Ben Chiriboga (00:01.767)
All right. Hello and welcome back everyone. This is Ben Chiriboga, the chief growth officer here at Nexo coming to you with another This Legal Life. I’m back and joined by the one, the only, our actual first podcast, This Legal Life since the rebrand guest, Ben Paul. It’s not Christmas time, but how are you? What’s going on, my friend?
Ben Paul (00:21.758)
I’m good, I’m good. Yeah Christmas seems a long time ago now doesn’t it? Talking about what you could do pre Christmas a long time ago. Although over here in New Zealand it’s nice and cold so it feels almost like Christmas but we have a World Cup coming up with the women which is going to be absolutely awesome so we’re super excited about that.
Ben Chiriboga (00:25.043)
Yeah, sort of wild.
Ben Paul (00:39.518)
And yeah, we’ve had an interesting trading year with downturns and stuff and some floods as people will know over here, but really now we’re into the meaty end of the business year and we start to see a real upturn in what things are going, activity and what our clients, particularly law firms are looking to do and how they’re looking to stay ahead of the competition in what is been a very strange three or four years for everyone. Yeah, totally.
Ben Chiriboga (00:59.871)
Yeah, totally. I agree what you’re saying in terms of building pipeline and making sure that you are sort of thinking about the next six months, because really what’s in your pipeline right now is kind of what’s gonna close over the course of the next year, right? So you’re really thinking, can I push things through? Is there last minute stuff that I can give myself six months to try to sort of close it? I don’t know what everybody’s.
close rates and everybody’s pipeline and the deal cycles are out there. But I think everybody understands what we’re talking about here. What’s in there is kind of what’s going to happen over the course of next year. So it’s time to sort of start focusing. So today, you and I, we’re talking not about pipeline, accelerating pipeline. We’re talking about something else, which is the need to change. And you proposed this. Why did you think about this? I mean, we’re buddies and we talk about lots of stuff. But you came to a…
and you know this is seems to be on your mind what you’ve been thinking about you’ve been thinking about the need for change in some ways.
Ben Paul (01:58.55)
Yeah, absolutely. I think we’ve gone through a period in the legal industry where, you know, we were a bit locked up. The work’s come in. If you’ve done good work, the work will keep coming and it will keep coming. And it is been in that period and been kind of task focused, doing the legal work. Haven’t been able to see our clients as much. And yes, that’s all behind us now. Now we’ve moved into recession and things are a little bit tricky.
So some parts of the law will do really well in recession as we know, some parts not so well. Overall there’s a tightening of the belt from clients because they’re looking to save money, particularly on a global scale, but also on regional and local scales, and to react to that.
strategy needs to be put in place which may have been neglected but a new one it needs to be different and changed and if it Needs to be embraced across all levels within any firm to be successful I look there’s potentially nothing new in that but I think now the need to change to set up for the next six years now that people’s ways of working ways of doing business have changed
then law firms need to adapt to the market around them as well. There’s an awful lot going on. There’s AI kicking in as we know. Good and bad, examples of that. ChatGPT wanting to be the ultimate pleaser and will give you any answer as long as it thinks it’s the answer you want, whether it’s true or not. But all these things are there and people are using these tools and experimenting with these tools and clients are as well. And they’re obviously expecting to see this in their legal services and all these things. So now’s the time to kind of…
to stop, look at it and actually say, what do we need to do to change, to get better, to improve, to drive growth? What do we need to do, not just on the BD side, but on the employer brand side, on the whole kind of attracting the best legal talent. How do we get them into our business? How do we make them stay? People are wanting different things in their firms now.
Ben Paul (03:51.594)
Yes, they want the learning. Yes, they want to probably have that human interaction, but they don’t want it nine to five, five days a week. So there’s a whole adaptation that’s going on. Clients are changing. Law firms need to change to meet the market. And actually, when the market gets difficult, if you want to grow your revenue, you’re gonna have to do some different things. So the mindset needs to change and be ready and adapting to meeting that market because there’s a whole raft of new players coming in as well. Alternative legal providers, those leveraging tech.
boutiques are doing really, really well in each local market, hurting some of the larger and more global players. So really to adapt to that market is now the time. Yeah. I’m gonna have a paper here, you know, I totally see a problem.
Ben Chiriboga (04:32.251)
Yeah, I hear you, you know, and I sort of feel like there’s been, there’s always been a lot of talk on sort of the, I’m not saying doom. What I’m just saying is a lot of change happening sort of very fast. You know, there’s also a lot of opportunity. There’s also a lot of opportunity that’s sort of happening, right? Markets really are starting clients, market clients are still really starting to ask for new types of services. They’re asking for more value to be.
delivered. Of course, you talked about technology change. I mean, come on, let’s be honest, like we’re human beings. Basically, all we do is incorporate technology and change and kind of do the same things, but do it faster, cheaper, better, something else, you know, effectively. But that’s where we’re definitely in a technology forward time of our lives, effectively. So, you know, there are great opportunities, great sort of, and then sort of great downside risk. So that’s the thesis about what’s sort of going on and the need for change.
Okay, but that’s not really, we’re not gonna talk about, we’re just gonna take that as a given, that change is sort of needed. We’re gonna talk about, okay, how do you start to implement change and how do you start to sort of think about change? And I think the first maybe pillar that we could talk about is, change, driving change at a firm level versus an individual level. And really this idea about firm versus individual motivation, because you sort of need the both.
Ben Paul (05:34.764)
Ben Chiriboga (05:59.019)
together, right? To sort of, to start, to drive a little bit of change. Okay, so what do you want to say about that?
Ben Paul (06:01.171)
Ben Paul (06:05.506)
Look, it’s a big topic, we’re in one question there, and we’ll get across all things, but in any part of change there needs to be motivation. Which comes down to the whole Simon Sinek piece is around the reason why, and why are we doing it, and what’s the need to drive that change? Because…
Ben Chiriboga (06:08.577)
Ben Chiriboga (06:19.371)
Ben Paul (06:25.874)
Unfortunately you can’t actually inject someone with motivation. There is no magic serum. I’m sure the people at Marvel and Agents of Shield are working on it somewhere. And if they did I’d love to have some of it to help with some of the PD coaching. But I think it might be deemed somewhat illegal. So what you need to find is that rationale and reason to actually drive that change. And that starts at a firm level as well as an individual level.
Ben Chiriboga (06:31.703)
Ben Chiriboga (06:38.727)
Yeah, all right.
Ben Chiriboga (06:49.36)
Ben Paul (06:54.274)
Because if you’re going to move forward with a purpose and a desire, then you need to have that reason to change and have a clear growth strategy. I would suspect if you went in any market and you picked the 20 top firms in that, in that country and said, what’s your purpose and ask the people they would struggle.
What would be even more scary is if you went round the ball table and said, what’s your purpose and reason? And I suspect 60 to 80% of them would struggle as well. Now they might have some lovely kind of fluffy statements, which say, you know, we want to be seen as the biggest and best law firm in Chicago, for example. Right. That might be out there, but realistically, that isn’t a clear purpose or strategy, right? So.
Going through that process and understanding where they want to be and how they want to get there is absolutely key, right? Now, when we engage with clients, we use a thing called Playing to Win by AJ Lafferty and Roger Marti, which is really, really cool about the five steps of strategy, right? And what is your winning strategy?
Ben Chiriboga (07:55.132)
Uh huh. Right.
Ben Paul (08:01.354)
What is it you want to achieve? Where are you going to play? What markets and how are you going to do it? Going through that process, and it can be actually quite quick. Most people know the answers is just, haven’t gone through the stepping process. And I think in the last four or five years, really haven’t gone through that process. That’s really key, to understand what kind of law firm you want to be, what kind of clients you want to work with, what winning in that market looks like, and what is really frightening is what market share do you have of what’s available?
So most firms over the last five to ten years have probably grown five to ten to fifteen percent just by doing the same stuff and now the market’s twisted on them. The trouble is when the market shifts and if the market goes backwards. If you haven’t been gaining market share you’ve just been growing because the whole market’s growing. You actually find that you’ve got a very small piece of the pie left and the pie shrunk. So you have to track market share and see where you sit relative to the competition and what you could achieve. But having that real kind of
We want to be seen as the people who are leading tech in that tech and advancing that to promote better service to corporate blue chips, for example, right? That would be really kind of powerful for someone. If everyone believes in that and drives in and wants to work with those blue chips, wants to drive change, wants to see them improve, I guess the work will flow after that. But it’s more of a high purpose and you can get into different things. It could be access to social justice, whatever.
But those things are really important. And having that and then understanding where you want to drive to and what kind of markets you want to get to at the top level is really, really cool. And engage your people in this process as well, so they’re brought into it. So individuals now start to see a reason why they want to work for this firm and promote their career within this organization, rather than the office next door or even two floors down below, because lawyers seem to all sort of sit in the same street in most parts of the world. So that’s really, really important.
Ben Chiriboga (09:35.003)
Ben Chiriboga (09:50.216)
Ben Paul (09:53.79)
So that will give you the reason to kind of change what you do from a market focus, but until you then start engaging with the individuals and get them individually motivated, nothing changes. Which is a very kind of different process of making sure they’re aligned, making sure they know where their career paths are, what the advantages to them are and driving these changes forward. What skills they need to learn supporting them.
Ben Chiriboga (09:57.847)
Ben Chiriboga (10:01.779)
Ben Paul (10:18.466)
providing the skills, providing the coaching and support and mentoring to get them through that process. Now, whether you use externals, whether you use senior people within the organization, whatever it is, but those support mechanisms, anytime you need to be changed, you need to be there. And having that, those conversations to accept, hey, we’re gonna make mistakes because we’re doing something new. So if you don’t make mistakes when you’re doing something new, you’d be very unusual. So having that courage and having that sounding voice say, it’s okay, I made a mistake myself last week.
Ben Chiriboga (10:43.082)
Ben Paul (10:48.438)
This is what my mistake looked like. This is what I learned. What did you mistake? What did you learn, right? And it’s very easy. I came out from a sales background when I first started coaching people in the professional services world. They would never ask me about my successes. Only the times when I’d failed, when I’d absolutely had a really bad moment and the learnings from that. And it’s an interesting human dynamic, but that’s where the sharing of stories really helps people understand and learn.
Ben Chiriboga (10:52.375)
Ben Paul (11:14.102)
It’s almost more tangible when someone hasn’t quite got it right. We can learn from that. Whereas someone shows you best practice on something you’re very fearful of. It’s just so hard, you know?
really, really hard. It’s a little bit like you’ve never kicked a ball and someone says to you, watch Lionel Messi play for Inter and he’s now, and just copy that. If that was your first exposure to trying to play football, it’d be too hard, way too hard, and you turn off straight away. And the same with all these kinds of things of learning new skills in business development and marketing.
Ben Chiriboga (11:32.643)
Yeah, right. Right.
Ben Chiriboga (11:39.447)
Ben Chiriboga (11:45.267)
Yeah, okay. I want to ask you, it’s very interesting. I want to ask you about the idea of top-down motivation versus bottom-up motivation or individual motivation. So somebody gave me this, somebody said this and I’m going to share it with you because I think it’s really interesting. Another way of saying this, which is, top-down, you can sort of emanate a…
emanate something emanates from you right it’s just this idea of this is what we are and this is how we do it and this is why we do it but once and it emanates think of like maybe like a cloud as it spreads through and it touches everybody you know and it goes through but what ends up happening is that’s going to mean different things to every single person and so the trick I think a little bit is yes you can spread this message and the message gets
massaging myself as I’m talking about it. You know, it’s coming all over you and it’s moving over you. But what comes out, the idea that, you know, a bottom-up emergence, what emerges in each person is going to be so different effectively for each person. And I think there’s something about being able to put those two things together, lock those two things together, because to your point, lots of people have very big statements about what’s going to happen, but very few people, I guarantee you, can go around and say,
Ben Paul (12:38.798)
Thanks for watching!
Ben Paul (12:58.7)
Ben Chiriboga (13:05.791)
What does every single person or at least most of the stakeholders, what does it mean to them? And can you say that just as much as you say your model? I guarantee you not, but this is sort of the key around motivation. All right, let me ask you, is that really kind of what you’re saying in a way? Her driving change.
Ben Paul (13:21.034)
Yeah, look, absolutely. I think, yeah, for driving change, you need everyone engaged, right? So the other principle is bottom up, then top down. And that’s a really good one. So as the cloud rises, it gets to the top. And then everyone’s had their sort of saying, and it’s come up and the core themes come up and you’re building something. And then at the top, it’s signed off and verified. And then the rain comes back down for the organization.
Ben Chiriboga (13:29.524)
That’s right, of course.
Ben Chiriboga (13:34.889)
Ben Chiriboga (13:41.783)
Ben Paul (13:47.946)
I can’t believe we’re using this weather one, but you started it. But then it also trickles through, but it’s trickling through back with the same messages that already came up and just refined. So you’ve engaged everyone through the process. So, look, for most larger firms, that would be probably on the service line or even client line. I hope it would, I’d love it to be client line or sector line going up about these are the key things. This is more important to it, but yeah. It’s supported with a good CRM as well, dare I say. But these are the things that kind of really, really important is they go through, right?
Ben Chiriboga (13:56.063)
Ben Chiriboga (14:04.641)
Ben Chiriboga (14:08.454)
Yeah, that would be amazing.
Ben Chiriboga (14:14.295)
Ben Paul (14:18.16)
everyone gets in there and it goes up and it filters through and these facilitated sessions then come up and they go into the senior management and then they come back down and there it is and everyone’s aligned. It may seem like a long drawn out process but that process sets you up for five years, five years of alignment and when everyone joins in they know where they are and yes from my point of view I’d want to focus on the clients and the BD and the marketing.
Ben Chiriboga (14:31.875)
Ben Paul (14:40.534)
But you can do everything else as well, your employee brand, you can do the organizations and get everyone aligned. And it’s really, really important to have that and have those other experts in within your organization or whatever it might be to just get it in that right kind of place. Because otherwise you’re kind of.
You’re making changes at the top and hoping it will stick. Throwing darts at dartboard and it just doesn’t work.
Ben Chiriboga (15:02.088)
Okay, so yeah, I think the takeaway for here was it has to be bottom up and it has to be top down and everybody sort of has to find meaning. And again, for everybody listening, we’re talking about driving change. So not just bought into whatever it is, the strategy or the North Star for why we’re going to change, the why behind we’re going to change. And everybody has to say, okay, yes, I’m gonna change and this is the reason why I’m going to change. So that’s what we’re talking about here. All right, let’s go to maybe the second pillar.
Leave that a little bit. That’s a good little nugget of takeaway here and reminding how essential that really is, everybody buying into the change and finding their personal reason why. Let’s go maybe to the value of discomfort and talking a little bit about, you know, self growth and learning and just the idea of challenging. And maybe I think what we’re always sort of pointing at is how do you socialize this within an organization? This idea of.
Ben Paul (15:52.014)
Ben Chiriboga (16:02.471)
Self-growth is good. I think you actually pointed it to it before you know sharing your failures sharing your learnings in that in that capacity You know I think that this is this is hard just for human beings but this is doubly hard for perfectionist lawyers who need to sort of be positioned and packaged as Absolute authorities and the truth is okay. Yes absolute authorities, but not on change You know it’s like it’s like it’s nuanced here
You can’t be an expert at something you’ve never done before, you know? But basically, I understand that you can be an expert at IP law, but you can’t be an expert at building an IP practice, especially if you’re trying a new strategy, right? The two don’t make any sense.
Ben Paul (16:46.222)
No, look, I think, you know, about going over lots of old ground, touching on the model how law firms and how lawyers progress is really, really important because as you progress through your career, you’re continually brilliant at law, right? I mean, you may learn after university when you work with partners for the first time that there’s a lot to learn in the real respect, but as you go through that, it’s all in that same technical discipline. And then as you get higher up, then people are starting to bring in people management.
Ben Chiriboga (17:04.779)
Ben Chiriboga (17:08.759)
Ben Paul (17:15.374)
client development, winning and retaining new clients. All these skills that are completely different. It’s the world of law. And you cannot necessarily be an expert in all of them. And now suddenly you’re very high up in your career.
Ben Chiriboga (17:19.137)
Ben Chiriboga (17:23.451)
Ben Paul (17:29.682)
seen as one of the leaders in your firm or industry, but you have gaps and you have to admit you have gaps, right? And it, but it goes through every level as you’re rising up, you know, you could be an associate. Now you realize you’ve got gaps, you could be here, you realize you’ve got gaps and it’s exposing and it’s exposing for anyone in any career, right? At any point, you understand your, you’re higher up, you’ve got more responsibilities, you have to understand certain things, but you have to pick what you’re doing and what you learn and how you achieve, right?
Ben Chiriboga (17:32.215)
Ben Paul (17:58.194)
Every time you learn something new, it’s uncomfortable to a degree, particularly if it’s not something that’s in your wheelhouse. So we learn best in that period of discomfort where we’re a little bit unsure. That’s when the learning and the magic takes place. But there’s a big gap between that and panic.
And panic is where we switch off as human beings and don’t know, because it’s too hard. It’s too much of a bridge. That’s when we either want to run away or punch the person in front of us who’s trying to teach us. So I’m very careful in my sessions to make sure they don’t get to that part because I don’t really want to. So it’s all that kind of rough, but it’s really important to know that difference, to just have enough. But also that means that you can only learn so much at any given time.
Ben Chiriboga (18:38.343)
Ben Paul (18:49.81)
And one of the mistakes you see with change is, hey, we’re gonna do all this new stuff, and this is what you’re now gonna do, and here’s the approach, and have it all in one session. Boom, mind blown. It’s got to be incremental steps and learn things piece by piece and bring bits of change over time, which is why you would talk about the sort of six month to 12 month program of really bringing that change in. People kind of like the idea of, you know.
being the fast yacht or the speed boat that’s going through the waters and it changes, it happens like that and you win the race. But actually, realistically, if you want to embed change, you’ve got to be more like a steamboat and go nice and slow and steadily, but hit across those choppy waters and just keep going. There’ll be some bumps in the road, but that steamboat can get you through and get you over. So that’s the kind of mentality of how you embrace that and get in that learning zone and really start to see individuals make a real difference.
Ben Chiriboga (19:42.507)
Hmm. What, uh, give me, give me some examples from, you know, first of all, for anybody who doesn’t know BB Ladder, you know, it’s, it coaching, marketing, uh, coaching, consulting, business development specifically for professional services. You’ve been doing this a while. You know, do you want to say anything a little bit about how do you, with your clients, you know, how do you go about this idea of understanding that there’s, there’s huge gaps?
Ben Paul (19:52.142)
Ben Chiriboga (20:10.355)
sometimes whenever you get to the top based on your based on what you said which is you know, you might be great at you might be great at your practice But in doing so you have huge blind spots that have sort of taking you to the top There was this um, you know my dad I’ll just tell you this, you know There’s this thing called the peer principle and it’s basically the idea that everybody gets if you do good work And you know don’t punch anybody at the at the corporate retreat or whatever basically you will be
Ben Paul (20:37.858)
Ben Chiriboga (20:40.191)
The principle is that you will be elevated and promoted to the job that you cannot do effectively. Do you see what I’m saying? Like basically you get it, the higher you go up, the more exposed that you basically become. So the faster you climb, the more you don’t know how to do effectively and that’s okay. But anyway, the question is, I’ve always loved that. I’ve remembered that, you know, my dad like has an MBA and like that’s the only thing he’s ever like taught me about anything. I had to learn the rest of it. But yeah, the…
Ben Paul (20:44.058)
Ben Paul (20:47.565)
Ben Paul (20:55.254)
Ben Paul (21:04.438)
Ben Chiriboga (21:09.895)
The point, the question really was how does this manifest itself in your in your BD and coaching practice specifically around the idea of uncovering this, this stuff and going to steamboat? I mean, you get my question.
Ben Paul (21:21.27)
Yeah. So look, the main thing here is to understand at the top what needs to be changed and who you need to work with, right, and which people within the organization. Once they’re identified, our first sessions with the key people will be more discovery and understanding where they feel they’re at, what they’re doing, and some simple questions about what change can action and building them a plan. So while you look to have a…
Ben Chiriboga (21:30.987)
Ben Paul (21:51.11)
a unified approach to the market across all the partners we work with. Each individual is different so they start building an individual different plan which is where it becomes more of a kind of consultancy coaching process rather than a cookie cutter. And cookie cutter just doesn’t work at this kind of level so we build a plan around what they’ll be able to do, what levels of comfort and discomfort that person can take.
Ben Chiriboga (22:02.516)
Ben Chiriboga (22:14.804)
Ben Paul (22:15.202)
how far we can take them within a six to 12 month period. And then we feed that back up to those at the top. So, and look with this person, you know, they’re great. They’ve got a good practice. There’s a few areas that need working on here around that. If I feel there’s something missing that’s out of our skills zone, we’ll feed that up as well. So look, it sounds like they’re struggling with management. Some of the stuff we do may help with that, but it’s not our expertise. You should probably get management.
Ben Chiriboga (22:20.093)
Ben Chiriboga (22:39.179)
Ben Paul (22:39.598)
professional with or get HR to help them guide through that as well at the same time. Because you know change impacts the people and the teams they’re working as much as it impacts bringing new clients you know and as we make them busier they’re going to work out how to resource that. But it’s really about building that kind of individual plan, working through it and then taking it on a step by step basis you know. So
Ben Chiriboga (22:46.454)
Ben Paul (23:02.17)
Some people will meet twice a month. Some people would just have 15 minute calls because it needs to be very regular and build that kind of discipline of change, right? Let’s have a quick, and then, and then you get the phone call saying, I’ve got a meeting coming up hell, what do I do? Love those ones really good in the moment kind of coaching, right? Which is what we want to get to, right? Because it’s much more. We move from that exploring phase very quickly into a doing phase. Cause you learn by doing.
Ben Chiriboga (23:06.94)
Right, right. Yeah.
Ben Chiriboga (23:13.115)
Yeah, right, right. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Right.
Ben Paul (23:29.026)
So the sessions then become so what’s the next piece of interaction who you want to talk to? What’s the blockers? How do we talk it even writing emails and getting meetings? Which is one of my favorite things to do because you see success straight away Sometimes they come back in we’re actually in the middle of the coaching session. Oh, yeah, I love to meet you next Tuesday Brilliant, right you see the progress coming in, right?
Ben Chiriboga (23:45.255)
Yeah. Yeah, right.
Ben Paul (23:48.918)
But you actually do it. And then there’s a learning around, okay, so we’re gonna make some mistakes as we go here, right? Not everything’s gonna be perfect, but we’ll learn each way, and then you’ll start to build a discipline and a practice. And we talk a lot about discipline. Because if you want to embed change, you’ve got to start creating habits, as we all know. So if you want to lose weight, you got to have the habit of going to the gym and eating better. If you want to get better at BD and marketing, you got to have the habit of doing it regularly.
Ben Chiriboga (24:01.216)
Ben Paul (24:18.218)
Too many people will invest a lot of time in a big marketing initiative once a year and hoping that will see them through. And there’s nothing wrong with that initiative, but it’s just what’s done in the rest of the year to support it and keep meeting and seeing clients. It needs to be a regularity to it, a consistency.
Ben Chiriboga (24:35.863)
Okay, I totally got the entire time. So you and I are big football fans. We both grew up playing football. That’s soccer for American people. And I was just thinking the entire time about how much, we’re gonna get to our last topic, but this is my last comment on this topic around the idea of habits. How much soccer coaching is really about two V two, four V four game situations and truthfully moving the ball.
Ben Paul (24:38.302)
Ben Chiriboga (25:05.315)
opening up to space, receiving the ball, one touch, two touch. I mean, it’s just such fundamental stuff. And really the best coaching is always this idea of not just doing drills to do drills, but doing drills in the context of like a real world scenario. You know, the throw in, the throw in the final third or something, or a corner kick and all of that kind of stuff. I don’t know how much that’s like, anyway, you know, business and, business and sports. What a, what a novel concept. Like, yeah.
Ben Paul (25:21.354)
Ben Paul (25:31.551)
But it’s interesting, right, because if you take that example there, you know, the 4v4, but when you put the 6v3, for example, right, so the three are under pressure, so you’re putting them in a real-life situation where they’re under pressure. And the same happens, you know, with coaching. If we’re doing a difficult client and I’m playing the role, or they’re playing the client role, you up it at 20%.
Ben Chiriboga (25:39.963)
Ben Chiriboga (25:48.28)
Ben Chiriboga (25:51.911)
Yeah, right, right.
Ben Paul (25:56.63)
So you’re now having a really difficult conversation. You’re practicing that conversation. And in practicing that the real one goes a lot better. Yeah. It’s a horrible thing. And you’ve got that feedback of like, well, you know, if you’re doing it, getting ready for a big pitch presentation, we’ll do it. You’ll get once the team’s ready, we’ll bring people into play certain roles. And you’re bringing the managing partner, the CEO and all their peers and all the people in the organization they respect.
Ben Chiriboga (26:03.335)
Yeah, of course. Yeah, right.
Ben Paul (26:18.958)
because that’s the most horrible thing to go through. But at the same time, it’s the best learning and then when you go in front of the client, it’s easier. And all the nasty questions have been asked and you’re ready. So practice, practice does absolutely make. We can never have perfect, but almost perfect. You’ll get there.
Ben Chiriboga (26:33.247)
Okay, yes, that’s true. All right, let’s get to our last thing. You know, it’s a question about resilience and And it’s really like a pillar around resilience and the idea of building up resilience and you know, it’s interesting of course Larry Richard, Dr. Larry Richard who is a lawyer psychologist, you know He has very interesting research about lawyers having low resilience It has to do with the environment and it has to do also with the type of people who end up being coming lawyers and you know, there’s
and then there’s social conventions and social norms and la and it all goes on and on, but there is an issue around resilience, right? And it tends to be that, for example, entrepreneurs have very high resilience, right? Because basically they just roll with the punches and…
They made it down the hill and they’re all banged and bruised and they broke three things and in the process they burned a million dollars, but they say, but I made it down the hill. There we go. In some sense, I made it down the hill. And I’ll just go up again and next time I’ll try to do it a little bit better. Resilience and coaching go a lot together because of, I think the corner of this is feedback and the idea of getting bad feedback and how you can continue to…
Ben Paul (27:29.782)
Ben Chiriboga (27:48.203)
take in feedback as it goes. And also asking for feedback, so important, right? So vulnerable to say like, where do I suck? And I’m being, I’m overdoing it, obviously, for dramatic effect, but this idea of putting yourself out there to be analyzed for on purpose, effectively. What do you wanna say about resilience? And then to tie this up to where we’ve been and where we’re going, this idea of change, then.
Ben Paul (27:57.304)
Ben Chiriboga (28:16.467)
We were bought into change. What’s my why for change? Uh oh, I’m gonna have to change. That means that I’m gonna have to learn new things. And to learn new things, I’m gonna have to expose myself to the things that I need to learn. And I’m really gonna have to take stock and I’m gonna have to be resilient because nobody rides a bike perfectly the first time. So there we go. We just linked up all three. If you’re gonna change, if you wanna change, if you believe that change needs to happen, and I don’t know.
Ben Paul (28:24.354)
Ben Chiriboga (28:42.871)
Maybe this is corny or cringy, but the only constant thing in all of life is basically the need to change effectively. So there you go. Either you change or change comes to you if you don’t believe that. But anyway, but let’s get to resilience. That’s kind of being fundamental here.
Ben Paul (28:59.606)
say you look at absolutely fundamental the first thing is to create a culture and a place where in conversations failure is okay. So remove that fear of failure because we all perform better if the fear of failure is gone and we accept that there’s going to be some points where we’re not going to get it get it 100% right.
Ben Chiriboga (29:07.756)
Ben Paul (29:19.434)
to analyze the things that really do create stress in the legal profession. And the most stressful thing for all lawyers is absolutely not having enough work and not knowing where the work’s coming from and not being able to plan for it. So that’s obviously a really good reason why you need a good BD practice and a good outreach practice to talk to your clients. But then within that it’s actually having a structure of how you do it. Because structure…
gives people confidence because if you know what you’re doing, you have a process, yes it needs to adapt because people and clients aren’t exactly the same all the time and they don’t behave 100% the same. But having that clear structure and process gives you confidence that you know what you’re doing, you can adapt with a client, you can talk to them, you know where you are. So building that process for each individual and following it helps the thing and on the way you’ll learn. And then it’s kind of sharing stories with your colleagues, with others within the programme.
My personal stories of failure, which are absolute doozies. Having that share in a story helps people to understand that, yes, they’re not the only person who’s gone through this, so they don’t feel alone and isolated. And talking about, yes, people will pick your competitor sometimes, and sometimes it will sting, and sometimes you just have to accept that you didn’t quite get it right, the client wanted someone else, but you can go again next time. No one died. It’s okay. Your career will progress.
you’ll learn from this and move on, it’s okay. And you know, if you need to have a little moan for a moment or go and have a coffee or a beer with someone and talk about how bad it was, sure, do that. But that’s an important part of it. Don’t try and say, you know, well, you lost, move on. Actually, sometimes acknowledge how you’re feeling and then move on, because you have to go through that process. We all lose deals and…
That’s perfectly normal for us highly competitive individuals, and I’ll put myself in that bracket with most lawyers that I work with. It’s things, because you want to win. But that’s the way of kind of moving on, right? And going that way. And then…
Ben Chiriboga (31:20.781)
Ben Paul (31:29.194)
you actually only get resilience from knockbacks. So you can train it, you can give all the, you can give all the process in the world and all the tactics and they’re absolutely fantastic. But until you have a knockback, you don’t put them in place. And it’s the same thing that we’ve sort of, the continual theme here about change, right? You have to adapt to change, you have to want to change, you have to try and do it, you have to put things in place, you have to accept that you’re gonna sometimes get it wrong and you have to keep going.
So you know, you’ll get knocked down, but you can get back up again. You can come back stronger and you can just keep, keep moving forward.
Ben Chiriboga (32:01.351)
I want to give you something. I want to give you two things, you know, because it’s so, that I read this book whenever I was like, I’m 39 now, so I’ve read it whenever I was, whenever I was 30 years old. And it was this idea by this guy, and it’s the idea of anti-fragile. And basically what it says is there are things in the world who actually get better, get better when they get knocked around. So there are situations, for example, bones.
Ben Paul (32:27.861)
Ben Chiriboga (32:30.131)
Now you can’t go out and break a bone, clearly, because that’s, there’s stress levels, of course. But bones actually get a little bit bigger, you know, the more you walk, the more you bang a little bit, your bones, you could even say the same things about, easier example, muscles. When you lift the muscle, when you lift weights, you break your, you actually tear your muscles a little bit, but they don’t come back to the same thing. They actually come back even stronger. They grow because…
they are trying to adapt to the idea of the situation. So, you know, the thing is that truthfully, human beings really are like this. We actually do get better through our failures, through we develop this almost, if you have this idea, this anti-fragile idea, which is, oh my God, I love getting knocked down because of what I’m actually coming out. You know, there’s a big enough why. And then I’ll just share one thing and then I wanna wrap up with you, which is, you know, the famous German,
Ben Paul (32:58.54)
Ben Chiriboga (33:27.071)
philosopher Nietzsche, he said, you know, with a big enough why, anyhow is possible. And so, you know, it’s like this ties in the first point and the last point, which is what is your why? Truthfully, and how big is it? And how much have you drank your own Kool-Aid? Because truthfully, the more you drink the Kool-Aid, you know, don’t delete, don’t dilute yourself with Kool-Aid, but feel a deep why. I promise you most people will pull through, right? Like, but anyway, go ahead.
Ben Paul (33:55.818)
Yeah, I think that the interesting part about this whole kind of change and confidence part that comes through is actually why I do what I do and why I work with people is to see the move and their confidence. And one of the greatest moments for any individual is when you are really scared of something or fearful and then you take it on and you achieve that moment. Yes, we should always celebrate success, but you don’t need to celebrate success because for that person…
Ben Chiriboga (34:02.165)
Ben Chiriboga (34:21.719)
Ben Paul (34:24.226)
they feel amazing and they grow. And you can actually almost, if you’re working with them in person, which is less common these days, but you can see them physically growing, stature like their whole body comes up, the smile comes up, because they’ve challenged themselves and achieved. And there’s nothing better.
Ben Chiriboga (34:29.235)
Yeah. Sure? Sure. Yeah. Right.
Ben Paul (34:43.15)
for the human mindset than actually challenging yourself and achieving, as opposed to staying in your comfort zone and yes, achieving, but it doesn’t have that same buzz or exhilaration of actually stepping outside of your comfort zone and achieving something very, very spectacular.
Ben Chiriboga (34:59.967)
Yeah, totally. I think this is a really good way. I think we tied in everything together. The need for change, you have to buy this. It comes to you eventually. The need for basically this idea of being self-honest with yourself and assessing yourself and really understanding, okay, change is going to happen. I buy in this top-down, bottom-up idea, everybody finding their why. And then the last is developing resilience because basically you’re not going to get from here to there without a little bit of resilience, a little bit of failure.
And then tying this whole thing in, which is, you know, you can do anything if you have a deep enough sort of passion and deep enough sort of like why. And I love the little anecdote that you closed with, which is at the end of the day, I know that this is weird, but like, you know, you will feel so proud that you even tried. That’s really the cake. That’s right. The fact that it worked out, my God, that’s just the cherry on top of something, right? It’s you will, you will walk, you will walk more higher.
Ben Paul (35:53.89)
Ben Chiriboga (35:57.567)
just by virtue of the fact that you did the scary thing that you thought that you couldn’t do, right? And there it is, there’s the payoff in a deep weird way, you know, your body responds to this idea. You wanna leave us with some stuff? What’s going on at BD Ladder? Anything coming up over the next quarter that you wanna plug? Just had a great piece that sort of came out a couple months ago, two months ago maybe, everybody should download that. Yeah, what else is going on?
Ben Paul (36:22.394)
Yeah, so yeah, we had a night, one of our ebooks came out last, look, about two months ago featuring, we had someone from Nexor and a load of other global experts talking about an issue which was picked by our audience. We have at the moment a BD Playbook, which is on our website, which is fantastic. So we’re very nice, we actually give you a structure and a playbook which you can download for free. So if you go to the tools section of our website, you’ll find that and you can download that.
Otherwise we’re pretty busy on client work, we’re starting to do courses here around New Zealand, we’re looking to do them in Australia and other regions so keep an eye out for that. We quite like travelling and bringing this stuff on the road. And we’ll be at the Futurefirm forum in Queenstown so if anyone fancies a travel to one of the most beautiful parts of the world, and I don’t say that lightly, that’s where all the great and good of sort of…
Ben Chiriboga (37:07.669)
Ben Paul (37:11.902)
New Zealand and the Australian, quite a few from over there come over, some of the senior people in the legal industry and just talk about the future of the law. So with the license to be attending that one as well. So there’s a lot going on. It’s going to be really cool.
Ben Chiriboga (37:19.799)
Ben Chiriboga (37:23.615)
There is a lot. And then the Women’s World Cup is in New Zealand as well. You’re going to be going to any games?
Ben Paul (37:29.578)
I’ve got tickets to four games, so I’m slightly not soccer-obsessive. Yes, so we’re seeing New Zealand, New Zealand, Norway in the opening game here on Thursday. It’s going to be absolutely amazing. So, yeah, super excited, looking forward to the tournament. Slightly sad that Lionesses are playing over in Australia, but hopefully I might find a way to get to see them at some point. Being English originally, obviously.
Ben Chiriboga (37:31.419)
Nice? Yes, right.
Ben Chiriboga (37:42.539)
Ben Chiriboga (37:51.863)
There we go. Okay. I know. That’s true. That’s true. I am. Yes, exactly. For those of you don’t know, yes, Ben is English. Living in New Zealand now. A kiwi, but…
Ben Paul (38:02.326)
But I am seeing USA on my second game. And we’ll be going to the fan zone to watch the USA on Saturday. So we’re lucky to have the best team in the world here in our country. Very lucky.
Ben Chiriboga (38:06.005)
Ben Chiriboga (38:14.787)
Yeah, that’s going to be incredible. And I think, yeah, who is it? Was it, I always forget how to pronounce her last name, Megan Rapone. I think Megan Rapone, the number 10 for her. I think it’s going to be her last World Cup. I think she’s going to be retiring after this, so that’s going to be cool to see her. Yeah, very cool. All right, well, Ben Paul, another Kraken podcast.
Ben Paul (38:34.499)
It’s stunning. Yeah.
Ben Chiriboga (38:41.431)
It wasn’t about Christmas, it was about change, but we’ll have you on again. We always check in with our buddy Ben Paul and the entire BD Ladder team. Be well. Any final sign-offs?
Ben Paul (38:43.938)
Ben Paul (38:55.578)
I just hope everyone has a good second half of the year and enjoy whatever they’re doing. See you next time.
Ben Chiriboga (38:57.78)
Ben Chiriboga (39:01.755)
Yeah, all right. Cheers, everybody. Have a good H2. We’ll check in with Bo later. Bye, guys. All right.