No matter how good you are… you can’t do it alone. You need a team. The team could include staff members, colleagues, a contract attorney, freelancers and the list goes on. There is no question that you need a team to be successful.

My question is how committed are you to your team… and how committed are they to you? Lawyerist contributor Josh Camson writes about his lessons learned from Aaron Sorkin’s West Wing and the character Toby Ziegler, the White House Communication Director. Yes, Toby was just a television character… but the wisdom is profound!

Camson writes…

Toby: …’We’re a group. We’re a team…We win together, we lose together, we celebrate and we mourn together. And defeats are softened and victories sweetened because we did them together…I’m simply gonna say this: you’re my guys. And I’m yours. And there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for you.’

When someone on his staff leaks an embarrassing quote to the press, Toby is furious. But instead of chastising his staff, he gives the above speech. Toby understands that without everyone that works for him, he wouldn’t be able to do his job. We are no different. Without our partners, associates, paralegals, and support staff, we wouldn’t be as good at our jobs. It’s important that we remember that the next time we think a member of our team did something wrong.

It is our job to inspire and motivate on behalf of our clients, firms and communities. Money seldom inspires. And often times money isn’t even being exchanged. I have a criminal defense client that everyone in the courthouse is happy to see and happy to help. So I ask you… Who is truly happy to help you? If the list is short… What are you going to do about it?