25 Mindset Shifts to Level Up Your Law Firm Leadership Part 1

You know that thought experiment where people ask "if you could go back in time and tell an 8 year old you something, what would it be?"

And then someone (usually a dude, in the back of the room screams) buy Apple Stock (or Amazon Stock, or Tesla)...

Well, on the one hand I hate that thought experiment when done as a joke, but on the other hand I wish I understood these things sooner.

1. "I Am Groot" - The Growth Mindset

This is where it all starts. You HAVE to understand that who you are today isn't who you will be (and honestly, it's probably sad if you don't change that much over a long timeline).

I get asked a bunch about my risk tolerance...and trust me, I know who people who have WAY more risk in their life than I am comfortable with...but honestly, for me, when I do something knew there are only 3 outcomes:

1) it will go well
2) I will learn from it
3) I will die and then I wouldn't be here to worry anyway

And while I am mostly kidding about #3, or at least the likelihood of that outcome prevents me from doing some things...I am serious #1 and #2. I just turned 36...what the fuck am I going to do today business decision wise that truly ruins the rest of my life?

And while usually the growth mindset is great..."I can't do this YET" instead or "I just can't do it"...even Groot turns setbacks into growth. Remember, "I am Groot" means sticking to your roots while reaching for the stars.

2. The Tony Stark Approach - Problems as Possibilities

Like Stark turning scraps into the Iron Man suit, view each problem as a piece to build your empire.

Or as Marcus Aureluis would stay - what stands in the way becomes the way.

Whatever problem you are currently facing, look at it as a chance to become the type of person who overcomes that problem and we can all be superheroes!

3. Yoda’s Wisdom - Teaching is Learning

"The best teacher, failure is." Every failure is a lesson in disguise; embrace it, learn from it, and share the wisdom.

If you KNOW it will take you 100 tries to get something right, you didn't fail once...you got 1% of the way to your goal.

4. The Matrix Maneuver - Busy vs. Productive

Neo chooses between the red and blue pills. Choose tasks that matter (red pill), not just busywork (blue pill).

We have to get rid of the billable hour as much as we can so we can stop wearing overwork as a badge of honor.

I don't care how many hours you worked, I don't even care how much money you made...I care if you're happy and enjoying life and being there for those who need you, and asking for help when you need it...and being productive on what truly matters.

5. The Gandalf Theory - Leadership as Service

"You shall not pass!" unless you're serving those you lead. Leadership means clearing the path for others.

We all only get 168 hours every day. There's NOTHING we can do to change that, but we can control what WE have to do in that time. So if you can build and grow your team - not just in size...but in skills and resources and abilities...THAT my friends is scalable.

6. The Batman and Alfred Protocol - Delegation

Even Batman needs Alfred. Delegating tasks isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s maximizing the Batcave’s efficiency.

Bonus points when you delegate things to people who do them better that you EVER could. Or enjoy them more. Or take ownership and tweak them to make the whole process better and more impactful than it was when you did it.

7. The Captain America Creed - Ethics at the Core

Let your moral compass guide you as steadfastly as it does Steve Rogers. Ethical practices build lasting legacies.

This applies to how you treat your clients, your employees, opposing counsels, everyone. And look, I will be the FIRST to admit this is still aspirational for me...or at least I can ALWAYS be better at this.

And sure, I can show you the financial benefit to this between employees not leaving, clients sending their friends or coming back with future cases, and even referral sources hiring us directly (or for their spouses and kids)...but that is BECAUSE to me it's the RIGHT thing to do first, and the $$$ comes second.

8. The Skywalker Saga - Embracing Change

Change is inevitable, as Luke Skywalker knows. Adapt and evolve; your firm's survival depends on it.

This plays out in literally every different way...but I want to highlight the old "what happens if I train these employees up and then they leave?" Which doesn't scare me as much as if you DON'T train them up and keep them underperforming and then they stay...

To combine this with the last one, pull a quote from Richard Branson - Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough, so they don't want to.

9. The Kal-El Clause - Humility in Power

Superman’s strength is tempered by his humility. Powerful leadership is grounded in humility and respect.

Kendra Niiro once told me that I was easy to root for and it's really the nicest compliment I have gotten.

ESPECIALLY as lawyers it's easy to flaunt our wins and brag about ourselves and then watch everyone cheer the minute you get any comeuppance. Instead, make it about everyone else and still watch the accolades come in PLUS have people who want to work with you instead of being stuck working FOR you.

10. The Peter Parker Reminder - Great Power and Responsibility

With great power comes great responsibility. Recently, my son found my President flashcards that I used to try and remember the order of the Presidents.

To my son's credit he immediately pointed out there were no women and only one not fully white guy in the mix...but then we got to talking about the job of the President and how hard it must be.

Do you do option A and maybe kill these people, or option B and kill those, or do nothing and maybe everyone dies anyway...

If the decisions were easy...they wouldn't come to you, so make sure you are positioned to make the hard decisions. Yes, delegate and empower your staff, but know when you have to step in.

11. The Bruce Banner Balance - Managing Stress

Keep your inner Hulk in check. Manage stress to prevent it from managing you.

I cannot stress this enough. In fact, one of my team members (who's been with me for over 3 years) commented on how much nicer I seem. I refuse to believe that my numbers reflect my happiness and instead believe (as does all of the research on happiness) that my happiness reflects my numbers being better.

Your team is watching.

That being said...you can also create a ton of trust by being mad FOR them instead of AT them. Firing a poor fit team member, or standing up to an asshole client for your team can be the difference between buy in and box checking.

12. The Frodo Baggins Burden - Small Steps to Big Goals

Every step towards Mordor was small but essential. Progress is progress, no matter the size.

Or the journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step - a famous Chinese Proverb.

It's EASY to see how far away from the ultimate goal you are. It's HARD to see how far you've come since.

13. The Stark Industries Innovation - Embracing Technology

Innovate like Stark Industries. Leverage new tech to keep your firm at the forefront of legal tech.

Here's what terrifies me about AI - the more people who use it, the faster it learns. So the longer you wait to start using it the more you fall behind.

You might do 5-10 consults a week. A large firm might do 100. AI might see the results of 1,000,000 consultations a day. It's going to learn what lines and price options and offers truly move the needle SO much faster than you will without the tool.

I know it's taking a bit longer than expected, but hang tight and tune in next week for more on the 25 Mindset Shifts to Level Up Your Law Firm Leadership.

Upgrade Your Life.

Okay, so this all sounds good, but you’re wondering how to start making these changes. The first important step was visiting this web page, so congrats! You’re already on the right track. The next crucial step is booking a consulting appointment with me so we can come up with a plan and replicate the results of so many others before you.

You can book an appointment here. See you soon!

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