The cold fear you feel when discovering the real threat is coming from inside.
“Being a lawyer isn’t a great job!” he shouted.
This is according to Gary Vaynerchuk. He was giving a talk when he stopped for a moment and broke from the script. He went on to explain. Many of the lawyers he spoke to said they went to law school because of outside pressure—parents. Of those that became lawyers said the actual job is boring and unexciting. I did some of my own asking—I know a few legal beagles—only to find Gary isn’t fibbing. It got me thinking about the saying:
95% of lawyers give the other 5% a bad name.
If you’re a lawyer and you’re smiling, you’re not going to sue, so that’s good.
But I jest.
There are times and places we should feel safe and accepted. In our family circle for example. You would expect all members to be looking out for each other and the greater good of the family. In an organisation, having all employees support the vision is how you grow. In churches, temples and synagogues, congregants gather in fellowship, safe from ridicule and discrimination for their beliefs. At the golf club, members can feel safe to wear strange outfits, safe from discrimination and ridicule from non-golfers.
I jest again.
But what happens when the threat is not from the outside? When you discover you’re being tripped up by someone from inside the tribe. For a tribe to function and be sustainable, you need all-hands-on-deck. Having people inside not supporting the vision creates friction that prevents progress. The problem, if left unchecked, escalates into a toxic environment.
Then the good people start leaving.
The truth is, it’s only 5% of the members of a tribe that give the other 95% a bad name. There are two important take-outs from that statement.
Firstly, we’re quick to judge an entire tribe based on the actions of a handful of baddies. We do this without even thinking about it. There is no one scientific term for this condition. It’s a combination of “stereotyping”, plus a term used in logic called, “induction”, and a scientific term called, “the fallacy of composition”. It’s explained as follows:
“The Composition Fallacy occurs when someone mistakenly assumes that a characteristic of some or all the individuals in a group is also a characteristic of the group itself, the group “composed” of those members.”
Secondly, if you’re one of the 5%, you probably don’t know it. Many folks don’t set out to be obstructive and underhanded. They often don’t realise they’re being a hindrance to progress for the tribe. In their mind, they are doing good because they’re active. This is what makes it so difficult to address the issue because to them their activity is proof of their allegiance.
So, the next time you discover a long-time trusted tribe member behaving like the enemy and that cold fear drains over your body, at least be thankful you never studied law.
Have an awesome weekend and please go cast your vote on Monday! 😄
As always, thanks for reading 🙏