“The Court Room vs. Your Office (How the Casey Anthony Saga can Help You Grow)”
Anger. Outrage. Injustice.
These feelings rang so loudly in my head when I heard the Casey Anthony verdict that I could focus on little else. NO justice for little Calee.
As the day wore on however, I found myself reflecting on the events of the past several months. Of the cases presented by the defense and the prosecutors, of the perspective of the jurors, of the impetus of my own anger and outrage and (as always) what I could learn (what WE could learn) from this similarly OJ-ish child death case.
As a resident of Orlando, I can tell you that we have literally been inundated by the Casey Anthony case for the past three years without a break. I could care less for the all the pre-trial hype but once the trial began…
I was completely sucked in.
Having had a little time now to process the verdict, I wanted to share my thoughts on what I am learning (or re-learning) from the Casey Anthony saga as it relates to my work and my life. There are lessons in everything if we are open to them so here are a few that I wanted to share with you. This post was written as much for me as for you but I hope that something written here supports your journey as much as it does my own:
- There is no such thing as “fair”. The work of trial is about conviction or acquittal. The work of corporations is about “profit” – period. I stand for “fair” always but I recognize that fair does not always exist simply because I want it to.
- The rule of law supercedes our feelings and beliefs about the verdict just as corporate policies supercede our feelings and beliefs about how certain human resource situations are resolved. Many have worked with associates who have gotten away with something unacceptable to most but because they operated just inside of (or manipulated) corporate policies, they technically could not be reprimanded according to the corporate standard. We create rules and policies for the majority of people who will honor and respect them, not the minority of people who manipulate and/or abuse them. It would be impossible to create rules and policies that address all of the pathological behaviors that human beings can engage in and even if it were possible, it would make our lives so restrictive as to be unbearable.
- “Like-ability” matters. I’m not a Jose Baez fan but I have to admit that as the trial wore on, I could see him emerging as a more “like-able” guy. For the most part, he managed his temper well, he seemed to engage less often in the tit-for-tat behavior of the prosecution and he took his lumps maturely. When I compare that to prosecutor Ashton (for example) who was very visible and the most volatile of the prosecution team, I wonder if Ashton’s like-ability factor may have negatively impacted the prosecution. Yes, we are “supposed” to focus on the facts of the case or the business at hand but the reality is that we view those we like with a different lens than those we don’t. We just do.
- Arrogance is generally not considered attractive. Confidence is great. Arrogance is not. Again, it seemed that the prosecution crossed this line in the final days of the trial. I can only presume that if I saw it, the jury did as well. I will forever remember the jauntiness with which Ashton returned to court after the verdict was determined and while the jury didn’t see his behavior, I wonder to what extent that cockiness manifested itself in his presentation and left an unsavory taste in the mouths of the jurists.
- Nothing succeeds like success. Admittedly not my line but one taken from WFTV Orlando legal analyst Bill Sheaffer. If you’re like me and didn’t care for Mr. Baez, the fact remains that the result of the trial will catapult him to rock-star status. Nothing succeeds like success.
- When things don’t go your way, there comes a time when you have to move on. We all have different tolerance levels for bad news. Allow yourself time to grieve and respond to the loss or result and then decide to move on. Learn from the outcome but don’t allow your attachment to drain your energy for all the good things left to come.
- Breathe. Initially the hardest thing to do when things don’t do the way we would like. I saw red when the verdict was read. All I could express was my outrage. I’m quite sure I didn’t breathe for at least two hours. I was trapped in “and another thing!” mode and couldn’t get out. After two hours of raging against the system (and the jury) the quiet voice inside me (in my case, God) said, “Valerie, it’s time.” I listened and I began to breathe again. I still felt bad for Calee but I was no longer attached. I could communicate with others about the verdict, express my opinion, honor any differing opinions without wanting to attack and let it go.
- NO ONE (or no THING or no RESULT or no VERDICT) gets to steal your joy. As much as we may not like something, it is worse to give one’s power, energy or joy away to a situation that is no longer in one’s control. Do what you can to affect a result and then let it go and move on.
I would love to get your thoughts.