Career Lessons You Won’t Forget

One of the most interesting sessions at the LMA Texas Conference, held November 6-7 in Dallas, was a group of seasoned professionals sharing “Career Lessons You Won’t Forget.” The panel imparted some of the most important career lessons they’ve learned over the years. Much of the personal advice consisted not only of great teaching examples stemming from years of experience, but life values that many of us should be reminded of. Among the most interesting takeaways:

  • Passion is key to success. As Steve Jobs said, “If you don’t love it, you will give up.”
  • Don’t burn your bridges. No matter what the situation, you should never burn your bridges because you never know if and when you will revisit that bridge.
  • Throw a pity party for 24 hours, but then move on. We all make mistakes, and we often get upset over our mistakes. One of the panel members shared that if you make a mistake, you are allowed to throw a pity party. You can invite people, cry over it, eat cake, whatever you like to do at your pity party, but it’s only allowed to last one day. After the day is over, learn from your mistake and move on.
  • Loyalty is really good, but can be blinding. Loyalty is a great quality to have, but sometimes it can blind us in our decision-making. Don’t make costly or wrong decisions because you are too loyal.
  • If someone really sucks at their job, fire them. You gave them an opportunity, so it’s up to them.
  • Pay it forward. Always be the bigger person and pay generosity forward.
  • Never take a job for the money. Enough said.
  • Lawyers are paid to find problems and mistakes. In working with lawyers, you have to keep this in mind. Oftentimes, lawyers can be ultra-critical or difficult. Remember they are paid to be this way. Treat everyone differently, because everyone is different. Don’t let the head-butt moment define the relationship.
  • Play the ball where the monkey drops it. In India, when the first golf course was built they had an issue with monkeys constantly picking up the golf balls. They tried everything to keep the monkeys off the courses – road blocks, gates, etc. Unfortunately, nothing could keep them out. Instead, they decided to change the rules of the game: play the ball where the monkey drops it. Sometimes in life, you have to change the rules.

Panel members included: Catherine Austin, Chief Marketing Officer with Norton Rose Fulbright; Allen Fuqua, Chief Marketing Officer with Winstead PC; Deborah Grabein, Director of Business Development with Andrews Kurth LLP; Paul Grabowski, Chief Marketing Officer with Bracewell & Giuliani LLP; and moderator Eric Fletcher, Chief Marketing & Business Development Officer with Liskow & Lewis.

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