June 8, 2023


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Trusting Your Process Regardless of the Results – Leading As Lawyers

5 min read


As a law firm, valuing the course of action illustrates a exclusive ability to lead in the midst of any circumstance.

Brady John

University of Tennessee School of Legislation, Course of 2022

Picture pitching in the bottom of the 9th inning of Activity 7 of the Environment Collection with the score tied,  bases loaded, and two outs. You throw a 93-mph slider that is completely positioned on the corner of the plate. The batter, fooled by the pitch, swings way much too early but transpires to capture the ball suitable off the stop of his bat. The ball falls just above the 1st baseman’s head, and the sport is more than. You drop the Globe Sequence. The headlines the future working day will act as if you, the pitcher, failed. Immediately after all, you gave up the sport-winning strike that price tag your team the Planet Sequence. But these a viewpoint considers only the outcome of the celebration. This “results-oriented approach” shortsightedly neglects the course of action, the position played by luck, and each other probable intervening event. 

Acquire a further example—one from soccer. It is 4th and 1 on your opponent’s 45-lawn line. You go for it and call the best engage in. But the ball carrier, properly on his way to a very first down, slips and falls an inch small of the initially down marker. You switch the ball above and continue to lose the activity. It seems to be another failure, at minimum for individuals who only treatment about the success. But, again, these a viewpoint entirely discredits other intervening occasions that aided add to this perceived “failure.” In actuality, on the other hand, every condition consists of successes that much outweigh the failure to obtain the preferred effects. 

The two examples higher than illustrate how effortlessly folks engross themselves in the result, instead than concentrating on the procedure that led to that consequence. By just flipping the effects of the two examples, the entire dynamic modifications. In the baseball illustration, if the batter fails, the pitcher is a earth champion. Likewise, in the football example, if the ballcarrier does not slip, the decision to go for the first down is genius. This shifting dynamic exposes the problem with a “results-oriented” tactic. Pure luck was the sole intervening incidence in the two examples, nevertheless it brought on the outcome to adjust drastically. The course of action in the two illustrations was audio. Just about every failure should really have been a success. 

However, our skilled world often values the final results around the method. Inside the legal community, we are inclined to amplify even even further the importance of outcomes. Significantly also generally, attorneys beat on their own up about wins and losses in the courtroom or in the negotiation of transactions. Theoretically, this emphasis on success will make sense. Benefits lead to promotions, fame, revenue, and admiration. People with the ideal and highest outcomes are inclined to be the most revered. A law firm that regularly wins cases or closes offers retains far more consumers. In flip, a lot more clients indicate additional revenue and far more benefits. 

But a leader sees appropriate through these temporal and frequently futile achievements. Leaders benefit the method in excess of the benefits. Why? Simply because getting a leader is about a great deal far more than dollars, fame, and a tally-box of situations or negotiations won and missing. Management requires demonstrating every and every single day the commitment, belief, assurance, and maturity that individuals should possess both equally in achievements and failure. Leadership, having said that, does not quantify how significantly “winning” is required or anticipated. In point, rather the contrary. Law firm-leaders comprehend that failure (as measured by outcomes) is an envisioned portion of the procedure. As demonstrated earlier mentioned, sometimes you just get unlucky, particularly in the authorized profession the place we persistently offer with numerous judges, events, and juries. Nothing at all is continuous in the regulation, which would make it extremely hard for us to demand perfection from ourselves. But what can be continuous is our solution. Trusting your course of action yields regularity amid an if not unpredictable job. 

I want to be distinct that trusting the approach does not serve as a crutch for complacency. In its place, a “process-oriented” method will help precisely in a leader’s response to a defeat. If a lawyer loses a situation or a place in a negotiation, somewhat than quickly questioning her skills and everything she experienced acquired up until eventually that level, by trusting the approach, the attorney have to have only assess the components that could have led to the unfavorable outcome. Sometimes, that reply may well only be that the substantive legislation was the selecting element. Other occasions, it could be that the law firm slipped up, missing an option to adequately address a subject in the instant. Even so, the reaction is the same. Calmness around meltdown poise in excess of stress. One undesirable consequence by no means signifies a fatal flaw in expertise or capability (or even progress planning). 

What makes trusting the process in particular challenging in the lawful subject, nevertheless, is the simple fact that we hardly ever know what triggers our defeats. Was it a fortunate swing by the opposing counsel? Was it an unfortunate slip in entrance of the first down marker? Or was the factfinder just having a negative day or a opportunity transactional husband or wife staying unreasonably obstinate? These unknowns in our career are exactly why the system issues additional than the benefits. Your method gives you a definite response. In fact, in a career with mostly randomized outcomes, the approach is your one particular constant.  

As a attorney, valuing the system illustrates a exclusive capacity to lead in the midst of any circumstance. We, as individuals, have a tendency to comply with those who maintain dignity and self-respect in the encounter of any problem. And as members of what ought to be one particular of the most prestigious and highly regarded professions, attorneys ought to initiate the movement toward “process valuing” management in each individual situation, no matter whether constructive or destructive. In so doing, it will then be much a lot easier to lie down at evening understanding you did anything you maybe could, even if the final result fails to meet up with your expectation. But if you select to value randomized success remaining mostly in the palms of some others or in the fingers of probability, then superior luck at any time obtaining any sleep.

Be a law firm-chief. In a environment described by success, choose to Trust Your Procedure.


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