M(erger) – Minus 21 Days: My mind is racing

I feel like I am being hit from all directions: the merger integration; regular work that still needs to get done; Girl Scouts; HOA; my family. Kid #2’s cell phone just died … perfect timing with the new iPhones coming out this week. It’s like it knew ….

My head was just racing last night when I got home from work. I am not overwhelmed; I’m just on all the time. The yoga mat seems to be the only place where I can catch a break. It got so bad last night that I even caught up with the Kardashians to try and kill some brain cells. I ended up staying awake well past my bedtime, which allowed me to enjoy the Baker Hostetler skit on The Tonight Show live. I still think Jay’s Mofo attorney skit was better.

I think today I will shut my office door. Get done what I can get done. And go fill up spiritually after work.

So, what’s on tap today?

  • Got my homework assignment for the leadership class in by COB, Chicago time.
  • Sending attorney stats to Chicago. Time to start updating the numbers.
  • A splint and several hours later and we’re home. Time to log in via my iPad. I really need a new laptop.
  • Need to get up to SFO to meet the partners up there. Where to find the time?
  • Kid #1 just twisted her ankle at school. I can’t make this sh** up. Off to the ER we go.
  • Need to find out: do we pay this 2015 conference sponsorship invoice now, or wait until after the merger? What is the policy on approvals? Guess budget time is coming up ASAP.
  • Need to meet with Bob to review his ideas for the new collateral piece.
  • Got Marty’s edits back. We’re off to the races.

Thanks to everyone who asked about kid #1. Bad sprain, but it’s in her growth plate area, which is starting to fuse, so we need the pediatric orthopedic to check it out. Of course they are at a conference this week, and fully booked next week. But I’m sure I’ll persuade someone to see her ASAP. I just never take no for an answer when I know there has to be a work-around.

And perhaps that’s the tip for the day. Don’t take “no” or silence as an answer when you know there is a “yes” or a response that can be made.

M(erger) – Minus 22 Days: Can’t a girl catch a break around here?

I went to bed last night so confused. It felt like Wednesday, but, no, it was only Monday night. Something tells me this is going to be a long week. Not only do we have to integrate the two firms, but I have homework for my leadership class (assignment due tomorrow), and I found out last night that my Girl Scout neighborhood treasury job just doubled my work load.Yeah to being a volunteer.

Seriously. Can’t a girl catch a break around here? Oh, and it’s Babe Ruth Bobble-head night at Dodger Stadium. I really want to go, but it’s a school night. The Sports Dude will be working the game. It feels like I haven’t seen him awake in a week  … thank goodness the team hits the road for about 10 days starting tomorrow. We’re actually going to catch them at Wrigley Stadium next week. Go Blue!

So here we go. Twenty-two more days until the merger. What’s on tap today?

  • Yikes. Can’t believe it’s been that long since I updated that brochure. Well, nothing like merging to get you to update some of your older collateral pieces.
  • Homework assignment (write my eulogy) done.
  • Need to figure out how travel and expenses will work as of October 1.
  • Booking flights for my October travel.
  • Yoga. From the cramped muscles I have right now, I need more yoga, not less.
  • Where is Marty? I need him to sign off on his project.
  • Wonder what my new title is going to be?
  • Time to put the new tagline to bed and get the new collateral and business cards to print.
  • Need to integrate the two employment law blogs. Time to bring some more teams together.
  • Need to pull our diversity stats for the overall firm report. Luckily, I do have that … just need to update.
  • Met with my counterpart from the other firm on new materials for joint client visits. Need to get him our collateral on the group so we can create a new piece.

Tip: Before merging documents clean them up. Now’s the time to update the numbers, information, representative cases, etc. It’s also a great time to clean out your files. Dump the old and stale.

M(erger) – Minus 23 Days: Time to start integrating

I seriously need a 3-day weekend every weekend. But, here it is, a rainy, hot, humid day in L.A. Who in L.A. has a work wardrobe for this? Oh, well, quality problems.

It’s Monday, and we have three weeks and two days until the merger goes live. So here’s what things look like here. (oh, if I didn’t say so, the bullets are in reverse order. The bottom bullet was the first thing I did today.)

  • OMG. I think I finished Marty’s project.
  • Another new project — BD this time — time to prep some materials and go out and meet the clients.
  • Need to update logos for conferences we’re sponsoring next year.
  • Nothing like a new project. Figured out a mailing we can send to Marty’s mailing list for October 1. Staying top of mind!
  • Just got our next assignments from LexisNexis for the California Insurance Law & Practice chapters. Great project to coordinate with attorneys from both firms.
  • Yeah, still not finished with Marty’s project. But getting there.

Look at that. 4:58 and I think I am done for the day, which is good as I have to head off to the Girl Scout Leader’s meeting. Yeah. We’ll be selling stuff soon. Can I interest you in some dark chocolate, salted caramel candies?

Tip: Look for projects that you normally do and rather then team attorneys up down the hall, team attorneys up from the two merging firms. Great way to spread the work, and build new relationships.

 

The best business advice I ever got, I got from Joan Rivers

Farewell Joan, from this "Joan Ranger"

Farewell Joan, from this “Joan Ranger”

I was so sad yesterday at the passing of Joan Rivers. I remember listening to her comedy albums (yeah, I’m that old) in high school and laughing at jokes that I could relate to — “slide down please” — because they were directed at me, a girl.

I’ve written before about the worst advice I ever got — “Do a good job, Heather, and they will notice you” — which resulted in me being overlooked for a promotion. Needless to say, this lead me to becoming very proactive marketing me in my career.

I read this essay by Ms. Rivers today, Joan Rivers: Why Johnny Carson “Never Ever Spoke to Me Again,” and I got it: Continue reading

M(erger)-minus 26 days: It’s Friday!

It’s Friday. A full week and a day since the vote. I’m starting to look at my decisions with October 1 in mind and the impact they will have. And the questions keep coming:

How will we do this or that? Do we need approval to do this? How do we get approval? Will we get this, or have that by October 1? When will this shift over to the new system? And whose system for what? And do they wear jeans on Friday?

So many questions. But it’s Friday.

  • Just invited myself to lunch over at the Hinshaw West LA office. Wow. We’re going to have fun. Lots of good energy and excitement.
  • Really am going to finish Marty’s project today. Really.
  • More bios to update.
  • Extend my October LMA Leaders’ Conference trip to include time in the Chicago office. Time to start meeting people.

Tip: Don’t wait to be invited to attorney events. Invite yourself and go. They not only want you there, they need you there. They just might realize it. This is not the time to be shy.

M(erger)-minus 27 days: Have you seen my normal?

A week ago today we were scrambling in preparation of the merger vote to take place that afternoon in both firms.

Today I think we’re all looking for our normal. New normal. Old normal. The familiar. What’s going to stay the same? What’s changing? What’s my new email address and will the old one still work? We need new key cards. Can I finally get a new picture for my key card? Better yet, can I just use my current portrait? My hair looks really good there.

On tap for today:

  • Going.To.Finish.Marty’s.Project.
  • Bios. Bios. Bios. Yes, they are responding.
  • Going to be formally introduced to the marketing team at Hinshaw. It’s been since my Pillsbury days that I was a part of a full “team.” I am definitely looking forward to this.

Just got a text from the kid. Off to urgent care we go.

Update: Acute bronchial spasm. She’s fine. And there just really is never a dull moment, is there?

M(erger)-minus 28 days: What now?

The announcements, press releases, and blogs posts are all out on the merger.

Calls are coming in from clients, reporters, and friends (really, folks, we are not moving to Chicago, and my job status is fine).

So what to do today now that things have calmed down a bit? I mean, besides the “work as usual” work.

  • Send memo to attorneys to update bios now, don’t wait until they are uploaded to Hinshaw website.
  • Checking stats, and tracking media stories.
  • Cleaning my desk of all Phase 1 (per-announcement) projects.
  • Setting up my Phase 2 (announcement to October 1) projects.
  • Cleaning out my in-box, and updating my “Get it Done” lists. What fell threw the cracks?
  • Bringing Marty’s project from the back-burner back to the front.

Other then that? Lawyers want to practice law, and this marketer wants to start marketing. But first things first. Finish Marty’s project. Oh, and write a blog post on something other than the merger. Ack. My leadership class. I have homework. And yoga. I am not missing yoga today.

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