Why were my marks low? Oh because the teacher was partial. Because my roommate does not sleep at night and it disturbs my sleep. Blah blah.
Why aren’t you going to the gym or working out? Because I am too busy. Because my maid didn’t come. Blah blah. All valid reasons. But no reasons are good enough for failure.
Most people do not get this. They think valid reason + failure is equal to success. I am sorry, it is not. Otherwise, we will all be successful, rich, healthy and happy. It would be so easy.
The breakthrough happens when you stop giving those reasons. My advocate where I interned at his chamber once asked me: why did you come late? I said I do not want to offer any excuse. I got late, I apologize, and you will not see me late again.
That was it.
How does it matter why I was late? Does any client care? Does the firm care? If the firm fails to pay my full salary, whatever the excuse, will I accept it?
Successful people do not give and do not accept any excuses for less than desirable results.
It is a major turning point when you stop thinking of the world in terms of excuses and start thinking about what you can do to get the results that you want given the circumstances.
Yes, things are screwed up. They will always be. What can we do given the circumstances?
You will not be hired and paid to give reasons as to why things do not work. There are enough life-long experts who can do that for free for us, and even then we want to keep them outside the building. I am sure you know a few such people. Do you want to increase their crowd or do you want to be the person who is called in the direst of situations to rescue everything?
A great lawyer can handle all adverse situations dexterously and save the day. That is why they are paid the big bucks.
Are you part of the solution? Are you part of the problem? Or are you a passive human being sitting on your ass and pointing finger at things?
Results transform when you take responsibility for the outcome.
Just think of the CEO of a big, listed company. He has to deliver results no matter what, every quarter. He can’t say that other people messed up. He can’t say government changed policies. He can’t say that the market is down. He has to deliver no matter what, and he relies on thousands of unpredictable people, processes and market conditions.
He has to give a financial projection of growth at the beginning of every quarter, and then meet that projection or even exceed it no matter what else happens, or his job is in the line.
What can he do to still deliver the projected growth? The first thing is to take responsibility of the outcome.
Many people are ready to take responsibility for their effort, but not for results. They will typically say, I will do my best. Sorry, as a lawyer you will not get hired for trying your best. It is not enough.
You need to say “don’t worry, I am here now. I will take care of it.” Maybe you don’t know yet what is to be done. No problem, please go figure it out and get it done.
But if you can’t say “don’t worry, I will get it done, it’s my responsibility now,” you will remain a puny, insignificant and irrelevant player always.
And that is why you must arm yourself to the teeth. That is why lawyers have to learn all their life. That is why you need to constantly upgrade yourself.
We have a few courses that lawyers use to upgrade themselves, engage their intellectual side and develop a strategic brain.