It Isn’t About You

Trial by Nature #6 - Tips to Survival in the Courtroom

Dingoes are dogs with serious organizational talent. These K-9s employ strategic teamwork to catch prey.

In one hunting technique, some of the dogs to serve as “chasers.”

The chasers are selected by the pack in advance and are the smaller, faster animals. The chasers startle prey (usually in herds) to incite widespread panic. They drive the herd towards other team members who serve as “hiders.” Hiders conceal themselves in the brush, waiting for the chasers to direct prey toward them. The hiders are larger and slower, but immensely powerful. Surprising the prey during the stampede, the hiders initiate the debilitating bite. Once a takedown occurs, the pack swoops in to support the kill. The entire team shares the feast.

These pups have some good trial reminders. For one, “the kill” isn’t possible without a team. Planning and organization in advance contribute to the success of the team. Each member is cognizant of their role and mindful of the big picture.

Like the Dingo, great trial teams identify, cultivate and potentiate individual talent. Each member is aware of, and accountable for, their own responsibilities. Strategy is well-planned and practiced. These elements are undeniable predicates to long-term success.

The most critical component of the sustained prosperity of the Dingo pack is EVERY TEAM MEMBER participates in the reward of a productive hunt – not just the pack leader. Recognition of each team member generates incentive, pride in the team and a feeling of personal achievement. The team looks forward to its next victory with enthusiasm. The pack consistently gets better and better with experience.

You may be the pack leader in your firm. You might be the most talented lawyer ever. I’m sure you are really great. Whatever.

Like it or not, here’s the real truth — no matter how essential you are, I promise you didn’t get there alone. In fact, I swear it.

There is little more valuable in the courtroom than an energetic, motivated team supporting your client’s cause. Never forget to recognize all involved in a good result. When it is always about the “pack leader” and not the pack itself, the prophecy is self-fulfilling. Inevitably, the “pack leader” becomes a lone wolf.

Other Articles in the Series

Trial by Nature Tip #10 – Guard Your Egg

We are responsible for ensuring the survival of our young lawyers. I cannot name one successful trial lawyer who did not receive coaching and mentoring from a more seasoned veteran. If you are one of the successful attorneys, by all means, “pay it forward.”

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