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Grit versus Get ‘er Done – What Lawyers Need to Know

Patrick Krill’s spot-on article in today’s Law.com about the “just make it happen/just do it/get ‘er done” mentality in the legal industry caught my attention. First, because of the much-needed encouragement to lawyers to set and hold boundaries, and second because it made me stop and question the difference between grit and “get ‘er done.”

Grit has received a lot of good attention in recent years. Angela Duckworth’s bestselling book, GRIT, is even on my recommended reading list. We think of grit as tenacity and perseverance, the ability to push past our discomfort. And, yes, those are key ingredients. Duckworth reminds us, however, that perseverance is only half of the recipe for grit. The other half is passion.

Passion is the vision we have for ourselves and what we seek to contribute to the world. Passion comes from within. It is the ultimate internal motivator.

Which brings me back to “get ‘er done.” This just-make-it-happen mentality is not derived from internal passion at all. It is the external client/partner/practice group leader/overall culture enforcing a behavior, often with punitive consequences for falling short. As Krill warns, it sends the clear message that “you don’t matter.” Adherence to a culture with little to no boundaries can be done for a while, but at a great cost. We see this cost in the rise of burnout, depression, anxiety, and addiction in the legal profession.

Strengthening boundaries and cultivating a culture of resilience not only keeps lawyers and those who work with them healthier, but it fosters success and growth for the entire firm.

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Renee Branson
Renee Bransonhttps://reneebranson.blog/
Combining 20 years in education, counseling and non-profit management, my passion and purpose is helping individuals, teams, and organizations cultivate resilience. After years of working with survivors of trauma and the caregivers who help heal them, I have become enthralled with what it is that allowed people to not only survive, but thrive through their greatest crisis. The answer is resilience. The more exciting answer is that resilience can be taught, strengthened, and cultivated. As a Certified Resilience Coach (CReC), I provide people with immediately usable tools to increase resilience, well-being, and optimism in the workplace. I work with lawyers, legal marketers, business professionals, non-profit leaders, and others to help them understand and incorporate resilience in their own professional lives and in the teams they lead.

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