The Trust Initiative: Creating Win-Win Partnerships for Attorneys and Businesses
Being in a role not suited for you can be an uncomfortable experience. If you’ve ever taken on a role or responsibilities that weren’t a match for your interests and abilities, then you know the stress involved. Likewise, if you’ve simply worked closely with someone who was not well-suited for their role, then whew, you’ve probably experienced your own frustrations interacting with that person!
As previously discussed on the Auxana blog, making a good hire isn’t just about education and experience — it’s also ensuring the right cultural fit. In modern workplaces where projects and business functions are becoming increasingly un-siloed, collaboration, transparency, and communication have evolved into pillars of efficacy. Finding the right person for the right role is not only a “nice to have”, but it is now an essential requirement for success.
This is where Auxana’s “Trust Initiative” becomes a game-changer in the legal industry. Not only does the initiative enable outsourced general counsel to best identify and leverage their natural strengths, but it also help them deliver added value to their corporate clients. In effect, Auxana’s “Trust Initiative” helps ensure the best possible match between legal counsel and their client’s business needs.
Taking “Culture Fit” to the Next Level
I first met Auxana founder and CEO Beth Lebowitz at an event here in Phoenix, AZ. As we got to chatting and made the obligatory introductions as to what we both do for a living, Beth was excited to learn that I behaviorally profile business leaders, along with offering leadership and business strategy coaching. It turns out, Beth already had the idea to add behavioral profiles to the Auxana attorneys’ profiles, and here our partnership began. We ping-ponged the concept back-and-forth a bit, and with each volley, the idea became clearer. Thus, Auxana’s Trust Initiative was born.
The initiative starts with the concept that, to be frank, there is a certain stereotype attached to the legal profession (E.g. they bill clients for every word written and every second used of their time). Auxana by its very nature has already disrupted that concept, through the empowerment and utilization of outsourced general counsel model. The Trust Initiative helps bring that disruption to the next level, by way of the behavioral profile. This profile not only reveals the strengths and natural inclinations of the attorney, but it also helps ensure that the attorney is compatible with the company hiring them for legal counsel.
For example, some attorneys are very deliberate and methodical in their work, while others are inclined to a faster pace and require more independence. We want to tell the attorney, “Here are your natural strengths, these are the qualities that make you fantastic, here are the environmental factors which elicit your strengths, and these are the types that inhibit them.” The overall goal is to promote better working relationships and better performance, for both the attorney and the business. The Trust Initiative helps companies hire legal counsel who best support their goals and business culture. On the other side of that coin, the attorneys are more satisfied, comfortable, and happy in their role, because their strengths are being championed.
Helping Attorneys Unearth Their Strengths and Shatter the Facade
It’s important that attorneys realize that just because they have been (or currently are) in a specific role, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a great fit for their natural inclinations as a human being. One of the biggest benefits that the Trust Initiative can offer is self-awareness. After completing the behavioral survey and a brief bit of homework about their motivators (E.g. job security, recognition, being part of a team, etc.), I’m able to create a behavioral profile that not only helps reveal an individual’s natural strengths, but also helps to shed light on any behavioral masks they might be wearing, even unknowingly.
Everyone masquerades, but most of us don’t realize it. For example, an attorney may come across as having a dominant personality. Because of this reason, they probably pursue leadership roles, and may often be left to work independently. Naturally, expectations are set for their performance, both externally and internally. I’ve come across these seemingly “alpha” personalities often in my profession, but when subjected to a behavioral survey, you would be surprised how often it’s found that these professionals actually crave being a supporting member of a team, and actually don’t want to consistently take on leadership positions. These discrepancies between a person’s “natural self” and their professional role often leads to undue stress and career burnout. After multiple instances of feeling that they’ve “failed”, anyone could run the risk of blaming themselves, and becoming miserable or caustic. Unbeknownst to many, though, is that they’re simply in the wrong role.
Auxana’s Truth Initiative supports and enables each attorney to leverage their individual strengths. As such, some may even come to a realization that they’re naturally inclined to do something else. Whatever the outcome, our goal is to have each attorney deploying their natural strengths in optimal ways, which supports Auxana’s mission of balance and well-being.
Businesses Can Hire With Confidence and Transparency
Our goal is to offer the most beneficial legal partnerships to Auxana’s business users as well. In this way, the attorney’s behavioral profile also provides invaluable information to business leadership. What matters to the decision-makers? What are their expectations of their legal counsel? Do they expect a team player, or an autonomous leader? Is the company fast-paced, or do they operate more slowly and deliberately?
With these details in mind, business leadership can utilize the Auxana platform to not only find outsourced GCs who specialize in the type of business counsel they require, but who are also a great fit for their company’s culture, objectives, and vision. Beyond simply hiring legal counsel, the organization has the opportunity to enlist a culturally-compatible legal partner, and this compatibility has the potential to evolve into a long-term, favorable partnership for everyone.
Having the ability to partner with a compatible Auxana outsourced GC has huge economic advantages as well. Outsourced GCs can be brought in to the company much earlier in a business lifecycle than a full-time GC, because the logistics of hiring an outsourced GC better fit within their needs and budget. Rather than paying a W2 salaried package, including benefits, bonuses, and options, the company instead pays a flat monthly fee to an outsourced GC that works within their budget. More importantly, they can acquire the kind of leadership and legal advisement from a senior attorney usually reserved for large companies. When negotiating contracts with big customers and mitigating risk with big competitors (both of whom employ in-house counsel), having an outsourced GC on the team gives them a huge advantage.
The behavioral and cultural inclinations of any prospect can easily become muddled during the hiring process. As mentioned, sometimes a person’s natural inclinations can be a surprise to themselves! With Auxana’s Trust Initiative, not only can our attorneys do better business via the leveraging of their strengths, but businesses can hire with the kind of confidence that only this level of transparency can bring.
Learn more about becoming one of Auxana’s trusted outsourced GCs
Hire an Auxana attorney with confidence and transparency
About the author:
Kevin Black, MA, MBA, is a veteran US Army officer and seasoned entrepreneur, nationally recognized for learning and development services in leadership and strategy. He works with clients across a variety of industries, from start-ups to public companies, such as LifeLock, Medtronic and McKesson. Kevin is also a member of Forbes Coaches Council, writing on issues dealing with leadership and strategy.