Sunday, December 11, 2005

Law Firm Marketing and the Fireplace Mantel

Lessons come in many ways if we but pause to learn. Today I built a fireplace mantel from scratch for a friend that turned out quite well. Better than well... It looked great. I had only the idea in my head of how I would make all of the parts (not the best way to build anything); How I would attach each part to the growing mantel; How to make the curves work and help the seams disappear. It is not completely done yet. It needs another coat of stain to deepen the color and then two coats of satin finish, but it is built and I am proud. My friend is beside herself at the beauty of it and, it is exactly what she wants to fit the look and feel of the room it will be mounted in.

So what is the lesson you ask? The lesson is being fulfilled to use what I know to accomplish what is perfect for someone else. If it were my mantel it would have looked quite different. But the goal was not to build "my" mantel. It was to build hers.

As a legal marketer I sometimes take too much ownership of the programs and ideas I bring to life as if it was only for me. It is not. At my firm there are scores and scores of attorneys that need to feel that what is said and done represents them. A suit they can wear.

I need to remember I am a craftsman capable of creating great marketing stuff even when it is not exactly what I would make for myself. My joy comes in creating things that work and run seamlessly; created in the knowledge that it took me to do it.

A lot of disharmony for marketers in law firms is created by thinking, "I know better, why won't they listen?" I know that results mean a lot, but pride in craftmanship means something too.