challenges and begin to plan how to help them.
Intentional listening is listening without condition or without the intention of converting an individual. Eventually you will get to the messaging, but communication starts when you find where experience fields overlaps. Real leaders would never sacrifice another to save themselves. They listen well enough to find common ground and aspirations and put others’ needs first.
Simon Sinek, Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t
Simon Sinek, How Great Leaders Inspire Action (TED Talk)