Does your cynicism keep you from the very things you want and need?
In case you missed this because you wisely took the weekend off.....or if you prefer a version that has no typos (or at least fewer), here is something I posted earlier.
(Note the June 1 deadline)
I’ve been quiet for a while – too busy living life to write about it. In the last few weeks, I’ve met dozens of lawyers, spoken to hundreds, and have learned so much more about this movement and the courageous lawyers who are leading it. There is a lot to report about Canada, Australia and the Conscious Capitalism conference.
For now, I want to tell you about something. I was immersed in the Conscious Capitalism Conference when one of the speakers dropped a mini bomb into my awareness... ' Behind every cynic is a broken-hearted idealist.' My brain took off!
I looked at the places where I am cynical (politics comes to mind) and at how pervasive cynicism is in the legal profession. I guess it is pretty pervasive in the culture in general, but we seem more jaded than most.
It is also seems related to something that a lot of people have experienced with lawyers: we aren’t your normal consumers. Our cynicism leads us to be extra distrustful. We’re so smart, we tend to think we know it all -- or that we can figure it out for ourselves. (I remember when I graduated from law school, in my arrogance, I told someone that I was able to learn anything, even Physics.) We’re suspicious of anyone who wants to sell (or tell) us something. All sales seem to be manipulation and no one is going to fool us! And we expect that almost everyone is trying to. I usually delete any emails that look promotional – even for products and services that might make my life easier and better. I tell sales clerks that I am “just looking,” even if I know exactly what I want and need. In an attempt to be cool and in control, I tune out and miss out. Do you do anything similar?
I’m sure I am not the only one. I had lunch with a lawyer last week. As I often do, I contacted him because I’d seen his ad on the internet and I was interested in the innovative work he was doing. Like so many in our movement, he was creative and smart and he thought he was alone. He was reinventing a lot of wheels. Partway through lunch, I realized that he had his armor up and that he wasn't listening. He seemed to be waiting for something and then I realized that he thought I was there to sell something. I told him that I wasn’t pitching him; that I was truly interested in what he was up to, honored his path, and wanted to connect him with others. With that out of the way, he was able drop his guard and be authentic. I learned a lot more about him and was able to share some helpful connections with him as a result. He was inspired and empowered. My agenda – transforming the legal profession – was advanced by our conversation. Win/win. …but what if I HAD planned to sell him something?
“Cynicism masquerades as wisdom, but it is the farthest thing from it. Because cynics don’t learn anything. Because cynicism is a self-imposed blindness, a rejection of the world because we are afraid it will hurt us or disappoint us.”
-- Stephen Colbert
People tend to share their secrets with me, and amidst their inspiring stories, I’ve also heard their challenges, hurts, disappointments and fears. A lot of them have given up on their dreams and have settled for “good enough,” instead of truly successful and happy. They’re not “cynical,” they live in the “real world” where "trade-offs must be made.” I know that more is possible because I know so many lawyers who have reached for and achieved their own versions of success. It breaks my heart to see this waste of passion and energy that could be making the world a better place.
If you have been keeping up with this list, you know I’ve teamed up with Dolly Garlo and Gretchen Duhaime. We offered a teleseries called Design Your Own Success and we've been exploring what it is that lawyers say they need most. For years, I've heard lawyers saying that they don't know how to be fully themselves and to make a living as a lawyer. They continue practicing in ways that don't serve them. Or some change their practices but don't know how to talk about their new ways of serving clients in a way that connects with more clients and earns them more money. For this movement to be successful, the lawyers in it need to be successful. I went looking for the best content and providers to make a difference. We have designed something that we think is special, and we would like you to join us.
We created a weekend workshop that is information-rich but also includes time to do some real work and to accelerate your practice. We listened to concerns about not being able to spend a lot of time and energy on travel and we designed our workshop to be delivered on the internet over a weekend, with minimal technical skill needed, and lots of time to actually implement the teaching. There is more -- we want to share it with you and we’re asking you to put aside your cynicism long enough to explore whether this weekend is for you.
Please visit our page at http://integrativelegalentrepreneur.com/dyos-w and try it on. (We have a special for the Cutting Edge Law list through the end of the business day (Eastern) on Friday, June 1.) The weekend is June 22 through 24 and there is a pre-weekend call and post-weekend follow-up.
If it is for you, sign up!
If it isn’t, no problem. Thanks for stepping outside your cynicism for a few moments and for trusting us enough to look and consider it.
We would also appreciate it if you would share it with someone who could benefit.