Do you agree with these statements? Your star employees:

  • Have the best business etiquette
  • Calm the crowd
  • Under promise and over deliver
  • Plan ahead and have full calendars
  • Set lofty goals
  • Regularly follow up and keep you informed
  • Are passionate and purposeful
  • Volunteer for projects
  • Are efficient with company resources
  • Get results
  • Think creatively and innovate
  • Put the client and company before themselves
  • Say thank you

I find this list is true of my employees and is also true of any professional or vendor you want to hire. As an attorney that provides a service to my clients I strive to meet each of these standards myself and mentor and train all attorneys and team members of the firm to fulfill these traits for our clients. None of this was taught in law school and it is universal good business and professionalism no matter what industry. If you are looking to hire someone or promote someone often it is these fundamental star qualities that you are looking at in making your decision. The actual skills are given. An attorney is expected to be able to use Westlaw, draft a motion, revise a contract. The attorneys that are stars are the ones I want and expect to be on my team. Those that are not can go somewhere else and practice law. I've been told that I run my firm like a business. Yes, we are a profession of lawyers, but just because we can file documents in court does that mean we shouldn't have to live up to the same business star qualities? No way. The opposite is true. It is because we are professionals that we must live up to the same star business qualities. The crazy part is this list does not even begin to touch upon what makes someone a truly great lawyer. Judge Mark Bennett spoke to the Federal Bar on March 3rd and presented on his new law review article "Eight Traits of a Great Trial Lawyer". The headings of the article include:

  • Spellbinding Raconteur
  • Grit
  • Virtuoso Cross-Examiner
  • Preparation
  • Unfailing Courtesy
  • Great Listener
  • Unsurpassed Judgment
  • Reasonableness

Who doesn't want to hire the star professional with these great qualities? Sometimes it is one amazing quality that lets an employee get off the hook on the others… for a while. For example, maybe a lawyer is a spellbinding raconteur but not a great listener and unreasonable. However, it is usually the lawyers with the best mix and the ones that play at the top in all of these areas that are regarded as great. Being great at the blend of required traits is truly what can make someone shine and stand out in the crowd that plays at the top of their game. I've been lucky enough to have some wonderful lawyer mentors in my career, and have worked on cases with lawyers that are truly great. I enjoyed listening to Judge Bennett's presentation and pledge to constantly strive to work on my own personal traits. These aren't traits that are memorized. They have to be applied and developed.

For more information and questions about incorporating professionals with star qualities in your business, contact the Goosmann Law Firm at or call 712-226-4000.

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