I believe that every high performing human being needs a coach who will be their cheerleader and ass-kicker. I know that JP helps keep me on track. And if we could do this in 120 days, imagine what we can accomplish in a year!
My first call with JP yielded no substantive results. He admitted that he had no specific knowledge of the inner workings of the legal profession. He told me that he was not even sure he wanted to take on a personal coaching client at the time. Luckily, he is a curious person who asked all kinds of questions. He agreed to think about it. Our next two calls were similar – more questions. During our fourth call, he said that he had three very specific and important questions to ask me. Those were:
- Do you have any goals and objectives? “Well, yes, doesn’t everybody?” Little did I know…
- Can you open your mind to recognize your own bad habits, and accept that other professionals have actually solved issues that many lawyers believe are intractable? I was getting nervous, but honestly there was only one way to answer this one – “Yes, of course!”
- Will you commit to chatting with me for between 90 and 120 minutes weekly, on a scheduled basis? Wait a minute – the whole reason I contacted him is because I have no time for anything! Does he even listen? But my overachiever lawyer mode kicked in, “Of course I can do that.”
Then he said something that I did not believe at the time, and now will never forget. He told me that, by working with him as my coach, I would accomplish more in the next 90 days than I thought I could in a year. Well, that smacked of hubris! An entire year? Impossible! But he was right. As I write this, we are now about 120 days after that fourth call, and my whole life has changed.
Here is a partial list of the things that I accomplished in those first 90 days (JP does not like me to say “we”):
- I identified goals and objectives that belong to me, personally, covering everything from my career, to my personal life, to my health, all of which have an impact on my son;
- I broke those goals and objectives down into easily deliverable steps, which not only kept me moving forward, but also helped me organize my thoughts and time by setting priorities daily;
- I was able to have meaningful conversations with my son because I had more time and clarity, and we determined that neither of us was happy in Toronto, where we were living;
- I questioned my career choices, resulting in an analysis that convinced me that I am in the right career, but was with the wrong firm;
- Even though I was still at the wrong firm and in Toronto, I adopted and implemented practices from other professions which completely restructured the way that I work with my staff, resulting in 90% predictability in my daily work schedule (which my assistant manages), a massive improvement in productivity, team morale, and a commensurate reduction in stress;
- That freed me up to make some other changes and, in conjunction with my son, I conducted a structured search for a new home that led to a smaller community about 500 km from Toronto, laying the foundation to an amazing mother/son relationship; and
- I developed new skills under JP’s guidance that allowed me to define what I need from a firm, and to find and secure a position at a firm whose culture matches my needs in the community where my son and I chose to live.
In addition, I accomplished extraordinary personal changes that I will not share, because you really would not believe me anyway.
In the last 30 days (after that initial 90 day period) my son and I have moved into our new home in our new community. I have started working at my new firm and am teaching my new assistant to take over my schedule. I am developing my new team. Meanwhile, JP and I continue to chat regularly. I believe that every high performing human being needs a coach who will be their cheerleader and ass-kicker. I know that JP helps keep me on track. And if we could do this in 120 days, imagine what we can accomplish in a year!
Thank you if you read all of this; it feels good to share my experience. If you wonder whether JP could help you, my answer is probably – but you must first be prepared to help yourself. Many of his sayings stick with me, one of which is particularly apt, “I don’t work with just anyone. And neither should you.”
Best of luck – Jennifer