Emmitt Smith said that in his August 7, 2010 Football Hall of Fame induction speech.
I don’t love football, but I do like the Dallas Cowboys – most seasons. I typically wouldn’t hunt for legal marketing/management metaphors on a sports channel in the fall of any year. But I think the life lessons Emmitt learned on and off the field (and that he shared on Saturday) are simple, practical and can apply to what we as legal marketers do every day. Emmitt spoke of consistency. And balance. And he went on to say:
So – legal marketers, from the most junior in your department to the Chief Marketing Officer, take Emmitt’s advice. You define the contribution you can make, you approach your role and responsibilities with consistency, you set and reach your high goals and standards, you define yourself.
I was inducted into the Legal Marketing Hall of Fame in 2008, as a member of the second class. Now, in 2010, there are only 14 Legal Marketing Hall of Fame inductees. It’s an enormous honor in our profession and among the 3,500-plus “registered” legal marketers. When I became a fulltime member of this profession in 1987, I wish someone would have given me the advice that I use as today’s blog post title.
Here is what I have learned all these years later: It’s lazy to let others define you. I challenge you to engage in the hardest work any professional faces: you define the mark you want to make on your world.