The Wolf of Wall Street – Building Castles on Sand

Don’t lie to your clients. Ever. Not even because you think it’s for some ‘greater good’.

I love The Wolf of Wall Street.

Not only a film of immense pacing and quality dialogue, but a perfect example of how seemingly small lies end up engulfing lives and businesses.

The moment you tell yourself ‘that lie was ok’, you set a precedent for every client interaction, especially if you get away with that lie.

“It’s ok, no-one got hurt.”

No, not this time.

But lies spiral.

They seep into the culture of your firm

It can be so tempting, the stakes and pressure are so high in the legal profession that covering up a mistake or withholding bad news from a client can seem like the smart move.

It’s not, and here’s why:

Once you become comfortable with lying, you then become bold enough to justify it to colleagues. Those with integrity will push back and your team is then built with liars, all desensitised to their own lack of ethics.

Soon you’re lying at scale.

And lying requires you to keep track of where the truth ends and the lying starts. And eventually the lies catch up to you and that castle built on sand comes crumbling down.

Perhaps you are pursuing a client, but don’t have experience in their industry; perhaps you’ve made a mistake and believe you can make it right before anyone finds out.

Whatever your reasoning, don’t do it.

Because it will destroy everything and everyone around you.

And that’s not the kind of career legacy you want to leave behind.