Identifying The Success Puzzle with John Terhune

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In this week’s episode of The Law Practice Doctor, Sam Gaylord interviews John Terhune, who is a lawyer, author, entrepreneur, and speaker. John shared the stage with Ronald Reagan, Gerald Ford, and Norman Schwarzkopf, and during his speaking experiences discovered there are four critical pieces to the ‘success puzzle.’


Main Questions Asked: 

  • What are the critical pieces to someone’s success?


Key Lessons Learned:

 Lessons from John 

  • Practicing law is all about solving problems. Identify the problem with great clarity. Identify the solution. Get on to the next problem.
  • As a trial lawyer, you are a salesman that sells to the jury the interpretation of the facts that have come out.
  • It doesn’t matter how good your facts are; it’s all about the people sitting in the jury box.
  • John was less concerned with the jury remembering the fact than he was with them remembering the ‘word painting.’


4 Critical Pieces to Success 

  1. Attitude
  • This transcends every single thing you do.
  • People tend to buy from people they like.
  • Set the template for a great attitude, and don’t let it be determined by what is or isn’t going well.
  • Let people know you are a friendly person.
  • People like to go into an environment that is positive and consistent.
  • Your attitude in your private life will always drive your attitude in your professional life.
  • Make this a priority, and be in a constant state of development to get better.


  1. People Skills
  • Most lawyers are arrogant.
  • When you combine a great attitude with great people skills, you are in a good situation.
  • The common people in the courtroom are the ones who can do an enormous amount of good for lawyers.
  • If you don’t have great people skills, this can be learned.


  1. Leadership
  • This is a responsibility of anyone who has graduated from law school, and is 30{cf5d02f31badde63b68d55c0bed56ab5356094abc2057734bc0088249d8536d3} people skills and 70{cf5d02f31badde63b68d55c0bed56ab5356094abc2057734bc0088249d8536d3} attitude.
  • One of the most attractive characteristics of a great leader is someone who is humble.
  • Humility is an outward expression of inward confidence.
  • Leadership is about modeling the right behavior, language, and attitude for people.


  1. Team Work
  • Everyone needs to be rowing in the same direction and working as part of the team.


People First International


  • The likelihood of your entire workforce being fully engaged is about 30{cf5d02f31badde63b68d55c0bed56ab5356094abc2057734bc0088249d8536d3}.
  • 50{cf5d02f31badde63b68d55c0bed56ab5356094abc2057734bc0088249d8536d3} are disengaged and going through the motions to get a paycheck
  • 20{cf5d02f31badde63b68d55c0bed56ab5356094abc2057734bc0088249d8536d3} are actively disengaged, and it disrupts the workplace.
  • The organization teaches companies how to create an environment in their workplace where the number one resource is the people who work for them.



  • People First International transforms the culture of the businesses and trains leadership.
  • You don’t have to be in a leadership position to be a leader.
  • Leadership isn’t about position; it is about attitude.


Final Advice 

  • Living a life inspired by goals, dreams, and ambitions change the dynamics of who you are and what you bring to life.
  • As a person, you show up very differently if you are acting out of inspiration.
  • Find something in your life that inspires you, and throw your whole self into it. You will impact more people and have a legacy that is far beyond simply going through the motions and making a living in life.

Thank you for listening! If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe and leave a 5 star rating and review in iTunes!


Links to Resources Mentioned: 

Enhanced People Skills (book)

People First International  

John Terhune


Click To Tweet:

What are the 4 critical pieces to success? Find out w/ @JJTerhune @gaylordpoppllc

 What is the truth about leadership? Find out w/ @JJTerhune @gaylordpoppllc

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