I first heard this term, having the right amount of audacity and humility, last weekend as I attended my son, Drew’s final comps in film. He is graduating in May from Occidental College in Los Angeles, California with a Bachelor of Arts in Film. As a requirement of graduation he had to create an original film. His first idea was shot down by his professor and Drew was less then pleased. His second attempt was accepted and he did a beautiful job. Ok well maybe I am prejudice, but it was placed last in the order of films to be viewed and I’d like to think it was because they saved the best for last (proud parent interpretation!)
At a little cocktail party before the film premier started, I had the opportunity to speak with Drew’s professor. Professor Broderick Fox said to me, “Drew is the right balance of audacity and humility.” He went on to explain that Drew took criticism well, learned from his mistakes, stood his ground when he felt he was right which resulted in a product the entire film department was proud of. Professor Fox recommended Drew’s film for an award in the student division of the British Film Academy (BAFTA).
As my husband and I proudly stood there, I realized this comment had much more meaning to me then just a nice comment about my son. He had learned something so valuable. As our careers re-zoom, we have to have a great deal of audacity to enter a room full of practicing attorneys, partners and corporate big shots and speak about what we do. We always have humility, in spades and sometimes, to our detriment. Audacity is something we re-zoomers need to gain, regain and exude in proper measure with the humility we bring in buckets full. It is that part of us that lights up a room, attracts people to us for ongoing discussions about our services, or that leads to affiliations we can use in our practice.
How do we get the right amount of Audacious Humility?
By trial and error I presume. When we miss a client opportunity to another equally qualified attorney we should examine how we offered our services. Did we seem tentative? Was our message clear? Was our 15-second pitch pithy and welcoming? Have we branded ourselves in a way that speaks to our strengths as a ‘must have’ person in their corner? If we are not as clear and welcoming as another, maybe we have to amp up our audacity. If we are too full of ourselves and didn’t listen to the clients needs in a meaningful way, perhaps we need to add a dash of humility.
In the end, having audacious humility means finding the perfect blend of our rezooming expertise. Get out there and put your life experience to work, learn from your mistakes, take correction well and stand your ground when you feel you are right.
In the perfect world, your colleagues will refer to you as Professor Fox referred to my son Drew, “the perfect blend of audacity and humility.” You have to be out there to practice it. Rezoomers get the heck out there and have Audacious Humility.
All opinions, advice, and experiences of guest bloggers/columnists are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, practices or experiences of Solo Practice University®.