Attending your first LMA Annual Conference can be overwhelming, to say the least. I had the good fortune of overhearing someone say they were heading from the airport to the conference site in Orlando, and she was gracious enough to invite me to share her cab. That person was Molly Kean, marketing and special events manager at Swanson, Martin & Bell.Molly then introduced me to Sara Kornaus, assistant director of business development and marketing at SmithAmundsen, at the conference, and the Three Amigos were formed. Sure, Molly could have taken the cab solo – and I’m confident I would have found my way to the conference site – but instead she invited me to join her.
To me, this story is illustrative of why LMA is special. The spirit of generosity, willingness to help and openness among the members that sets LMA apart – and I couldn’t be more appreciative for it.
Since Orlando, the Three Amigos have used each other as sounding boards, resources for new ideas and to share our professional and personal aspirations. Molly and Sara are both strong female leaders effecting change and driving revenue within their firms. I’m proud to not only call them my LMA colleagues, but also my friends.
My advice to our members is to take note of Molly’s action. Have the courage to engage with another member you don’t know or share your passions with someone. A cab ride or a sparked conversation might be the start of one of your most meaningful, professional and personal connections.
I’ve paid those connections forward by getting more involved in LMA as a volunteer and leader.
I had the honor of serving as an LMA International Your Honors Awards judge back in 2016. During our judges retreat I shared that I was passionate about diversity and inclusion. At that time, a task force was being formed to tackle diversity and inclusion, and someone threw my hat into the ring because of the conversation I had. This ultimately led to me to co-chair LMA’s 2018-2019 Diversity & Inclusion Committee — my first leadership position within LMA.
As you think about signing up for an event in your region or how you might get the most out of the 2020 LMA Annual Conference, consider this four-step action plan:
- Identify clear objectives. Consider the following questions: Who do I want to meet? What do I want to accomplish? What do I want to learn? How can I get more involved?
- Be confident and curious. In light of your identified objectives, have the confidence to direct the conversation by asking questions to help you achieve your goals.
- Share your key messages. Be prepared to talk about your passions and how you can contribute to LMA.
- Plan for the next step. Walk away from the event or conference with an action item to follow up with the person(s) with whom you connect.
Holly Barocio is a senior consultant with GrowthPlay and a 2019 co-chair of the LMA’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee. Holly helps lawyers leverage their natural business development strengths and find authentic approaches to improve their sales performance. With more than 14 years of legal industry experience, Holly has partnered with numerous AmLaw 100 and 200 firms and regional mid-size firms to help lawyers master business development fundamentals. Prior to joining GrowthPlay, Holly was the head of marketing and client services for a Chicago-based law firm, where she led initiatives around new business development, attorney coaching and client service interviews.
When she’s not coaching lawyers, you can find Holly on an ice rink or dek playing hockey. She is most excited about representing the United States in the 2020 World Ball Hockey Championships in the Czech Republic in June.