What piloting a plane can teach us about piloting a law firm

By michelle_pgs | August 16, 2023

What piloting a plane can teach us about piloting a law firm

Recently I found myself back in a flight simulator at RAF Brize Norton.

This time it was the Airbus A400M Atlas Military Transport Aircraft.

Quite different from my previous experience in the Lockheed C130 Hercules (which I wrote a blog about HERE)….but no less instructive about the analogy between piloting a plane and piloting a law firm.

Last time in the Hercules my biggest lesson was that if you overfocus on one single instrument reading (e.g. altimeter) you’re in danger of missing other important readings (e.g. airspeed) and could crash. It was easy to see the analogy for law firms who overfocus on one metric such as fee income and don’t pay enough attention to their profit.

This time I saw how the automatic systems in the Atlas made it easier to pilot the plane. Whilst I was focusing on the basics such as the direction I wanted to go in (we were ‘flying’ low over the Anglesey coastline), the plane’s systems were managing many other things in the background, including speed and keeping the plane level during a turn.

This felt a lot easier than the more ‘manual’ experience in the Hercules where I had to focus on many different things at once. That felt like I had to keep all the plates spinning at all times to avoid crashing!

In the Atlas, all I really had to do was lightly push the joystick in the direction I wanted to go and then release it, leaving the plane’s systems to do the rest of the work.

Many law firms I work with come to me in the ‘Hercules’ stage. Everything is manual and requires the owners and managers to keep many plates spinning at all times. This is both stressful and high risk – what if they drop one of the plates?

But the firms who install our Practice Growth Systems – thereby moving into the ‘Atlas’ phase – have quite a different experience. They can stop focusing on spinning plates every day and instead focus on the bigger picture, including the direction they want to go in and where they want to end up. Not only are they more likely to get the growth results they want, but there’s a lot less stress and risk along the way.

Take action

If you’re ready to look at which Practice Growth Systems your firm or legal practice most needs in order to get the results you want with less stress and lower risk (and the best way to implement them effectively), join me and other small firm owners at my next online workshop ‘Profitable Practice Growth Secrets For Small Law Firms’. To check dates and ticket availability (and see testimonials), click HERE.


Subscribe to our ‘Friday Focus’ emails and receive practice growth tips and strategies direct to your inbox.