What is your strategy?

God blessed me with the gift of strategy. I first noticed that I strategize one, cold, winter day when mom my dropped me off at school for afternoon kindergarten in Addison, Illinois. I waited for the bell, minding my own business when a boy came up to me to inform me that he planned to hit me with a snowball. Confronted with this minor threat to my well-being being, I immediately developed a strategy. I hoped to deter the boy from putting snow on me by informing him that if he hit me with a snow, I would punch him in the stomach.

My statement did not deter as I'd hoped. After the snow made contact with me, I punched the boy in the stomach, hard. Rather than finish what he had started, the boy ran off crying. I rationally told myself that I had warned the boy. And I knew in my five-year- old little heart that had the boy continued to engage me I would have held my own. The encounter with the boy revealed my ability to strategize at a young age.

All of my family is blessed with the ability to strategize. It is in our DNA. My dad successfully practiced criminal law in the Loop before passing in 2007. My sister, Emory Copeland clerked for a federal judge and serves as my mentor. My brother, the late Emory Andrew Tate, Jr. played chess to achieve international master status. Daaim Shabazz penned Emory Tate's life story in the book, Triple Exclam!!! My brother's son Emory Andrew Tate, III fights as an acclaimed kick boxer overseas. His daughter, Janine Tate recently began her career as lawyer. God wove the ability to strategize throughout Tate DNA. Our success in our chosen careers is testament.

A client recently told me that I practice law like a chess master and kick boxer. When he said it, I immediately knew what he had been up to. He found the ability to strategize in my my family's successes on the internet.

Today, I'll give some insight on developing my winning strategies. I consider many things. Who is my opponent's client? What resources are available to that client? Are the facts in my opponent's favor? Is the law in my opponent's favor? What is the temperament of opposing counsel? Who is my client. What do we hope to accomplish? Considering such things, I think. I pray. I think hard again. God never ceases to amaze me with the ideas that He gives me. I add to this my knowledge of human nature and common sense.

So, I never threaten. I act. I never condescend. I try to be humble, not taking the credit for myself. I never tell my opponents what to do. I tell them what to expect from me. I never bluff. I soberly assess situations. This works for me because God is faithful. Today I challenge you. Give it some thought. What is your strategy?

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Elizabeth D. Tate, Attorney at Law
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