By Aaron Rothert
If you’ve seen even one James Bond movie, you know that he always gets his man. It’s often at the expense of colleagues, friends and even buildings, but he gets the job done. Aptly referred to as “a blunt instrument” by “M” in the movie Casino Royal, Bond once again gets his man — but has to disrupt a parade, destroy a construction site and trash an embassy to do so.
All this mayhem makes for a great movie, but how would this approach play out in real life?
If given a DISC profile, there’s no question Bond’s profile would be classified as a high “D,” which means he’s got a strong ego, the will to dominate and the drive to overcome adversity. People with this profile operate best when they have freedom from supervision and maximum control over how they achieve their results. For them, results matter more than individuals. Like Bond they often leave destruction in their wake but they’re frequently the go-to people for the toughest assignments.
The same can be said for the high “D” attorney.
Like Bond, attorneys with this profile are acutely focused on the end result. They thrive on tough assignments. Their will to win propels them to achieve great results against difficult odds, but those results often come with a little collateral damage.
When marketing themselves, for example, these attorneys are more likely to embrace new ideas, pursue potential referral sources, create large marketing events and engage in more adventurous client development activities. Since these attorneys have strong egos, they’re the best equipped to handle rejection and are usually very good at initiating social contact.
This should make them great rainmakers, right?
Maybe. These tendencies are great for creating a marketing plan, meeting new referral sources and taking on large events or projects. Unfortunately, their follow-up often falls through the cracks. This can be especially problematic in marketing as referral sources may feel rushed, then neglected as the attorney moves on to bigger and better targets. Their ego-driven approach may also make them too focused on promoting themselves to engage in true relationship-building.
Marketing requires finesse and an investment of time to build rapport with referral sources and clients. Drive and determination can cause a high “D” to appear overly aggressive and can turn off a potential referral source.
In order to counter this, attorneys who have this behavioral profile must become aware of their strengths as well as weaknesses. Once identified, these strengths can be highlighted and weaknesses can be overcome.
In addition to developing self-awareness, these attorneys can compensate for their rough approach by hiring a marketing assistant. While the attorney focuses on the end result, the marketing assistant can make sure that the fine points are not forgotten. They can focus on sending thank you notes and following up on all the little details that constantly need to be addressed to develop good referral relationships for the long run.
Instead of being a blunt instrument, attorneys with this profile can focus on toning down their aggression and adding a little finesse. With some self-awareness and a little help from their team, he or she won’t have to take down the entire embassy in pursuit of their goals. Unlike James Bond, rainmakers in real life can’t afford to leave a path of destruction in their wake.