There is much talk about how competitive the legal market has become. And this reminds me of an old Chinese proverb: “He who doesn’t turn runs far. “

In track and field events, the coach tells you to look at the tape in front of you, not who is behind you. Likewise, in running your law practice, do the best you can, focus on your skills (and improve them), on the efficiency and cost of delivering your legal services (use technology to improve your efficiency) … and, of course, on your clients and their needs (and wants). Then, you will have given it (your profession) your best shot.

John Wooden said, “The scoreboard? Championships? A sales quota? The bottom line? As goals, predictions, hopes, or dreams to be sealed up (in an envelope) and filed away, fine. But, as a day to day preoccupation they’re a waste of time, stealing attention and effort from the present and squandering it on the future. You control the former, not the latter.

“An organization – a team – that’s always looking up at the scoreboard will find a worthy opponent stealing the ball right out from under you….” Coach seldom scouted the opposition, focusing instead on what needed to be done to improve his team and prepare them to be the best they could be.