In this episode, Steve Fretzin and Ben Grimes discuss:
- What it means to be a good leader (and how to get better if you aren’t currently one).
- Why leadership is difficult for lawyers.
- 4 pillars you should look for in a leader.
- Preparing yourself to lead people and what inspires people in a leader.
- Like with sales, leadership is not taught in law school, but it is something you can learn.
- When you can demonstrate authenticity at work, you open up the door to allow others to bring their authentic selves to their career.
- Leadership is more than just leading an organization. Leadership appears at all levels of your law firm and life. You don’t need a title to be a leader. You don’t need to be a manager to be a leader.
- Your values need to be reflected in the actions of the law firm.
“Not only are we promoted in positions of leadership because of our substantive skills, we’re also trained away from critical capacities for leadership. And what I mean by that is, we’re trained to do things ourselves. And so we’re training ourselves not to be good leaders, because of the way we practice law.” — Ben Grimes
Thank you to our Sponsors!
- Pat Conroy – https://patconroy.com/books/
- Some of My Best Friends Are…Podcast – https://www.pushkin.fm/podcasts/some-of-my-best-friends-are
- Revisionist History Podcast – https://www.pushkin.fm/podcasts/revisionist-history
About Ben Grimes: With a passion for developing collaborative legal teams, inclusive law firm cultures, and skilled, confident legal leaders, Ben Grimes brings decades of experience as a practitioner and leader to his coaching, consulting, and development clients. From his roots as a biracial kid in central Pennsylvania, thru success (and challenge) at West Point, to his professional successes, Ben knows that leadership can be learned and is best delivered authentically. He’s been a helicopter pilot, author, walk-on Division I athlete, 2x Ironman triathlete, professor of criminal law, prosecutor and defense attorney, and an ethics nerd, but loves best helping others unlock their leadership potential and build amazing teams.
Connect with Ben Grimes:
Connect with Steve Fretzin:
LinkedIn: Steve Fretzin
Facebook: Fretzin, Inc.
YouTube: Steve Fretzin
Call Steve directly at 847-602-6911
Show notes by Podcastologist Chelsea Taylor-Sturkie
Audio production by Turnkey Podcast Productions. You’re the expert. Your podcast will prove it.
[00:00:00] Ben Grimes: We get folks who are in leadership positions in management positions, who are jerks or unskilled or, or, or don’t feel qualified. And then we’re building teams that aren’t collaborative, that aren’t inclusive. That they’ll just make it no fun to work at a firm.
[00:00:21] Narrator: You’re listening to Be That Lawyer, life changing strategies and resources for growing a successful law practice. Each episode, your host, author, and lawyer coach, Steve Fretzin, will take a deeper dive helping you grow your law practice in less time with greater results. Now here’s your host, Steve Fretzin.
[00:00:44] Steve Fretzin: Hey everybody, welcome to Be That Lawyer. I am Steve Fretzin and if you’ve been listening to the show for a while, you know what it’s all about. Helping you to be that lawyer, someone who’s confident organized in a skilled rainmaker. And if you’re new to Fredson and hearing about what I do. I work with highly ambitious attorneys to help them grow their law practices, um, generally on the business development marketing side through an advanced MBA style coaching and training program.
[00:01:07] Steve Fretzin: I also currently run five peer advisory groups, helping them to work as a team so that they don’t need me. They just need me to facilitate them helping each other. And that’s one of the most wonderful things I get to do is watch lawyers, um, sharing ideas, solving problems. And kind of their life experiences working to help each other in a, in a collaborative confidential environment.
[00:01:28] Steve Fretzin: So that’s a lot of fun. And, um, you know, so what I’m trying to do with this show is essentially help you be your best version, um, bring in people that are going to inspire you that are going to, you know, share their wisdom, help you become better what you’re doing, whether you’re an aspiring leader or whether you’re currently a leader.
[00:01:46] Steve Fretzin: Uh, I’ve got a doozy for you today. And Ben Grimes, we had such a great chat prior to this show. How you doing, Ben? Very well. Very well. Great to see you, Steve. Yeah. I mean, I just felt like when we got off the phone, I was like, I don’t want to say we’re like going to be best friends, but like, well, who knows?
[00:01:58] Steve Fretzin: Right. But it was like, I just felt like so positive and so inspired and so excited about having you. I was like anxious to see when you were going to schedule to have this conversation. So we’re going to have a great chat today. I want to start off with, as I tend to do with the quote of the show, and this is the one you sent to me.
[00:02:14] Steve Fretzin: And then I’m going to ask you, you know, why, um, waste no more time arguing about what a good person should be. And, uh, and that’s Marcus Aurelius. So wonderful. So what was, so why is that sort of like resonated with you and why, why did you submit that as kind of like the game changing quote? I
[00:02:33] Ben Grimes: love that quote and, and to be honest with you, Steve, I love a lot of quotes from Marcus Aurelius and other Stoics.
[00:02:41] Ben Grimes: Stoic philosophy has really struck a nerve, uh, struck a chord with me, uh, lately, the last few years. And that one in particular is to me really motivating. It really reminds me and hopefully reminds other folks that it’s not about waiting for life to come to you. It’s not about waiting for clients to come to you.
[00:03:02] Ben Grimes: It’s not about waiting for the promotion or the opportunity to come. If you want to change your life, if you want to change your environment, if you want to change your results, then it’s up to you to do it. And That’s been a great motivator for me and something that I hope other folks can find some motivation in as
[00:03:22] Steve Fretzin: well.
[00:03:23] Steve Fretzin: Well, I think it also speaks to, you know, being a good person and what, you know, I mean, look, there’s a lot of people out there who aren’t good and, you know, they’re not necessarily, you know, they might be successful, but ultimately, you know, they may not have a family that loves them. They may be everyone’s talking about him behind their back because they’re just.
[00:03:43] Steve Fretzin: Terrible people, whatever it might be. And it’s not, I don’t know if that’s the legacy you want to leave behind. I mean, if, if that’s important to you. Yeah. I mean, if
[00:03:50] Ben Grimes: you’ve got, if your environment, if your experience is giving you indications that you’re not. The person that you want to be, then there’s no time like now to, to do something about it.
[00:04:02] Ben Grimes: And that quote speaks to that as well. Yeah.
[00:04:05] Steve Fretzin: I also don’t want to spend time necessarily with people who are negative or that aren’t good people. I’ve got, uh, one guy in particular that I am thinking about who’s at my, um, my, my racket club. And like, I can just, everybody’s talking about this guy behind his back.
[00:04:19] Steve Fretzin: Cause he’s kind of a, kind of a dick. Uh,
[00:04:23] Ben Grimes: and to be honest with you, see, that’s part of the reason why I enjoy doing what I do, because I love working with, uh, lawyers and firms to, to, like, filter out the dicks, right? I mean, to filter out the folks who don’t know how to be good leaders, how to be good managers, how to, how to inspire their teams and not just, not just the folks who are bad at it, but the folks who want to be better at it.
[00:04:49] Ben Grimes: Um, that, that’s really, that’s really. What it’s all about for me.
[00:04:52] Steve Fretzin: Well, I mean, let me ask you this quick, cause we’re going to get into the weeds pretty heavily today on leadership. But can someone who’s, since we’re using the word dick, is can someone that is, that’s maybe not a good person that’s a leader.
[00:05:03] Steve Fretzin: So let’s say an ego driven, kind of not a nice guy necessarily all the time, ranting and raving around the office. And that person be turned into a good
[00:05:13] Ben Grimes: leader, they can, if they want to be, um, and, and so being a good leader is, is in my mind, largely all about intent. If you’ve got the right intent, if you intend to be a good leader, a better leader, then yeah, you absolutely can turn the page.
[00:05:29] Ben Grimes: And if the. The way that you manifest poor leadership is all kind of a result of a lack of skills or a lack of awareness, but you, but you want to do better. Absolutely. If you’re a jerk and you don’t care, then no, you, you’re not going to turn
[00:05:47] Steve Fretzin: the page. Yeah. People don’t change unless they, they want to change.
[00:05:50] Steve Fretzin: They can’t be told to change or worse to change. Um, Ben, we need to get into your background before we go forward talking about leadership because you have one of the most amazing and unique backgrounds of really anyone I’ve interviewed on the show. So I think it would, it would make a lot of sense to talk a little bit about your background, a little bit about your, be that lawyer tipping point moving into the questions I’ve got prepared for you today.
[00:06:11] Steve Fretzin: So, um, where do you want to start with that? I’ll start at the
[00:06:15] Ben Grimes: beginning, right? I grew up in central Pennsylvania. And, you know, listening to this conversation, you don’t know it, I’m a biracial kid, right? So my dad was black. My mom was white. I was raised in central Pennsylvania in the heart of Pennsylvania, Dutch country, which is not exactly the most diverse or progressive area in the world.
[00:06:35] Ben Grimes: And that influenced the way I grew up. And I also grew up pretty poor. I was the oldest of four kids being raised by a single parent social worker. So not a lot of opportunities growing up. But. As I was leaving high school, I had a great opportunity and applied to go to West Point, the United States Military Academy, largely because it was free and largely because I didn’t know how to go to college otherwise.
[00:07:00] Ben Grimes: But I got in, which was great, and it was not the easiest experience, but that, that opportunity to go to West Point changed my life for sure. And so I graduated from West Point, went out to be a helicopter pilot and platoon leader in the Army. Progressed, uh, in rank and responsibility in the army, went to law school on the army’s dime through a program that the army has to pay for law school.
[00:07:26] Ben Grimes: Um, and then spent the balance of my career before retiring from the army as a military attorney. Where I did all kinds of stuff on both sides of the courtroom. I taught at an LLM program for three years for the army and, uh, finished out my military service doing intelligence law. So a real wide, uh, range of practice, practical experience in addition to the leadership experience that I got there.
[00:07:52] Ben Grimes: And then after retiring, I went and, um, worked in federal government at the Department of Justice doing professional responsibility and legal ethics work. And I really love that because there are a lot of parallels, I think, to being a good leader and officer. And, uh, and now I’m taking all of that experience and all of that legal ethics nerdness into my practice as a leadership and executive coach for lawyers.
[00:08:18] Steve Fretzin: You a fan of Pat Conroy? Uh, I don’t know Pat Conroy. Oh my god. Oh, you have to read his books. Unbelievable writer. Pat Conroy, everybody. Remember, you know Prince of Tides? That’s one of them. Yes, yes. And there’s, but he, you know, military, you know, he writes a lot about, you know, there’s one, uh, I think about West Point, people argue that.
[00:08:35] Steve Fretzin: He was not well liked at West Point because he wrote about some of the It was fiction, but anyway, guys, check out Pat Conroy. And so how does, so all of that leads to you’re the founder of BKG leadership. And tell us what you’re doing with lawyers and law firms with your company, and then we’ll get into some questions I have.
[00:08:57] Steve Fretzin: So
[00:08:57] Ben Grimes: with the company, I am working directly with lawyers and law firms to build leadership competence and capacity. So in an ideal world, for me, we take a cohort of new partners or rising leaders in the firm and we do a combination of one on one coaching. And workshops to build both the, the critical skills of leadership as well as the mindset of leadership.
[00:09:24] Ben Grimes: And so the one on one coaching is really geared towards developing that leader’s mindset and leader’s practice and the skills facilitate the practice on
[00:09:32] Steve Fretzin: the ground. Yeah. And all skills not taught in law school, you know, similar to my space, you know, business development, marketing, social media, right? So Yeah.
[00:09:40] Steve Fretzin: You know, it’s, you know, you’re, you’re sometimes pushed to, you know, the, the old, the old thing used to be in my old sales days was they take the best salesman and they’d say, Hey, you’re really good at sales. You should now manage the sales team, right? That was like the standard course of action. And it usually failed because right.
[00:09:55] Steve Fretzin: Totally different skills. And I think a lot of lawyers are getting thrown into leadership roles on committees and other, and other such things where, you know, it’s like they don’t know how to manage, they never manage people, you know, they barely can manage a, an assistant, right? Yeah, that’s
[00:10:08] Ben Grimes: exactly right.
[00:10:08] Ben Grimes: Because we, we traditionally promote the people who are the great brief writers or the bri the, the great, uh, argue, you know, uh, present a great argument at, at trial or can negotiate the great contract. Or do whatever due diligence and M and a work. It’s like whatever the practical substantive work is. If you’re good at it, you’re going to get promoted to manage those who are doing it.
[00:10:31] Ben Grimes: And we don’t teach those skills. We don’t, we don’t appreciate those skills. And what happens then is we get folks who are in leadership positions in management positions who are jerks or unskilled or, or, or don’t or don’t feel qualified. And then we’re building teams that aren’t collaborative, that aren’t inclusive.
[00:10:49] Ben Grimes: That just make it no fun to work at a firm.
[00:10:52] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. And again, if it’s all coming down to the leadership represents the culture, the leadership represents, you know, is this a, is this a place I want to work and want to spend my career in, right? And so why people jump for money, why people jump to go off solo and it, and it’s, there’s a lot of different reasons, but I think a lot of it has to come back to leadership.
[00:11:14] Steve Fretzin: So. It, we, I think we have some aspect of knowledge of why leadership is so hard for lawyers again to the, to the point where they’re being thrown into those roles without training. Any other thoughts on, on why lawyers may be there tend to be bad at leadership or why it’s so hard for them to become really, really good at it.
[00:11:32] Ben Grimes: Yeah. We’re, we’re trained not to do it, right? Not only are we promoted into positions of leadership because of our substantive skills, we’re also trained away from. Kind of critical capacities for leadership. And what I mean by that is we’re trained to do things ourselves Like all through we spend three years at law school learning how to do everything yourself Then we go out and you do the research you do the writing you do the proofing you do the argument you do the depositions And the whole goal of those processes is for you to do it If you’re the associate prepping for the deposition, your goal is to do the deposition yourself.
[00:12:10] Ben Grimes: It’s not to create a team or a system that’s going to be able to systematize or, or make this effective across a cohort. And so we’re training ourselves not to be good leaders because of the way we
[00:12:23] Steve Fretzin: practice law. That’s really interesting. And are there traits that law firms should be looking for outside of substantive work and, you know, being a great litigator or things that we think might be traits for leadership, but, but what are the actual real traits that firms should be looking for in finding the leaders of the future and getting them, you know, in a position for success?
[00:12:46] Ben Grimes: For me, it comes down to kind of four fundamental pillars of leadership or capacities for leadership and their trust. Transparency, empathy, and passion. Um, you have to have passion for the work. That’s kind of a given, but the others are not as intuitive, not as intuitive, a capacity for leadership trust.
[00:13:06] Ben Grimes: Maybe is you have to be able to build and facilitate trust on your team, but in order to do that, you also need transparency and that’s for me, both transparency of information. So the information flow needs to be smooth and routine, but also transparency about who you are and, uh, the, your ability, uh, and comfort be coming to the, to, to the work as your authentic self.
[00:13:31] Ben Grimes: When you can demonstrate the ability to do that, then you make it okay for other people to do that. And that changes the whole dynamic of the environment. And then empathy is the other critical capacity, I think, for leaders. Because it’s not enough to know to to logically know and understand what somebody else is going through.
[00:13:50] Ben Grimes: You have to be able to appreciate the emotion of what it is to to be them, whether that’s your teammate at work or your client, even your corporate clients, because your corporate clients are all represented by individual people. And so being able to empathize with them and their situation and the internal dynamic dynamics that they have to deal with, all of that is important.
[00:14:11] Ben Grimes: Those are critical capacities for leadership that I think firms should be looking for as they groom their, their younger
[00:14:19] Steve Fretzin: attorneys. And is there, um, like a, a steps where we can practice before we push our chips in? So like maybe making someone a leader of a practice group before getting them on the executive committee or before getting them into a managing partner role or something like that.
[00:14:35] Ben Grimes: The most important thing for me when it comes to leadership is to recognize that, that it’s not all about titles and positions. Those things are absolutely important. And you know, your firm management, executive committees, your practice group leads, those are all really big positions. But we should be practicing leadership and thinking about leadership at much lower levels to start with.
[00:14:54] Ben Grimes: And so your associates who are working with paralegals, yeah, they’re leading paralegals. They’re doing peer leadership as they’re doing research projects together. Your junior partners are doing leadership when they’re managing small trial teams. When they’re part of a client engagement team or leading a client engagement team, that’s leadership.
[00:15:12] Ben Grimes: Even if they don’t have a corner office or a car that says, Practice group lead
[00:15:18] Steve Fretzin: on it, right? Hey, everybody. Check this out. You’ve just had a call with a client where they need help with something you don’t do. You’ve reached out to colleagues, you’ve searched the lawyer directories and you simply tell them you don’t know anyone that can help.
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[00:15:50] Steve Fretzin: Membership is free if you’re accepted, but act now to get priority access to referrals for your state and practice area. Apply for membership at Overture. law. Overture dot L A W. Okay, let’s take a quick break to talk about how money penny is changing the game for lawyers who are losing business every day and may not even realize it.
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[00:16:56] Steve Fretzin: Now she ranks high on Google gains clients through ads and engaging content. Tired of feeling insignificant, make it rain, visit get visible. com and stand out. And someone that’s, that’s maybe not a leader right now. And is considering, let’s say, expanding the firm. So I want to bring in some attorneys. I want to, I’ve got the revenue I want to, but they don’t have that experience in leading.
[00:17:21] Steve Fretzin: What are some things that they need to consider touching up on to, to prepare for, for managing and, and leading people?
[00:17:28] Ben Grimes: Yeah, I think there are two things to get ready for. Number one is understand the, your firm, understand your firm. What, what do your firm stand for? What are the values that your firm stands for?
[00:17:41] Ben Grimes: And, and they, they can run the gamut from your kind of social justice purposes to like, we’re just here to make money. And that’s like what we’re doing. But you have to understand what your firm stands for, and then you have to make sure that your firm’s values are aligned with your policies, practices, and actual behaviors on the ground.
[00:18:01] Ben Grimes: Because it’s one thing to say that we value work life balance and the individual attorneys who are participating on the team, if that’s not actually how it plays out. And we expect you to be on call 24 7 and like actually answer emails at 3 in the morning. That’s inconsistent with the espoused values.
[00:18:19] Ben Grimes: And so you have to… Understand the values and align the firm along those values, but then the other thing, particularly for like solos or small firms that want to expand is know yourself, really understand what’s important to you and be prepared. To bring your off be authentic at work. And that doesn’t mean like share every, um, personal detail about your life,
[00:18:47] Steve Fretzin: right?
[00:18:47] Steve Fretzin: Every, every
[00:18:47] Ben Grimes: weird thought. Yeah, you don’t have, you don’t have to like talk about what you had for dinner Tuesday night, but you do have to be yourself. You have to be able to come to work without a mask on, without, uh, without a figurative mask on, Because you want your team to be able to do that as well.
[00:19:05] Ben Grimes: If, if they’re not doing that, they’re going to stop coming to work, right? They’re going to look for someplace else. And so you have to know yourself. So know your firm, know yourself, and then you’ll be ready to
[00:19:14] Steve Fretzin: expand. And if, I don’t know if you could take it a step further, but even like what inspires people to want to work for a leader, I think that’s the other piece is like, yeah, I can go find an employee to do a job.
[00:19:26] Steve Fretzin: But if I really want to get the most out of anybody, whether that’s a paralegal, an attorney, or a virtual assistant. I need to be inspiring. I need to, I need to have that, you know, that the confidence in the direction that they want to follow me, how is that something that people just have, or is that something they can learn?
[00:19:47] Steve Fretzin: So I
[00:19:48] Ben Grimes: think that there are two ways to look at that, look at the inspiration and loyalty because what you’re getting at is loyalty. Okay. How do you, how do you generate loyalty in your team? And one way to do it is to be a really emotional, inspiring. Speaker and leader and invest a lot of passion into how you communicate.
[00:20:12] Ben Grimes: That’s one way and you see that with a lot of great, you know, a lot of great public speakers are inspiring because they’re good, good public speakers. We don’t know anything about him, but they inspire us to do to take action. The other thing. Uh, the other way to do it, and I think for small teams, this is really critically important.
[00:20:31] Ben Grimes: The other way to inspire loyalty is to be, is to, is to generate trust on the team. And the way that you generate trust is manifold. But You have to do it by treating people with respect and and then following through on taking care of them and and that again, that has a lot of different facets to it.
[00:20:56] Ben Grimes: How do you take care of somebody who’s on your team who works for you? When you are able to operate with trust and generate trust within your team, that is inspiring. That’s what makes people want to work with you and for you because they know that you’re looking that they’re going to, that you are also looking out
[00:21:14] Steve Fretzin: for them.
[00:21:15] Steve Fretzin: So I’m going to share something a little bit personal, but I mean, years ago when I was thinking about building a multimillion dollar business and, and I had 13 employees, I had three offices, I had huge overhead. And I was an inspiring leader in my own, in my own mind, and I guess what people were telling me, but I wasn’t really happy.
[00:21:34] Steve Fretzin: I was finding myself disappointed in other people’s performance. I didn’t have the time or capacity to really work on it at the level. And I feel like I was, I had a choice to make. I either had to improve as a leader or I had to stream myself back down to what I really love doing, which was coaching people on sales, business development and.
[00:21:53] Steve Fretzin: And really going back to kind of being a one man operation, which is ultimately what I did. I just made a decision that there’s two ways to grow business. One is to build an enterprise. The other is to build a highly profitable small, you know, business where there’s a lot more flexibility and you can focus.
[00:22:08] Steve Fretzin: I’m just, I’m getting at. I just decided that I’m still a leader in my space. I’m a leader in my clients and in helping them to develop. I just didn’t want to have employees and I didn’t want to lead employees. Is that okay? Is that a, a decision that I made that I don’t regret it by the way, but I’m just saying like, is that, is that okay for someone to figure out, Hey, I don’t really want to lead people or I don’t really want to.
[00:22:32] Steve Fretzin: Have employees manage people.
[00:22:34] Ben Grimes: So you answered the question I was going to ask, which is, well, do you regret that? Do you regret regret your decision? Because if you don’t, then yeah, that’s a, that’s a great
[00:22:43] Steve Fretzin: 100%. Don’t regret it. And I think, you know, there’s a lot of things that we can unpack if we wanted to bet on that.
[00:22:49] Steve Fretzin: But ultimately. My energy is so laser focused on my clients and helping them to be successful. And by the way, I have the most amazing life in the sense of family, in the sense of time, in the sense of independence and freedom and all those things. And sometimes you don’t get that when you have a 10, person organization.
[00:23:10] Steve Fretzin: I mean, some people do, because that’s something you could, you would help them set up, right? Is how do you have all those things? And. You know, still leading a huge team, but
[00:23:19] Ben Grimes: what you’re getting at, uh, Steve is exactly kind of what we touched on earlier in that you don’t need a title. You’re still doing leadership daily, right?
[00:23:28] Ben Grimes: With me, right? You’re leading this conversation with your other clients. You’re still doing leadership daily and you don’t need a title. You don’t need employees. You don’t need a, a sprawling six campus network of, of offices. What you, what you need is the intent, and what you need is the focus, and what you need are some of the skills that create trust, transparency, empathy, demonstrate passion, you’ve got all of those things.
[00:23:54] Ben Grimes: And when you’ve got all those things, you’re leading and for folks who are thinking about folks who are in a situation like you were a few years ago, trying to figure out, well, I’m not happy growing. I’m not happy managing, you can still be a leader, uh, without managing. And, you know, if next time I’m on, we can talk about the difference between leadership and management, but, but the real bottom line is you can be a leader without
[00:24:20] Steve Fretzin: being a manager.
[00:24:22] Steve Fretzin: All right. Well, we, I want to have you on again, but can you give me the. The 62nd rundown of difference between management and leadership, because I think that’s an important and important thing to define. We can have a separate show on that, Ben. I’m not, I’m not rejecting that idea, but I’m saying like, I think it’s important for people to understand, you know, management and leadership and how they intersect or how they don’t.
[00:24:44] Ben Grimes: Management is all about keeping the trains running on time. It’s about moving the paperwork. It’s about approving people’s leave or pay state, you know, the, their pay. Um, it’s about keeping the trains running, that’s management leadership is as you, as you alluded to, it’s about inspiration. It’s about helping people find the reason to do what they need to do or want to do.
[00:25:07] Ben Grimes: It’s about finding the inspiration to tackle the hard challenges or to do things that are, that are otherwise seem outside of their abilities. That’s leadership.
[00:25:21] Steve Fretzin: Yeah. And I think there’s a big problem with. Lawyers trying to do both. They’re wearing both hats. And by the way, they’re billing hours. And by the way, they have to make it rain.
[00:25:30] Steve Fretzin: So now there’s four, five, six, seven hats on one person. Really a big problem, especially in legal. Again, back to the first thing you said, which is, you know, lawyers are trained to do everything themselves when in fact, it couldn’t be further from, I think, the truth of what they really need to do, which is.
[00:25:46] Steve Fretzin: You know, focus and delegate. Yeah. And
[00:25:48] Ben Grimes: that’s a piece of, that’s a piece of trust, right? I mean, that’s a piece of trusting yourself to know your limits and trusting other people to support you. Yeah. When you can demonstrate that by asking for support, you will reap the benefits in terms of loyalty, a hundred times over.
[00:26:04] Steve Fretzin: And I think one of the best things that’s happening today, maybe versus 10 or 20 years ago, is that you can delegate a lot of the management, the bookkeeping. The paralegal work, the stuff that you can sort of get on autopilot and not have to manage people, like it can be an outsourced company, it can be an outsourced.
[00:26:22] Steve Fretzin: You know, person who maybe isn’t even under your W 2, right? That’ll, that, you get, you have to train them up properly, but get them to the point where they just runs the trains on time and allows you to then focus on what your passion is. Yeah. Wow, man, that’s awesome. So, what, so, alright, so people, people listening, they’re going, look, this all sounds great.
[00:26:41] Steve Fretzin: What does it mean to my business to be a better leader to what’s the ROI for example, on leadership training on leadership, just being a better leader. What does that come back to the individual and as it relates to
[00:26:57] Ben Grimes: ROI? So a couple, a couple of different, a couple of different returns on that leadership investment.
[00:27:02] Ben Grimes: First off for individuals, there is a wellbeing return. You talked about being unhappy, growing your business, managing a lot of people, managing a lot of folks. Investing time into becoming a better and more proficient leader makes it easier to do that, makes you happier, makes it easier to find that work life balance.
[00:27:23] Ben Grimes: And so individual well being goes through the roof when you are more comfortable leading. The well being of your team goes through the roof when they are on a team that they feel inspired about, that they trust. So you’re, the associates that you’re, that you’re leading, your, your peers, everybody’s well being goes up more tangibly.
[00:27:45] Ben Grimes: When we talk about well, well being as particularly in, uh, in firms, so midsize and larger firms in particular, the turnover rate, as you know, is sky high and when people are happier, they’re less likely to be leaving and every, and you know, you know, the, I mean, I’m sure you’ve seen the numbers right on turnover every month that you keep somebody on board is a month of profit that you’re not giving up.
[00:28:10] Ben Grimes: And so even if you keep them on, keep them on four months longer than they would have stayed otherwise, you’ve just saved, but depending on the size of your firm, anywhere from 200, 000 to a million dollars in profit, which is insane. If you’re looking at the modest investment of your time, effort, and resources that go into making you a better leader.
[00:28:31] Ben Grimes: And when you multiply that across the firm, it’s ridiculous. And then the, the last piece of this of course, is client development and client management, and client relationship, um, building. Because when you’re a better leader, when you’re able to operate with trust and transparency, when you’re able to express empathy with your clients.
[00:28:46] Ben Grimes: You’re going to find them more frequently, find them more easily, keep them happier and maintain that relationship longer
[00:28:53] Steve Fretzin: term. Yeah. I sometimes feel like lawyers are stepping over dollars to grab pennies. You know, they’re, they’re, they’re, they’re really tough making investments, business development, marketing, leadership.
[00:29:03] Steve Fretzin: I mean, they’re, they’re one of the toughest industries. I, you know, I’m not surprised, but I’m, I’m happy that I’m successful in it, but it’s, it is tough. I mean, they’re very analytical, risk adverse. I mean, there’s things that lawyers, you know, this, I mean. Yeah. Absolutely. More than me. I’m not a lawyer. So there you go.
[00:29:18] Steve Fretzin: But I, but I look, I mean, I, you know, it’s, it can be very challenging because they don’t necessarily see the ROI when they should be because that’s, that’s, but it’s, it’s hard to tell someone here’s what the ROI is. They need to kind of think they come up with it themselves in many cases. Yeah, I
[00:29:32] Ben Grimes: think lawyers are very, as you say, very analytical and not trained as business people.
[00:29:38] Ben Grimes: And so sometimes it’s hard to see the chain of consequence of making a modest investment to reap a much bigger reward down the road. Right.
[00:29:47] Steve Fretzin: Well, that’s just, hey, people learn from mistakes. I’ve got a teenager at home who… You know, I mean, he’ll, he’ll get punched in the face five times before he decides to duck.
[00:29:56] Steve Fretzin: You know, that’s his, that’s his, that’s his jam. But, but it seems to work for him. It seems to work for him. Anyway, everybody loves my teenager, Andrew. He’s the best. All right. Listen, man, thank you so much. We’re going to, we’re going to wrap things up with, with, so we changed it from game changing book to game changing podcast.
[00:30:13] Steve Fretzin: We’re kind of slowly moving over from that and the podcast that you submitted and I love this for myself personally and then for others, some of my best friends are. And so tell us about that podcast and kind of what you’re getting out of it and why you love it so much. This is a real,
[00:30:28] Ben Grimes: so this is not law related or anything, but, uh, some of my best friends are, is a podcast from Pushkin Industries, which is the home of Malcolm Gladwell’s revisionist history podcast, which is also great, but some of my best friends are, is, is two best friends, one black, one white, who grew up together in New In Chicago, outside of Chicago, and now they are both one’s a historian.
[00:30:49] Ben Grimes: One is a journalist. They’re both authors. They’re like really big brain people, and they are talking about why we, as a society, kind of can’t get along. And it’s really interesting topics through seeing. Through the macro lens of kind of society, but also the micro lens of their relationship together.
[00:31:11] Ben Grimes: Yeah. Um, so really interesting conversations. Oh,
[00:31:14] Steve Fretzin: very cool. Everybody check that out. I think that’s really cool. And of course, want to take a moment to thank our sponsors. We’ve got, uh, of course, money penny who’s helping you just crush it on not only the, um, intake process using their virtual receptionist, but also you’re doing the live chat on your website.
[00:31:31] Steve Fretzin: And of course, get visible, uh, who’s just, uh, cranking it out. They’re doing some great work for me and great work for attorneys all over the country. And of course, we’ve got overture dot law, um, you know, overture law, just crushing it, helping attorneys make money and hand out work and in an ethical way, they’re just the rock stars in their space.
[00:31:49] Steve Fretzin: Um, get involved with them. Now, before it’s too late, you can get your, your own state and practice area locked up. And, uh, you just have to check out overture.law. Um, Ben, if people wanna reach out to you and check out BKG Leadership, what’s the best, uh, way for them to reach you?
[00:32:04] Ben Grimes: Well, you can check me firstname.lastname@example.org.
[00:32:09] Ben Grimes: Obviously on LinkedIn. Ben Grimes, I’m, I’m on LinkedIn. Reach out to me there, or directly by email, Ben. At BKG leadership coaching. com.
[00:32:19] Steve Fretzin: Well, this is exactly the interview I thought we were going to have, which is, you know, highly interactive, highly intelligent on your side, at least. And, uh, and a little bit of fun too.
[00:32:28] Steve Fretzin: So I just want to tell you how much I appreciate this and the legal industry needs a lot. All right. And that’s a lot of the show covers that. And leadership is absolutely one of the, you know, the top areas where I think. You know, there needs to be an investment made there needs to be thought put behind it.
[00:32:42] Steve Fretzin: So just, just thank you so much for doing what you do and, and being in the space. Yeah,
[00:32:46] Ben Grimes: you bet. I really enjoyed talking with you,
[00:32:47] Steve Fretzin: Steve. Yeah. Awesome. And Hey, everybody, thank you for spending time today with Ben and I, uh, again, hopefully taking some, uh, great notes as long as you’re not driving or walking your dog.
[00:32:57] Steve Fretzin: But given some thought to the, the conversation and you know, whether you’re a solo looking to grow or you’re, you’re at, you’re looking to become a leader, you currently are a leader. These are all important things to consider, uh, to be your best version and be that lawyer, by the way, someone who’s confident, organized and a skilled rainmaker.
[00:33:12] Steve Fretzin: Take care, everybody. Be safe, be well, and we will talk again real soon.
[00:33:20] Narrator: Thanks for listening to Be That Lawyer. Life changing strategies and resources for growing a successful law practice. Visit Steve’s website fretzin. com for additional information and to stay up to date on the latest legal business development and marketing trends. For more information and important links about today’s episode, check out today’s show notes.