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Episode 025 – Baylor Hoops Radio Analyst, Attorney and Business Development Consultant Pat Nunley

Posted on Nov 28, 2016 by in Podcast Episode | 0 comments


Pat talks about EQ v. IQ, a modified golden rule and how to maximize your time.


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Today our guest is a former Baylor men’s basketball player, the current radio color commentator, an attorney and a partner with Athens Partners.

After 25 years of practicing law, Pat thought he would try his hand at something challenging, and since leaving his law practice in 2009 has worked with professional services firms as a business development consultant and coach.


  1. Important issues first: can you give us a lay of the land when it comes to Big 12 basketball this year?
    1. As usual, Kansas leads the way
    2. Three new coaches in the league – Jamie Dixon/TCU, Chris Beard/Texas Tech and Brad Underwood/Oklahoma State
    3. Lost three great players – Buddy Hield/Oklahoma, Georges Niang/Iowa State and Perry Ellis/Kansas
  2. Why don’t you take a few minutes and take our audience into your journey, and in particular how you wound up doing the coaching of professionals you do today.
    1. Played basketball at Baylor
    2. Law school at Baylor; clerked for the largest central Texas law firm, Naman Howell Smith & Lee
    3. After 25 years of a great experience, was ready for a new challenge
    4. Always felt client development, working with teams, mentoring young lawyers were the things he was best at
  3. What is Athens Partners?
    1. Growth consultants
    2. Work with professional services firms (accountants, lawyers, etc.) to help them embrace selling as helping
  4. Let’s go back a bit and I want to ask you to recount maybe one or two leadership lessons you learned as a student-athlete at Baylor that you feel has application today.
    1. Leadership matters – lots of people are good, and often the differentiator is leadership
    2. Focus wins – Nobody has enough time, and you have to focus
    3. Effectiveness – you don’t have to be domineering or in others’ faces, but effective through strength and competent performance
  5. Law firms are not unlike many professional services (doctors, dentists) in terms of the way they are sometimes mis-managed or not managed at all. What were your observations of how leadership manifested itself (or not) in the legal field?
    1. Lawyers are generally siloed and not usually wired to be team players
    2. But growth is a team sport; you can’t grow the way a firm needs/wants to grow if everyone is doing their own thing
    3. Book – Herding Cats
    4. Firms that are well led put teams together and invest in growth
    5. Cutting costs are more an exercise in hygiene than health
  6. You have created and helped implement coaching and facilitation tools that help clients define their message and goals, and create a roadmap for pursuing them. Can you take us into what that looks like?
    1. They work with high performers
    2. However, they don’t think much about the future
    3. Help them think down the road a couple of years and to put plan in place to build the way there
    4. Lawyers are reactive, which is needed many times in the practice of law, but it doesn’t serve them well when it comes to growing their practice
    5. (Daniel) Refers back to Ryan Hansen in episode 12 and the idea of working “on” your business versus “in” your business, and how you have to make time for the “on.”
    6. Coach Drew has rebuilt the program based on focus and knowing where they are going
  7. We have a number of young professionals who listen to the show; what is your advice to them about how they can position themselves for leadership opportunities?
    1. Make it known that they want leadership opportunities
    2. As a partner, Pat appreciates younger associates who want to make an impact
    3. Be trustworthy; you cannot lead if you can’t be trusted; this includes being effective
    4. EQ rather than IQ – ability to perceive assess and manage the emotions of others and yourself
    5. Books – Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goman
      1. Importance of EQ v. IQ in the workplace; 66 to 34; for leaders it’s 85 to 15
      2. Campbell Law School Dean Melissa Essary book recommendations
        1. The Language of Emotional Intelligence: The Five Essential Tools for Building Powerful and Effective Relationships by Jeanne Segal
        2. Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age by Sherry Turkle
        3. Performing Under Pressure: The Science of Doing Your Best When It Matters Most by Hendrie Weisinger
      3. Integrity: The Courage to Meet the Demands of Reality by Dr. Henry Cloud
    6. Work on yourselves (can be your version of working on the business when you aren’t in management positions yet)
    7. We best demonstrate our qualifications by the questions we ask rather than the answers we give
  8. Over the years you have no doubt recruited and hired, as well as counseled others in their recruiting and hiring; what are some of the keys you’ve seen from candidates both to do and not to do.
    1. Be curious – interviews are two party discussions not a one way street
    2. Most of the time candidates are at the interview if they are capable, and the interview is to consider alignment/fit
    3. What is your “Why”? – check out Simon Sinek Ted Talk and his books
    4. Don’t be nervous
    5. Don’t try to be someone else
    6. Don’t try so hard to make an impression that it isn’t genuine
  9. When you coach individual professionals, what are the one or two things they tend to struggle with the most, and what are some of the tools you provide them to progress toward their goals?
    1. Biggest struggle is time
      1. Anything that’s not billable they struggle with
      2. Tools: help with focus; have good ROI
        1. For professionals in mid-career, there are 15-20 relationships that account for 80% of success/growth
        2. Who are those 15-20? Focus there and not on chamber meetings, etc. that you don’t have time for
      3. Next struggle is not wanting to “sell”
      4. Can’t outperform your self-image (which often prevents them from being focused outward and on the future)
  10. As leaders we all make mistakes. Can you recall a leadership mistake you have made, and what you learned from it?
    1. Myth is that the Golden Rule applies
    2. The truism is to treat people the way THEY want to be treated
    3. This is work and takes time to engage someone around how they want to be treated
    4. Example of a time he was mentoring a young associate, and never understood that the associates’ goal wasn’t just maximizing the bottom line or making partner, but rather to develop relationships. Once that became apparent, Pat adjusted his mentorship to meet the associate at the place of need and desire.
    5. Managing is not leading, and leading is not managing (Pat was managing in the example above rather than leading him)
  11. How, if at all, do you see leadership differing when it comes to our roles in the community, our families, etc., as opposed to our workplace?
    1. Don’t see a whole lot of difference
    2. Leadership is an attitude and a mindset
    3. Comes out through engagement, impact, action
  12. What habits or productivity tools have been key to your success?
    1. Structures
    2. Not process or check the box, but something that keeps you focused
    3. Team meetings are important, and must be done well – deep communication
    4. Quiet time to get recharge
  13. Where can people go to learn more about you and Athens Partners?

Thank Yous/Acknowledgements:

  1. Antioch Live/Clear Day Media Groupmusic
    1. More here.
  2. Jonathan Davis – production
  3. Clint Musslewhite voice over


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