Episode 23 – “Why Every Lawyer Needs a Great Peer Network, with James Millar”

Episode 23 of Legal Marketing Radio, “Why Every Lawyer Needs a Great Peer Network, with James Millar,” is available now via SoundCloud and iTunes! You can use the player below to listen here, or you can visit our SoundCloud page or the iTunes store to download and subscribe to the podcast.

Legal Marketing Radio is a podcast that covers legal marketing tips and strategies (courtesy of the team at LaFleur and special guests) as well as news, trends, and cutting-edge innovations in the overlapping worlds of legal, digital, and content marketing.

Our guest in this month’s episode is James Millar. James is the founder of Skybridge Associates, a company that specializes in developing executive networks, and the author of the new book “Building Bridges: The Case for Executive Peer Networks.” James joined us on the show to share the insights he’s gathered over years of fostering connections between executives and to explain the irreplaceable value of an intentionally-designed peer network.

Networks, Not Networking

James Millar came up with the idea for his new book “Building Bridges” in a moment of epiphany: he was standing with an attorney colleague looking out at the Manhattan skyline when he realized that every building was filled with professionals who could benefit from the innovations and insights that executive peer networks can deliver. The first part of James’ book outlines 8 core principles that everyone should consider when designing a peer network, and the second delves into practical instructions that can help you design and build your network. Along the way, James distinguishes between networking, the verb (shallow, transactional interactions that deliver little value) and the kind of robust, substantive networks that attorneys and other professionals can build if they approach the process with the right mindset.

Lawyers especially can benefit from executive peer networks to inform their understanding of the important factors that affect and even define their practices, including:

  • External factors (regulations, legal/commercial shifts, market trends)
  • Internal factors (company policies, practices, cultural norms)
  • Personal and professional factors (career path, leadership development, building a team, work-life balance)

In addition to those advantages, attorney can benefit from peer networks by:

  • Gaining visibility into their clients’ needs beyond the narrow scope of a particular legal engagement. As a fly on the wall, attorneys can start to understand the issues their clients really care about (i.e., the 90% of their clients’ day that is “below the waterline,” to draw on the classic iceberg metaphor).
  • Using an executive peer network as a way to spend time with important clients in a non-transactional setting. This sends a subtle but unmistakable message to clients: we have your back, and we want to support your agenda, not ours.

We hope you enjoy the show, and don’t forget to check back next month for another new episode!