I coach a number of lawyers in the mid to senior associate category. Despite success as associates, they often realize that they still hold themselves back by thinking of themselves first as associates, rather than as lawyers or, more specifically, as someone’s lawyer. This self image affects how they interact with more senior lawyers and partners, and with clients and potential clients. It also often influences how those people see them and treat them.

I’ve seen miraculous things start to happen when these associates make the conceptual shift to a bigger vision for themselves. I’ve seen it happening again this week. When they start to act more like lawyers than associates, they’ve started to receive more responsibility and get more respect. They’ve gotten better work. They’ve started developing ideas and working towards a focus in their practice. They’re strengthening relationships with their colleagues and clients, and building relationships with potential clients.

When you step into a bigger vision for yourself, you start taking control of your career. What’s there not to like about that?

I talked with another potential client in this demographic this week. I hope he looks in the mirror and sees what I see for him.