Revisiting the Three Laws of Performance

I’m a huge fan of the Three Laws of Performance, by Dave Logan and Steve Zaffron. It deals with what it takes to create sustainable change, and has lessons that apply to both individuals and institutions.

Let’s put this in context.  The three laws are set against the backdrop of what the authors refer to as our “default future,” the product of a complex set of variables inside us, or inside our organizations.  Examining that default is valuable, as it identifies opportunities for change or (better) improvement.  Application of the three laws helps us figure out how to get there.
The first law:  how people perform correlates to how situations occur to them.  It answers questions about “why people do what they do.”  Reflection on this alone can be transformative, considering research on our ability to “rewire” our own brains.
The second law:  how situations occur to people arises in language (verbal and non verbal).  It offers us insight as to “how we improve.”
The third law:  Language that is future-based, or “generative,” transforms how situations occur to people.  When we use generative language, we transform and shape the future, as opposed to simply describing what is occurring or has occurred in the past and predicting the future.
Three Laws has excellent examples to illustrate its theory and some hard acquired research to support it.  Here at the law factory, we’re using the Three Laws to build a law practice that authentically supports the advancement and achievement of our clients.  Just making that statement changes how we approach new clients, and how we counsel them.  Staying true to that sometimes requires us to make some tough choices, such as not taking on matters that are not within the firm’s four core offerings of business counsel, commercial litigation, mediation and family law.  Or adding people who share the essential value of supporting the advancement and achievement of others.
Putting the three laws on your radar seems transformative in and of itself; people thereafter tend toward trying to use generative language.  But there are deeper questions there that challenge leaders to first look inward.
How do the Three Laws play out for you?  Is it the same in all environments?

On Free Consultations…

“People don’t buy what you do they buy why you do it.” –Simon Sinek.

Many attorneys offer free consultations. They do so to attract and meet potential clients, learn about their legal problem(s), build rapport and ultimately, in the parlance of one legal marketing book, “capture” clients.

We do not generally give away consultations, not because there is anything wrong with doing so (there is not) or because they don’t work (they can be effective for certain attorneys and practice areas). Even so, I do spend time on the phone and in person with potential clients and referral sources, and helping those who cannot otherwise afford legal advice.

I view my purpose as supporting the advancement and achievement of others. Here at the law factory, that is through counseling small businesses and their owners, litigating cases in court, and mediating disputes.

Toward that end we use a basic process at initial conferences that involves listening to the facts, asking questions, and if necessary identifying the need for more information. We apply the law to the facts as presented, and point out additional legal research that might be necessary. We can also use the time to identify, and even weigh, potential strategies and/or outcomes, the need for our present or future involvement, and the potential time and expense that might be involved if we do. Rapport is a natural by-product of a process that allows our clients to decide how to proceed.

And in the event we are hired to perform the work discussed in the conference, we credit the fee for the time spent to the engagement.

Clients are to be helped, not captured.