If you work for yourself or work at a firm that is not receptive to providing the support as per above, you will have to take the initiative and take matters into your own hands. Larry’s got some good suggestions for getting started (business development mentors, speaking opportunities, including women on pitches to clients, time devoted to biz development and money for speaking and training). And most of these tips apply to men and women equally.
The issue is, of course, relevant to women mediators, particularly those who want to mediate high end commercial disputes.
You know what they say, it takes just as much work to land a small case (client) as it does a large one, so aim high.
There is a new generation of women lawyers who understand that united we stand. Women helping other women get ahead and connecting. I am on the board of the newly revitalized New Jersey Women Lawyers Association which is full of women with this mindset.
In the past, many women thought the only way to get ahead in the legal or other old boy school arenas was to adopt a male tough guy persona and dare I say, often disparaged other women (albeit not directly). Or perhaps they were disinclined to help other women or saw them as direct competition for limited resources. Or perhaps the only way they saw to get ahead was to use their feminine wiles to partner up with a powerful male.
It’s a new day. Yes, there is still a long way to go but yes we have come a long way baby.
And becoming a rainmaker in your own right is a path to get there. Do excellent work yes! And, become a rainmaker — those who make the gold can make the rules.
As one lawyer quoted in Larry’s article stated women are good at forming relationships. Rainmaking is all about forming connections and relationships.
Staying in touch and providing service. As I am reconnecting with my former law colleagues (geez I’ve worked at 4 different law firms) and law classmates, I am having a ball.
I’m starting with the warm contacts. People that I knew and liked in connection with our prior association. Find out about what they are up to and see if there is a connection you can make for them or some way that you can help them. No pressure, just friends helping friends out.
As Ford Harding found out in his interviews with over 300 rainmakers, “you never know where the next piece of business is going to come from.” Indeed, not only can it be great fun connecting with people who have crossed your path, eventually business will come of it. The key is to provide value and be sincere. Be a helper.
Not only is the law of reciprocity invoked, it feels good. Grow your network. Women help other women.
I just found out I’ve been assigned a mentor at my new firm. Should be interesting. Be a mentor to others.
NEVER GIVE UP!
p.s. On my to do list is following up with mediations that either are not yet converted from leads to bookings or were not yet ripe for mediation. How about you? Remember to follow up with your leads and referrals. More soon on how to follow up and how much.