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S5 E9: Cocktails to Keynotes


ICP Logo

S5 E9: Cocktails to Keynotes




Grace and Liel reunite after what feels like a century, and they have some juicy updates to spill!

Liel is excited to share the launch of his new book, “En Español También es Marketing,” which is basically the secret sauce to help Spanish-speaking Latinos dominate the business world. Move over, competition!

Grace spills the tea on her recent presentation at Mass Torts Made Perfect, where she schooled everyone on how to manage a team remotely. And, of course, she’s got some insider info on all the juicy gossip that was exchanged during the cocktail receptions.

And if that’s not enough, Grace has a list of seven signs that your leadership skills need some work, all thanks to her attendance at the Fireproof Summit in Detroit. Don’t worry, folks; she’s got your back. Tune in now!

Resources mentioned in our episode:

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Episode notes powered by ChatGPT


Liel: [00:00:00] Can view, which appeared in the New York Stock Exchange last week, has been named in at least seven talc lawsuits filed since the start of April. I’m Liel Levy, co-founder of Nanato media and author of Beyond Se Habla Español How Lawyers Win the Hispanic Market. And this is in Camera podcast, where we look forward to can view being held accountable for their disregard of consumers health. Welcome to In-camera Podcast Private Legal Marketing Conversation. Grace Welcome back. I want to welcome myself back. I mean, it’s been wild how long it’s been since we last recorded an episode. So how are you?

Grace: [00:01:04] I’m good. You know, travel, travel, travel. And you’ve been booking appointments left and right, so I’m doing pretty good. How about you?

Liel: [00:01:11] Yeah, well, listen, I’m super glad to hear that you’re doing well. And, you know, our brief communications over text have led me to believe that you. You’ve been busy and unavailable, but for a good reason myself, Grace. And not to make the conversation about. About me and what’s been going on with me over the past few months. But I don’t know if you’ve seen this little baby I’m holding here on my hand, which is our brand new book in Espanol. También es Marketing Consigue el sueno Americano Usando tu Idioma just launched this week. Super, super excited about this one. Grace for the for the legal community listening. This book has nothing to do with legal marketing, but it has to do with something that I that I care deeply about, which is, you know, empowering Latinos in the United States who are Spanish first or Spanish only speakers to embrace their language, their culture and feel empowered to use that as a superpower to really achieve whatever is that they want. Our book is more focused in business growth and entrepreneurial endeavors through leveraging this one superpower they have.

Liel: [00:02:24] Right? Because the way I see it, Grace, is, you know, like we have so many people coming to us that have businesses, particularly law firms that are trying to connect with the Hispanic market. And because they don’t have an entryway to it, they need an agency like us to help them. But when it comes down to Latinos, they already have a lot of that groundwork sorted out for them. They have the language, they have the community, they have the cultural understanding. Now they just need kind of like the technical help to get themselves there. And that’s kind of like what these books aims to do is change the mindset and also provide them with a reference guide to at least get them started. So this is, yeah, something that we’ve been working on really almost since we’ve finished up launching and promoting our last book, which was Beyond Espanol for Law firms. But it’s yeah, it’s very nice to see this, you know, coming, coming to life. Yeah. So that’s, that’s what’s been going on around here. Grace, Um, how about you?

Grace: [00:03:28] Well, first and foremost, we can’t just jump past that. I mean, congratulations, of course. And, well, I mean, it’s you, so I’m not surprised that you came up with a freaking book and, like, right after the other book was published. But either way, you are adding that to episode notes honestly because, um, you know, me being Hispanic and Spanish first, like my whole family is, that is something that I’ve always driven and, and driven myself to help other minorities, but particularly female Hispanics. So seeing something like that, a book made for us by us, I love that. And so you better add that to episode notes.

Liel: [00:04:05] Liel Yeah, absolutely. It will be there. And of course your copy is going to be on the post or it’s already on the post. So you know, expect that. Grace and please. Of course, you know, we’re offering the book at $0.99 and probably we’ll do it for quite some time because at the end of the day, this is a book that we wrote primarily to help people. And so we want to make it easy for people to have access to this. So, Grace, thank you so much. And yes, these are exciting times for us because of this and many other things. But I know you’ve been very, very busy. You’re basically been you’ve been jumping from stage to stage or from mastermind conference to mastermind conference. And so this conversation is for us to get caught up. I think there’s going to be a lot of business of law. Inevitably, there’s going to be some marketing and let’s see what else comes up. So where should we pick up where we left, right, right at the beginning of MTP?

Grace: [00:05:01] I think that’s the best place to start considering the last three weeks have been one. The first week was MTP. Second week was our retreat for the the entire company and then. That’s right. Yeah. The third. That’s right. Fireproof summit. So yeah, definitely.

Liel: [00:05:16] That’s right. And you know what? I did not know you were going to have a retreat in between those two things. I found out like I found out for most of the things that happened on nowadays in your life, which is through a leak from Michael Bloom in his LinkedIn, that actually tells me, wait a minute, if he’s there, then it means that Grace must be there and that and so that’s how I end up always connecting the dots. So thank God for Mike Bloom’s LinkedIn activity that keeps me on the loop with everything that’s happening in your life because you’re not posting anymore That much I need, I need. To see you more in LinkedIn. But all right, back to funny.

Grace: [00:05:54] Enough, 100%, I need to start increasing my own posts because we’re doing pretty darn well. I got to say, on the social media aspect with Lindsay, who’s our director of marketing. So yes, yeah, she’s great. I need to start doing that myself. So yeah, let’s backing it up. Um, I actually had a presentation at MTP and my presentation was on how to run a remote law firm. And so that was part of the business of law track, of course. And yeah. Mr.. Romano John Romano was actually our panel host, so it was a really, really cool, um, it was a fairly full room for something. So kind of off topic in a way. Um, because there were multiple sessions and tracks just like every other MEP and there were people waiting for me after I got off stage was really, really cool. Um, not that that had not happened before, but I think that this day and age now, people are looking for how do I make a hybrid model or how does the model of a remote law firm work for others that are doing that? And as you know, Liel, we’ve been remote for a long time. I mean, yeah, it’s just part of our DNA as the law firm. It’s, it’s what we do. So I was able to provide a lot of insight, I think, to a lot of people.

Grace: [00:07:12] And it then led to, of course, you know, people coming over and finding out how they can do the same thing. So, you know, my background is, you know, and hopefully I think most of the people on here know my background is in development and automation and anything that has to do with technology pretty much. So this was probably one of the best times that people could have attended MTMP because the tracks were very geared towards business, true business of law, and how to take these techniques from people like myself and from others that are doing this and implement it for their own way of doing things right. Because it doesn’t have to be a one size fits all, which I think a lot of people think it has to be. Um, so while I was there, besides that, of course, they had a lot of updates on mass torts, which that’s what we do, right? So our director of Mass Torts is Caitlin Neufeld. She’s our mass tort attorney. She was able to attend quite a few of the pretty much all of the mass tort updates, including things like talc. Um, you know, I know that we’ve all kind of been watching Talc a little bit. Yeah.

Liel: [00:08:26] Yeah. Lately it’s been all over the place, right? Johnson and Johnson. And it’s. Oh, sorry. Sorry not to, to. I want you to get back to it. But it’s so wild, right? Because from one end, you, you, you. You hear it through, through the news and developments that have been on the mass tort world. But then from the finance standpoint, you’re you’re then hearing that they’re on the roadshow, you know trying to get themselves ready. I don’t know what they’re launching to market, but it’s just like ridiculous. Oh, yeah.

Grace: [00:08:51] And it was really interesting because it all happened within the same day. And I know we kind of briefly mentioned that on the last call. But this, you know, all of the those on the plaintiffs steering committee. So again, just as a quick reminder, those that deal with the mass torts, there’s a group of attorneys that basically say, okay, all of the cases for the plaintiffs or the people injured, we are going to go this route or that route. Right? So almost as soon as all of it went out from Johnson and Johnson, they immediately were like, oh, no, this is a ploy. This is a ploy by Johnson and Johnson to try and force the settlement, to force clients to call the lawyers and make them settle. Now, if if they had gone with it, what would ended up happening was every plaintiff, regardless of what their problem was, was going to end up with only $40,000.

Liel: [00:09:47] Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. It was ridiculous. Yeah. Insane. It was.

Grace: [00:09:50] Ridiculous. Yeah. So, you know, luckily with Caitlin, you know, attending the updates and seeing what people were talking about, MTMP, there does seem to be a small group of people that believe that this should be finished, you know, kind of come hell or high water, which means, like, push it to the finish line no matter what the amount is going to be because these people have been waiting for so long. Let’s get them at least some money. Now, of course, the majority say no. Right? And so it’s still the same conversation. It was just more of a, hey, let’s all be on the same page, because that’s the reason we attend these seminars. That’s why we kind of come together so that we can all be on the same page as attorneys pulling for our clients, because that’s the most important thing, is taking care of our clients.

Liel: [00:10:36] You know what, Grace. So a couple of things just to complement that, what I was saying before about what they’re doing. So yeah, so Johnson and Johnson, they’re apparently launching something that is called the Kane View, which is a subsidiary of Johnson and Johnson, that its consumer health business, right? And so they’re minting that. They’re preparing that for IPO and that I mean it’s and the timing it’s just when they made the offer on talcum for settling, that’s exactly a few weeks before they started this roadshow. And it’s so clear that they wanted to have talcum completely off the media scene during the time that they were on the roadshow, that that’s probably the reason why they did it and it blew up on their faces. But it’s also very interesting because when you’re reading all of the coverage about the roadshow and so it’s hardly get mentioned about the ongoing lawsuit that’s going on with talc. But it’s really interesting seeing when you’re talking about the general average consumer, they don’t hear and have so much awareness about these things and just puts into perspective how how much room there is still out there in terms of opportunity to better inform, better educate and the amount of work that needs to be done for generating awareness about mass torts in general. Grace That’s one that’s the first thing I wanted to say. The other one here, and that’s so true what you say, like one of the biggest takeaways that I have when I go to Mass Torts Made Perfect is it’s that like literally you sit down in the room and these big lawyers come to stage and basically their job is to align everyone.

Liel: [00:12:17] Set up expectations for everyone. The messaging moving forward needs to be this one for those who are doing this, stop doing it and instead do that. It really much feels like orientation because it’s. Like a wild beast up to a certain extent. And it’s very critical since this is kind of like that’s why it’s mass tort, right? Because it’s a one big lawsuit. One yet you have a lot it has so many moving pieces and marketing pieces and people just in their own markets making noise about this at different paces and rhythms and such that it can get very quickly contaminated and kind of like a domino effect. Right? Because if the wrong message goes out and it goes viral and it starts generating and gathering a lot of attention, that can create a very damaging impact onto the overall efforts of moving this massive beast forward. So I really felt that a lot of what they do on the legal tracks in Mass Torts Made Perfect is that it’s kind of like, here are the updates, here is what we’re going to do with them and you should be doing exactly the same thing.

Grace: [00:13:36] Exactly. It’s exactly that. It’s to orient and align all of the attorneys that are involved in this mass litigation so that we’re all speaking the same language, we’re all saying the same thing, and we’re all protecting our clients 100%. I mean, that’s so very similar. But probably one of the hardest situations that happened very recently was with Zantac, right? So Zantac, they weren’t really discussing it there, but they did mention it. So for those of you that don’t know, Zantac is one of those cases that got completely dismissed at the MDL level, right? So that means that you cannot bring it to the mass tort litigation any longer. However, big part of it was the State Court, as a matter of fact, in California, stated that you could continue to bring cases, but that they had to be California residents. And of course, you know, you’re going to need counsel in that state because this is no longer an MDL. So with that type of thing, it’s and then, of course, there’s two years of appeals, right? It takes about two years for an appeal to be heard to come through. So the fact that it was dismissed, it doesn’t mean it’s done. It does mean that it’s done for right now. So there’s a lot of things that go on with these cases in Mass Torts and MTP is exactly that. To align everybody for everyone to understand what’s going on. If they do have cases in California as an example that are Zantac, they still have a quote unquote home for their injured clients. Right. And so these seminars are super important because not only are we sharing information, but we’re sharing orientation and leadership and what people are doing to help their clients at the highest level possible.

Liel: [00:15:25] Any other news, any other kind of like big developments that were shared throughout or that were talked about? Because obviously there’s what’s happening in the conferences, but then there’s also the chit chatter that’s happening.

Grace: [00:15:37] So it was actually kind of interesting because this happened, right? Mtp was kind of right after the Florida tort reform law was passed. And I heard that’s true. Such completely different viewpoints on this Florida tort reform. I had half of them saying, oh, my goodness, it’s completely destroyed, you know, cases in Florida. Whereas my own boss actually was like, you know, while he’s not licensed in Florida, he does understand, obviously, PI law. And he was like, this is just another law that is being. That’s been passed. But this is just another change. He’s like this. It’s not making things that much harder or that much easier, honestly. And so it was really interesting to hear such disparate perspectives from my own owner and then from other attorneys that were there. Um, so it’s, it’s always kind of middle of the road when it comes to like the chit chat, right? Some people are pissed off, others are like, Oh, it’s just the same thing happening in a different way now I just got to niche up or niche down in my practice areas, right? So if I had slip and falls or dog bites.

Grace: [00:16:44] All right, well, maybe I need to focus a little more on this or that because of the change. So I think a lot of times when you and I speak about all these different things and telling people not to put all their eggs in one basket, this is probably one of the perfect situations to use for that, right? Because if somebody only did slip and falls, let’s say, and this particular law is completely taking away the ability to do that, if you don’t have another practice area, you could be shut tomorrow, right? So yeah, this if nothing else, and conferences like that are there to help remind people that if you stick to one practice area or even one tort and you’re not diversifying your portfolio, meaning your practice areas, it’s going to be a problem because laws change and any business is going to be like that. Every industry, it’s like that. I mean, if COVID didn’t show us that, nothing else will, honestly. But so yeah, yeah, that’s the chatter around the water cooler that was happening.

Liel: [00:17:48] Yeah. No, actually, that’s very interesting. Grace Honestly, completely. The Florida tort reform, while we actually, I think in the last conversation we had was around that, um, huge, very impactful, really not surprised to hear that that actually was the center of a lot of conversations in the in the during the conference. But I think what you’re saying is absolutely it’s absolutely right that there is two ways that you can look at it. Right? That’s it. This is the end of it all. Or we have to go back to the strategy board and just change a few pieces and, you know, figure out a way forward. And, you know, I’m not surprised that in the case of your organization, that’s the approach they have taken because that’s, you know, what you see growing firms do, right? They’re just adapting and adapting fast and in many times planning out for these things ahead of time. But what you say you cannot nobody has a crystal ball that’s going to tell them with accuracy what things are going to fall over the next 2 or 3 years. You can have predictions, but there is no certainty. What you can do, however, is to have many different lines. Under river so that you have more options to fish than just having one line out there. So I think it’s it’s a great analogy. Well, it’s not an analogy. It’s just it’s a perfect example of of what exactly is that? What you know what we mean when we talk about the power of of diversifying the the legal part of your services. I mean it’s essential. So. Grace That’s great. Sounds like mass tort made perfect. Was mass torts made perfect again? And that’s good because that’s what we expect. It was well attended. Grace Yeah.

Grace: [00:19:39] Actually, I think there was. It’s funny because we just got last week the attendee list and there were probably close to 500 last minute attendees that were just decided to come at the last second. Yeah. And so it was very well attended. Um, there was a different mix of a lot of newbies, which was interesting. So I actually got to talk to a lot of new people to mass torts, right? They may not be new in, in law. As a matter of fact, I think most of them had been in PI for close to 20, 30 years in a lot of cases. And yeah, a few of people that I spoke to were like, you know what? I’ve been hearing about mass torts. I’m at the point in my career, in my life cycle of my office, of my law firm, that I have money, that I’d like to reinvest in a different practice area. And I’ve been hearing about mass torts, so I just decided to attend. And that happened more than once. That was actually probably close to ten different times that somebody told me that. And a lot of them were sole practitioners in some cases, but they had great practices, like lots of cases, and they were making revenue, but they just wanted to expand and not necessarily do any of the work, which as you know. Leo, that’s what we do. We will just take your investment and co-counsel with you and give it to the best lawyers. We work it up and then we hand it off. So there was a lot of interest in that respect where they don’t want to do the work because they don’t know enough about the particular mass tort, but they want to get involved and they want to invest in it as another marketing investment for their law firm. So there was a lot more of those this time around than I’ve seen in previous years period. It’s very interesting dynamic with the new attendees.

Liel: [00:21:24] Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Well, actually, you know, Grace, that sounds like a great trend because quite frankly, I think, you know, Mass tort made Perfect has always done a great job at attracting decent pool of new attendees, first time attendees, while also retaining their their crowd and audience who attend once or twice a year. And I think that, you know, having that balance is great because, well, in your case also as a vendor at the event, it just gives you an opportunity to have better reach and more exposure and just, you know, rather than just being an additional touch point on people who have been on your pipeline for three years actually bringing new people to the pipeline. So Grace Mass Tort made perfect sound, sounded like it was a great opportunity. Really glad to hear that you had a very successful presentation. I believe the firm also presented on Ertc, correct? Correct. There we go. Ertc credits. So that another thing that’s still going on and that you guys are doing so fantastic. Then you went off to New York for a company retreat. Man, you guys are doing starting to do those with a lot of frequency. Like what is it now? Once every two months, Every three.

Grace: [00:22:54] Yep.

Liel: [00:22:55] So you’re you’re you’re a once a quarter. Wonderful great. So you’re in New York for the lake law firm retreat and here’s what I know so far. Your presentation was done in a place that looked like, I don’t know, like, like a like an early art deco, 20th century. Yes. Theater or something like very cool place. But yeah, give me a little bit more of context because otherwise it’s just plain out. It’s so.

Grace: [00:23:29] Cool actually. So we ended up at this little boutique hotel for all of us, and it was a very small hotel, so we pretty much took it up. It was the Roxy Hotel, which also has a nightclub and a bar in the middle of like Tribeca, and it’s on a corner. And the way it’s shaped is like this pyramid shape. So you’re like perfectly in the middle of everything, you know, ten minutes this way, ten minutes that way. And when I say ten minutes, I mean like five walking New York fast, you know? So everything is within distance. Everything was close by and. We kind of started. Obviously, we normally start with a day off and, you know, hanging out together or a management day and then a day together and so on and so on. So we kind of did the same thing where we had our management day kind of settle on set up the goals of what we’re going to talk about with everybody. And then the next day we went to the edge. Actually, I don’t know if any of you guys know about that, but in New York, it is this place at the like one of the highest places you can go to. And you. Oh, yeah, right. It’s like a clear floor. And you can see. Right, Yeah. Yeah.

Liel: [00:24:37] The glass floor.

Grace: [00:24:38] Yeah. So that’s the edge. We all went as a group. Very cool. I had not actually been there, so it was kind of cool to go see it and it looks like we’re floating in the sky. Um, so with that being said, you know, of course in between everything, he always takes us to some really cool places besides the edge. You know, we got to go to, um, New York. Oh, now, this was awesome. It was the New York Yankees Stadium with a skybox suite for all of us to hang out together. And we got to see the Lake law firm advertising in the stadium on screen. How amazing. Big screen. Got to talk to the general manager. Hold his World Series ring. I got to tell you, man, that was some cool stuff. Yeah, right there. Like, just that’s amazing. I mean, and then everyone hanging out, you know what I mean? Like, everyone just. Yeah, talking about the things that we discussed the day before, even at a Yankees game. You know what I mean? We’re talking about work because we’re so excited to be with each other, see each other, and like some of us for the first time, like meeting face to face.

Grace: [00:25:46] So, you know, Ed’s doing this for that reason in particular, because as a remote law firm, to bring everyone together is not easy. It’s not cheap either. However, it does create this sense of ownership and camaraderie between all of us that cannot be faked, cannot be created out of nothing. So after we all came back, honestly, I think everybody was like, ready to go? Let’s jump on it. Let’s do all the things we talked about. Let’s act on it. And still to right now, this was about two weeks ago. People are still high on the fact that they went to New York. They got to experience this vibe that New York is the city that never sleeps. Right. And they hung out and got to hang out as a group in a safe place with each other. And so it was it was really cool because, you know, for those of you that know New York or don’t know New York, New York is can be a scary place for some people. If you’ve never been there.

Liel: [00:26:49] It can be intimidating.

Grace: [00:26:50] Yeah, it can be. But with the group that we were with and us being together, honestly, I think people felt empowered. And they told me that when they came back they felt confident and empowered like they never did before. To be walking the streets of New York together as a group and feel like they own the city.

Liel: [00:27:08] How cool is that? That’s really, really nice. And you have a team also based in New York. So, you know, also a nice opportunity for those who are from there, kind of like to to, to host up to a certain extent. Yeah. No, I think that’s great. How about your, um, role within the retreat? You got to present. You got to present something to your team. Yeah.

Grace: [00:27:29] So as So we follow the fireproof model, which is considered what’s called the model of operations. That’s right. So as part of it, you know, I am the integrator. Ed is the visionary. And so my role is to make sure we are all aligned under Ed’s vision and goals. So my role was to make sure each and every person and every director understood what their goals, what their KPIs look like, you know, their key performance indicators, and how do we move the needle as a law firm as a whole? That’s what my presentation was about. It’s to motivate, remind, show and then integrate, right? Make sure everyone is speaking to everyone else and that no one person feels like they’re being left out in the cold, for lack of a better word. Because being a remote law firm, it can be very easy to lose track of people’s day to day. And the day to day is the most important thing that you can keep an eye on and help people with because they’re the ones that are in the production. They’re the ones in the nitty gritty of what we do every single day. I’m not saying I’m not because I am, but they’re the ones actually doing the work. So my role and my presentation was to remind them of the fact that, yes, I might be a C-level executive. Yes, my role is the integrator. However, what they do every single day is what truly moves the needle for the firm. What they do every single day is what makes everyone else be able to keep their jobs and keep the jobs going. And moving. So collaboration is key. Communication is key and I let them know I am available to anybody at any time for any reason. And I think that actually I had a couple of them come up to me afterwards and tell me, thank you for that, because I do see you busy all the time.

Grace: [00:29:20] I see your you know, we use teams, Microsoft teams. I see your presence as always, showing as red and busy. I look at your calendar, it’s booked solid, you know, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. But when I do chat you a message or I send you something, you respond to me right away. And I appreciate that. And you telling me that you’re I’m not bothering you, that I’m not, you know, holding you back from doing the things as the integrator that you need to do. I appreciate that, because I don’t want to bother you, Grace. And breaking them of that mentality of I don’t want to bother you. I tell them, I’d rather you ask me a question and get an answer quicker now to help you continue to do your job than later. Not so much so obviously directly to Ed because he is the visionary and his role is not that it’s not to be quote unquote bothered every single day on a regular basis. And I’m not saying that this is something that would work for every company because the C-level executives do have a chain of command, don’t get me wrong, but it works for me and the way I do things. And people don’t take advantage of it honestly, you know, negatively, they won’t take advantage of the fact that I give them all the access in the world. To me, they are thoughtful with the questions they ask. They’re thoughtful. And I believe that comes from these retreats and I believe it comes from the communication that I keep open with the team as a whole.

Liel: [00:30:49] Yeah, you need to create an open channel of communication, which obviously here you have it going on. Grace I think for people to, to feel comfortable wanting to either talk to you or with other team members, to know that that is encouraged and accepted and such can never be overstated, I think, especially with the day to day operations. And as you were saying earlier in the conversation, like, you know, the the the complexities of running a remote team is is that is that that lack of being able to read the room to read the the body language to read the tone at certain times because all of the communications are so brief and are through messenger applications or emails leave a lot to interpretation. And a lot of times that can start that interpretation can start getting derailed from from reality, from what’s really the true meaning. And so to bring people back and to remind them that despite of all of these things or despite of how you may be reading things or such, the fact is that you can always come to me. We’re always going to find time to go over things. If you have questions or to get you the support you need or whatnot is super, super important. So Grace, that’s all wonderful and I’m really, really glad that you guys, you know, are have been so committed to the whole retreat part of things. And and really kudos to Ed for always kind of like opening it up more and more and more and more. So that’s very cool that you guys have that going on. So, um, last thing here for today’s conversation. Last week, you, as you said, you were you’re part of the fireproof. I don’t know, should we call it a mastermind?

Grace: [00:32:39] You called it a summit. I mean, summit, right? It’s only fireproof clients that attended. So everybody there, I mean, it was originally supposed to be only 30 people. It ended up being close to 100. Um, so much. Yeah. He wanted to do it in his office in Detroit, which is where we went. He did end up doing it in his office. We were packed a little like sardines because he wanted so many people to be able to attend. Um, so he let everyone in and we were like, to the rafters. I mean, it was really, really good information. Um, many of you that do know me personally know that I don’t tend to like masterminds a lot, nor do I really like summits like this because I end up honestly and not to be egotistical, I end up teaching them rather than learning anything. Um, but I have to tell you, I did learn some really cool stuff while I was there. I was able to communicate and connect with other law firms that were also clients of Fireproof and sort of share stories, information and just like have this kind of open forum for issues concerns. Um, for me, I think one of the biggest takeaways was the signs of weak leadership. It’s really interesting because most people say, Oh, what are the signs of good or great leaders? What’s the signs of a good or great team? He kind of took a little bit of a different viewpoint on that, and that is here are the seven signs of a weak leadership team so that, you know, if you’re in a bad place And the seven signs, I mean, I actually wrote them out because I thought how important this was to me to explain this to everybody in the team when I got back, which I did.

Grace: [00:34:29] Um, number one is you do not have rock stars in every seat. That is probably one of the best statements I’ve heard. I only hire people that care. And our tagline is everyone knows here is no bullshit legal conversations, right? That you should have, but don’t. Well, I do not accept bullshit. And so having a rock star at every seat is probably the most important thing that you can do in your leadership team. If somebody is not performing, you need to get rid of them. If they’re not collaborating or communicative, they could be the best sales person in the world. But that is not necessarily moving the needle and it’s bringing down morale. You need a rock star in every seat. Number two, leadership is not a 100% on the same page regarding vision of the company. That’s a problem I see a lot of times in law firms and just businesses in general. But that’s neither here nor there. You and I subscribe to that model. We know you know, we believe that we all have to be on the same page. We talk about that all the time. Number three. You don’t all speak the same language. That to me is very much like number two.

Grace: [00:35:38] But number four, this one kind of hit hard, I think, for a lot of people, and that is you aren’t open and honest with each other or comfortable with conflict and you aren’t fanatical about resolution. You should have between 5 and 15 issues a week. And you need to be fanatical about resolving those issues and solving them immediately. That’s a hard thing to swallow. I think for any of us, yeah, because nobody likes conflict, but they’re encouraging conflict to solve the issues. And it’s not so much that they’re encouraging conflict, but they’re encouraging the actual open conversation and truth between each other to have those horrible conversations and nobody wants to have. Yeah. Um, this was an interesting one. Um, I find that we’re pretty good about this here, but I can see how this could be a problem, and that is, don’t treat each other as equals. No one can be intimidated or intimidate others. There’s always the loudest voice in the room. Right? And that loudest voice in the room cannot be the one that decides everything if you have a team of leaders. So that was an interesting one. And again, that’s I think, hurt some people, but that’s the reality of the situation. If you want to grow, no one can intimidate anyone else that’s on the leadership team, especially if you have rock stars in every seat. You need to listen to the people with the skill set that you need to listen to.

Liel: [00:37:08] Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Grace: [00:37:09] And this last one was really interesting. Um, I use a different word, but his word is love. He said you don’t have that secret sauce, love. Leadership needs to love each other. Respect each other. People on the team that are making decisions out of fear will not have a good team. Love is not easily used term for me. Yeah, it’s a.

Liel: [00:37:30] Very powerful word. Right? Mean a little bit maybe. Let’s start with respect is a very, very kind of like the baseline, right? You shouldn’t be able mean you shouldn’t settle with just people tolerating each other. There must be something else there. Right. There must be some, some level of of admiration to their skills or qualities and what they bring to the table. But I still think that love is far, far reached. It’s a little bit too much of kind of like, hey, I want to I want to spark a little bit of controversy here. So I’m going to say love instead of, uh, you know, admiration or yeah, you know, something a little bit more real because. To say that you have to love every single person that you that’s part of your team. I don’t know. Come on, Grace. That’s why I.

Grace: [00:38:22] See. And especially as being, I think with us being Latin, love is a very strong word that we only use for family and people we truly love. And it’s funny you said that because honestly, it feels very similar in terms of using the word love. He’s like, Do you really love the person? Like love is a strong feeling and a strong word to use. And so I kind of take that same viewpoint, like, I’m not going to love everybody because that is not how I look at things, but I can and will need to respect people I work with and like you said, even admire their skill set in how it can help the company. So I thought that’s how he uses it. That’s Mike Morse likes the word love. He does feel like he loves his leadership team. Some of them have actually, most of them have been with him like 10 to 20 years. So maybe he does truly feel that way. You know, it seems like he did and that’s what he was preaching.

Liel: [00:39:17] So, yeah, the question is not whether he loves them, it’s whether they love him back. Right. And at the end of the day, the fact that there been 20 years there doesn’t necessarily mean that they have exactly the same level of feeling that he has. But it doesn’t really matter because at the end of the day, it’s work and it’s commitment and it’s devotion and it’s being capable of delivering and performing to a certain level and standard. And if you can do that, that’s fucking perfectly fine. You don’t have to make this something that it isn’t. And I think, you know, I think it’s wonderful that some people can reach that level of devotion for what you do. And quite frankly, if you’re the business owner and it’s your name that it’s outside the building, you better love everyone who’s helped you got there. Right. Because they’re probably a big component of why is it that you are where you are, But to expect for every single team member of yours and especially when your team member is over 100 people to necessarily call love, what they do at work is a little bit wishful thinking. But with all that said, I think everything else you’ve said on that list is amazing.

Grace: [00:40:32] Grace He’s being very specific about the leadership team loving each other, leadership specifically. He didn’t say all your team members because he’s got 250 team members and he was the first one to say that. But he did say, I love my leadership team and they love me. And I got to tell you, they did come up and say that they love Mike Morse and some of these guys hang out together and they’re his employees. So that’s what works for him. Yeah, I agree with you. I am not the type that will love everybody. I just don’t do that. That’s not me. I’m not super affectionate, regardless of who you are. So when it comes to love, that’s not the word I would use. But I do use the word respect. I do use the word admiration.

Liel: [00:41:14] I think admiration. I think that’s really I mean, I think that’s the real world, you know, because love can also make you biased towards the bad. You know, like if you love someone, it means that you will do things that you wouldn’t do for others in order to make certain things that shouldn’t work. Work. Right. That’s that’s that’s what can happen in some circumstances. But when you’re real, when you’re able to really develop a real sense of admiration and appreciation for what your colleagues, your peers and the leaders above you are doing, then I think you’re really having a drive to want to be part of the organization, to want to be better, right? To want to also show the best side of you because you want others to have that same feeling that you’re having. So anyhow, I don’t know. I’m pretty sure because I know Mike Morse, he phrases it in a way. He phrased it in a way. And I’m not saying that you’re not doing justice to his words here, but he probably portrayed it in a way that sounded very inspirational. I’m just kind of like dissecting here the words that you’re giving me and giving you my commentary on that. But that’s great. A conference in Detroit. Well, was it snowing?

Grace: [00:42:30] No, it’s no the day before. You know how I feel about the cold. So that was funny you asked me that. Everyone’s thinking I’m going to die because I go from freaking, which actually was kind of cold in Vegas. It was like 5060 for me. That’s cold, guys. Okay, It’s cold for me. Leave me alone. Yeah. So?

Liel: [00:42:48] So not a lot. Not a lot of activities in the cabanas. This.

Grace: [00:42:51] Not this time around. And then in New York was cold. It was like 60 seconds, 50 seconds, same thing. And then, of course, freaking Detroit. It snowed the day before. It was like 40 seconds, 50 seconds. So, yeah, Grace had her. Yeah. Grace was definitely bundled up and she stayed inside as much as she could because, yeah, this is not my kind of weather. Um, but it was, it was cool. I got to say, Detroit was. All the food was surprisingly really good. I didn’t expect one way or the other, honestly, being from Miami and you know my husband from New York. Yeah, I wasn’t expecting much from Detroit, but really, really good food. Yeah, really good food, really nice people. Every single person I ran into was nice. Like Southern hospitality, nice, like legitimately nice, which was very cool to see. Um, and then honestly, like, the last thing was, so Mike Morse was telling everybody like this, Hey, I’m doing this because this is how I do it. It’s not for you guys to necessarily copy and paste, copy and paste. You want to. There you go. There you go. So he did say that. There you go.

Liel: [00:43:56] Of course, he’s one of the biggest.

Grace: [00:43:58] Things I think I like the most about Mike is that is that Mike’s like, Hey, this is how I do it. I’m giving you everything he did. He literally said, Here’s under my hood. This is how it all works. This is how all my numbers, this is how I measure everything. Here you go, guys. Take the information and do what you want with it. Hopefully it’s going to help you. And you know, obviously, as part of the coaching that we do with Jen Hirvela is our coach for Fireproof. It’s freaking phenomenal. Like you do need you kind of do need that third party arbiter to sit in on some of these things at least quarterly. You know, even if you do it once a year, you need somebody to look at what the heck is going on in your business that can see from an outsider perspective that can really give you insight, like because it’s hard to look in. Yes, it really is 100%.

Liel: [00:44:48] 100%, 100%. Yeah. That’s great, Grace. Honestly, I’m so glad to hear that you’ve had a good experience in this. What seems to be kind of like the first summit of, uh, of Fireproof and. Yeah, I know. I mean, overall, you’ve, you’ve been very pleased with this program, quite honestly. Honestly, Grace, I think you guys been in every single program that’s been out there, and I’ve only seen you excited about this one, to be quite honest with. I don’t think anything else has impressed you, so I’m pretty sure that it was very well worth your time and all the effort that is going that is being put into implementing a lot of what you are learning there. So Grace, I hate to say this, but we’re coming to the end of the conversation and I hate it because, you know, I could have gone on here for way longer hearing about what else went on there. And so, you know, we’ll leave that up for the next time. But for now, what are three takeaways Grace that we can come up with?

Grace: [00:45:50] So the first takeaway for me is, you know, obviously going to be related to PMP, since that’s the first one I spoke about. Reach out to other attorneys. And yes, even if you don’t attend a conference like Mass Torts Made perfect, you should be networking with other attorneys in your state, close by, other doctors. It doesn’t matter who, but somebody within the industry that could assist you with some of this information mean something so simple as like, what does a doctor look like? You know, look at when they’re doing a case for a slip and fall or, you know, yes, a lot of them might have that information already, but create the relationships network with other attorneys, network with other doctors, find out what’s closest to you and get involved, because that’s the only way to find out what your passion is if you don’t already have another niche, that’s the only way to learn about what’s around you. Otherwise, you’re going to be in a silo and you’ll always be stuck with what you’re doing and you will never grow and.

Liel: [00:46:57] Again mean what you’re saying about networking and such. That’s that’s a way to go about it. Um, joining mastermind groups is another way of, you know, expanding your horizon, being able to see different perspectives, hear different opinions and especially, you know, like going back to the tort reform, like understanding how other people are able to circumvent or, you know, uh, find their way through it. So it’s, it’s, it’s essential. I mean, it’s essential and also for, for other things that it’s more kind of like related to the business of law because, um, you may be, you may be terrific with everything else that you’ve said, right? You may know everything about how to build a case from a medical standpoint. You may know everything about how to, uh, you know, work out the new laws in a way that they do not impact you. But at the end of the day, when it comes down to making your work, you may not necessarily be that good, and so others can help you with that one. So yeah, definitely seek seek for the right complement that you need so that you can you can work well, as you said, as the system says, you know, not not one person has it all. You know the. The baseline is kind of like the there’s a visionary, there’s an implementer. So who are you there and do you have the right support that you need so that you can either have the vision or implement what you want? Great. That’s a great takeaway. What about takeaway number two? What are we going to make that one about? Because, you know, following the line of the conversation, it’s about retreats, it’s about team building, it’s about communications. So what you want to make out of that one?

Grace: [00:48:36] Don’t forget about your employees. Don’t forget that they’re the ones that end up moving the needle in the end. So, yes, obviously focus on your leadership team, make sure that they understand what your vision and what your goal is. But don’t forget about your employees if you don’t have something built in to help your employees, make sure they understand that they can and should communicate with each other, that they can and should collaborate always, you’re not doing your job.

Liel: [00:49:04] And I think Grace also like what you’re saying about bringing them together, letting them know that they’re being heard and that they can reach out. And so I think another important and that’s engaging. Right? But I also think another very important part of keeping your team engaged is investing in their training and development. Right. And this can come through many different ways. Some of it could be by them attending conferences like Mass Torts Made Perfect or whatever that is. Or it could also be by actually spending time with management inside the organization, learning and developing new skills and being given more responsibilities and then giving feedback about how they’re performing those responsibilities. Like there’s a lot of different ways that you can engage your team and actually more than just one way in which you should be engaging them, right? So the fact that you’re doing very good in one thing, right? You’re sending them off to every single conference out there, that’s wonderful. But that may not necessarily do or have the entire impact or the entire effect that you need for that person to really feel that they’re reaching their their full potential and where they are. So think I think that’s that’s very important to to be had. And I will just add to that one is is knowing also what what what drives them, what motivates them and creating the room room for having those conversations more than once. Because the fact that when you interview them, they told you that they wanted it to build up a career and your law firm doesn’t mean that three years down the road that continues to be their only aspiration. Things may have changed. They may have now a clearer vision of what they want to do or achieve within the next year or so. So the better you know about those things and the better you support them on that, the more likely you are that you’re going to be able to keep those rockstars in the seats that they want them to be, because, you know, it’s a two way relationship there.

Grace: [00:51:04] Thank you for mentioning that because that was a huge part of Fireproof actually was training, development, recruitment, onboarding and everything in between. And that’s actually a big component of what I have been able to develop with our new HR director, and that is a learning management system that incorporates everything from in-person trainings to online trainings to lesson plans based on your role and where you want to go. I call them individual development plans. That’s what Target actually uses. I used to work at Target as an HR, so they have individual development plans based on your career path and what you want to do. And we’ve started developing that level one, level two, level three and advanced skills beyond that.

Liel: [00:51:49] Yeah, yeah. You forgot to add that when you were introducing the background that you have, you forgot to mention the background. Chris And, and I did remember, I did not want to interrupt you just to add up on that and correct you because that would have been rude. Grace Great, great, great. Takeaway number two, what’s the last one?

Grace: [00:52:08] So the last one for me has to do with, you know, what I learned at Fireproof. If the first mastermind you go to the second mastermind, the 10th mastermind doesn’t work for you, it’s okay. Because guess what? There might be something else out there that does work for you. Eventually. And I found mine. This is my home for now. And that is the fireproof group. Really gives me so much information and really helps me, um, understand where we need to go in the most linear way and the way I think is that way, right? You know, I’m very linear. I like things to go from point A to point B to point C, Yes, we can have other paths that kind of diverge from there, but it should always go down this path to say, Hey, this is my growth path and that’s what I’m following. So to everybody out there that may have attended a mastermind or attended this or attended that and just not found your home, there is a home out there for everyone. I believe that there is. I have found different ones for different times in my. Alive and right now. For me, this model is what works. So.

Liel: [00:53:14] Yeah, I think I think that what you said there is very important, right, like the right one for the stage in which you are. You know, there’s no necessarily like the one mastermind that you’re going to stick to for, for, for for for the duration of your career. The reality is that at different stages in in your in your business growth trajectory, you may need different things. And I think you’re very right there. And I’m just going to add to that one that, you know, just remember that you get as much as you put in from a mastermind, right? I mean, you really need to be able to commit to it and do not expect for, you know, just signing up and paying the monthly fee for things to happen by themselves. Like that’s kind of like a first step. And usually that tends to want to make you do your part because you’re kind of like, I’m already investing the time and the money, so I might as well do it. But if you’re not and you’re doing the two other things, you might end up, you know, frustrated and saying, Oh, this thing doesn’t work. But in reality, it’s not that it doesn’t work. It’s just like you’re not committed. So yeah, just differentiate. Great. I love it. I think those are really great takeaways. I’m really glad to hear that you’ve enjoyed this past month, that you’ve been busy with other stuff and we’re back into our part of hopefully being publishing here episodes every other week. And so thank you to our listeners for being patient. And you know, we’re looking forward to our next conversation.

Grace: [00:54:49] Thank you so much, Liel.

Liel: [00:54:50] All right. Take care. Bye. If you like our show, make sure you subscribe. Tell your co-workers. Leave us a review and.

Liel: [00:55:02] Send us your questions at: ask@incamerapodcast.com. We’ll see you next week.

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