Michelle Arentz: Aligning the Head, Heart, and Briefcase

In this episode, Steve Fretzin and Michelle Arentz discuss:

  • People’s desire to learn, grow, and improve.
  • How to resurrect learning in adults.
  • What law firm managers should be thinking about in running their teams.
  • Connecting with your employees and team on every level of the organization.

Key Takeaways:

  • In everything you do, you are either setting your team up for success or for failure, make sure it is for success.
  • Benefits, culture, people, development, and flexibility are the top five drivers for employees, not money.
  • We measure what matters, that is what we focus on, and that is what sends our message.
  • Open the door to conversations about the pain points at your firm that could be solved if people had additional learning and development.

“Giving people that space to be their authentic self, to really feel like they have a voice, can share ideas, and are heard and feel welcomed and comfortable helps a lot.” —  Michelle Arentz

Connect with Michelle Arentz:  

Website: https://lazaruslearning.com/

Email: advance@lazaruslearning.com

Phone: 708-710-7045

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lazaruslearning/

Thank you to our Sponsors!

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Practice Panther: https://www.practicepanther.com/

Connect with Steve Fretzin:

LinkedIn: Steve Fretzin

Twitter: @stevefretzin

Facebook: Fretzin, Inc.

Website: Fretzin.com

Email: Steve@Fretzin.com

Book: The Ambitious Attorney: Your Guide to Doubling or Even Tripling Your Book of Business and more!

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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.



people, firm, lawyer, development, law firm, billable hours, learning, helping, hiring, culture, business, space, practice, retain, money, michelle, briefcase, invest, legalese, employers


Stephanie Vaughn Jones, Narrator, Steve Fretzin, Michelle Arentz, Jordan Ostroff


Michelle Arentz  [00:00]

Are people feeling really connected to purpose and mission? Are they connected? Do you have clear values at the firm? You know, do we know what we stand for? What are we about? Are people well aligned with that?


Narrator  [00:17]

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.


Steve Fretzin  [00:39]

Hey, everybody, welcome to be that lawyer. I am Steve Fretzin. And yes, this is my announcer voice. Hopefully you like it. And hopefully you liked the show. This show, as you guys know, is all about helping you to be that lawyer, someone who’s competent, organized in a skilled Rainmaker. And I just want to mention a few things real quick, if you haven’t seen the books that I’ve written and you’re interested in business development, a good one to start out with is sales pre selling. It’s available on Amazon. And it’s a story about a coach named Scott, I’ll give you a hint, it’s me. And he meets three wonderful people, a lawyer and entrepreneur and a salesperson who all struggle with how to be non salesy, how to walk a buyer through a buying decision. And ultimately, they Scott takes them through a training program that helps them to understand what sales pre selling is all about. So hopefully, you can grab a copy of that. And the other one I might recommend is my most recent international bestseller called legal business development isn’t rocket science. If you haven’t picked up a copy of that, check it out. 51 chapters over 250, takeaways, all about marketing, business development, operations, time management, you name it, it’s got some firms are actually breaking that book down as a training guide for their team. And I also have it now in law school. So it’s definitely expanding. And I hopefully you can grab a copy of that as well. I’ve gotten Michelle, my guest for today. Amazing person waiting in the wings. How you doing, Michelle?



I’m great. Thank you. All right.


Steve Fretzin  [02:03]

Did we just have the most fun in our like, initial conversation? We were both. We had like a little love fest going on in that initial conversation right



now. It’s like, Man, if only every warm up to everything could be that good?


Steve Fretzin  [02:15]

Yeah, yeah, we were we were going on a good track there. And now we get to take it on air, which is exciting. Hang tight, let me just thank our sponsors. We’ve got practice Panther, on the case management and practice management side, we’ve got money, Penny helping people with their live reception that’s on the phone that’s on your website, and of course, legalese. Helping lawyers, outsource their marketing? Why are you doing your marketing? Stop it? You’re killing your billable hours? Don’t do your marketing, give it to legalese. Let them take it off your hands. All right, we’ve got a quote of the show that Michelle gave me. And as soon as I read this, I was Oh boy, I love that. And it’s anonymous. So we don’t know who said it. But we’re gonna I’ll just take credit that I’m saying it right now. How about that? Go for it? I can. If you think it’s expensive to train someone and have them quit? What’s it costing you to not train them and have them stay? Man, right on the money, right? Everyone’s afraid, oh, they’re gonna take all my knowledge and quit and go somewhere else? Yeah, possible. But what happens if they’re not trained? So tell me what what that means to you beyond what I just said.



And that is one of my all time favorite oldie and goodie gems. And, yeah, 100%. I mean, here’s the bottom line, it will cost any employer an awful lot more to have people who frankly, don’t know what to do, how to do it, when to do it, why they’re doing it. I could go on and on. But the bottom line is, yes, you could run the risk that you give somebody skills and knowledge and they walk away with it. Frankly, that’s inevitable, given the, you know, the level of turnover that we have, not just from what’s been going on in the last couple of years, but people don’t tend to stick around for life anymore. But in the meantime, they are sticking around and why are you paying full price for somebody who isn’t necessarily, you know, up to the challenge or up to the task, people want and need to learn new things and grow. And if you don’t do it for them, guess what, they will go find somebody else who will,


Steve Fretzin  [04:10]

I mean, you can train them in the leave, or you can train them and they’ll stay longer and be thrilled with you and improve the culture and improve their relationship and everything that goes with it their productivity, and you know, yeah, eventually they might leave, but maybe they’ll still send you work and they’ll still think of you as an advisor or a mentor or advocate, etcetera. And, you know, relationships are everything today,



as they sure are and you know, it’s like who really wants to put up with somebody blundering around? I mean, I’ve said for years, are you setting them up for success? Are you setting them up for failure? And when you’re not giving your people what they need to get their job done? You’re setting them up for failure. It’s not their fault.


Steve Fretzin  [04:49]

Well, Michelle, you are Michelle arts and you’re the founder of Lazarus learning. And I’d love for you to share your background and how you got into helping develop people with that are developed or, you know, organizations to develop people. Right?



Right. Well, I mean, the bulk of my career has been all about learning and development education. I’ve been in this space for over 20 years now, kind of woven an interesting career tapestry between corporate learning and development and being an educator. So I’m pretty bombproof corporate America, because I taught high school students, you know, but both of those things complemented each other very nicely. So when I decided to step out on my own as an independent consultant, you know, I just bring a whole host of knowledge and experience to the table in terms of how to help people really effectively learn which I think especially in the grown up space, we’re not doing a very good job of, I mean, I named it Lazarus learning, not for religious reasons. It’s a nod to a resurrection story. Let’s bring learning and development back from the dead when it comes to, you know, what we’re doing to our employees, if we’re doing anything at all.


Steve Fretzin  [05:58]

Yeah. So then what are the kind of the key mistakes that employers are making with their employees, especially like, during the Great resignation, when we know that everything’s volatile, and people are leaving at record numbers? What are the kinds of the big mistakes that they’re making that are just like, ridiculous? Wow, we only have how much time? Well, I’m gonna give you I’ll give you four hours. So all right, together,



I fill up bingo, let’s go ride. All right. Well, you know, if I really had to get it down to a few core elements, you know, and I would say, all of them really come down to people. I think the missing puzzle piece for the longest time was where the heck was everybody’s attention on the human beings in the equation? So you know, fundamentally things like tolerating bad behavior, you know, one of the top drivers for people finding the exit signs is toxic culture. How do we get toxic cultures? We put up with toxic people? Why? So that’s a big mistake,


Steve Fretzin  [06:56]

because they’re building a lot of hours, or they’re bringing in a lot of business, right? In the legal space. That’s the only reason that people would tolerate, you know that the jerk factor, the ego, ego in the room. Yeah, well,



that jerk factor happens to cost again, what did we say about those hidden costs, the jerk factor also means that great people will leave because they’re, they’ll go get billable hours somewhere else, but they don’t have to put up with that. Not hiring the right people for the job in the first place. Big mistake, most people are just kind of, you know, blundering through, and they’re not getting to the real details and things that they need to know about that person, they’re, they’re, you know, they’re doing too much guesswork on the front end, and then on the back end, they’re paying that price to it. So it’s a bad fit. And the third thing I would simply say is they’re not investing enough in their people. You know, like, you’re not, again, whether it’s the learning and development piece, but just are you seeing them as holistic human beings. Burnout is a big thing, you know, what are you doing in that space to really, you know, not necessarily hold their hand, but show them that you, you actually, you know, that you actually care that you see them, you hear them, you understand them, and that you want them to stick around and give them a reason to?


Steve Fretzin  [08:10]

Yeah, I’ve got a great example of a lawyer who wants to work with me. And, you know, he said, I want to go to back to my firm to see if they’ll cover the, you know, the investment of working with you. And I said, you know, they’re not going to, and here’s five reasons why they’re not going to. And sure enough, you know, that’s expensive, or that’s, you know, we don’t have, you know, that’s not something we want to do. And so it’s like art, but he committed on his own to engage me, you know, with the fee structure that I have, because I’m offering a lot of value, just like lawyers that are charging more well, there’s a reason why they’re they they’re a better value, based on their experience and the results that you can get working with them. Right, a $200 Divorce Attorney versus a $600 an hour divorce attorney, I don’t know that I want the cheapest divorce attorney in that scenario. But it was just I was like, I just knew it was going to happen. I set him up to expect it. And I think that helped to ease the pain a little bit. But ultimately, I was just like, Yep, this is this is par for the course, they’re not going to invest in you. And this guy was like number two, it is firm. Like he’s like one of the first people at a firm that’s been growing. And to not get that support. I was a little I was a little a little upset or taken aback by it. But that’s par for the course.



I’m upset hearing about that what message that’s a loud and clear message to that individual from their firm, hey, here’s where we stand with you, buddy.


Steve Fretzin  [09:29]

A little bit a little bit. And I said to him, you know, the beauty of what I’m doing is you’re going to invest in yourself with through me, you’re going to build a book of business. And if you feel you know, at the end of the day that you’re not getting the support, the camaraderie, the the balance, whatever it is that people are looking for. You’ve got the book of business to move, you’re now portable and you can take your ball and go play where you want to play. So it’s a win win in that sense, but still disappointing.



Yeah, I’m predicting there could m&a It wouldn’t be a loss on his firm’s part with that, because, you know, they’re lucky that he’s willing to go the extra mile and invest in himself to get it done. But I’m pretty, you know, I don’t have a great crystal ball over here. But I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if down the road, what he said was, you know what, nobody over here gave me a lift on this one, I did it myself, I’m going to go out on my own. And, you know, and that all that you’re going to do with him? To make him that better lawyer? He’s going to walk away with all of that.


Steve Fretzin  [10:27]

Yeah. Well, yeah, you know, my job is to create assassins that have the ability to do whatever they want. Because at the end of the day, the book of business is the, you know, the critical element to any lawyers career, again, they can do you know, go in house, there’s all different types of options for them. But even those in house jobs are not necessarily protected. So what key indicators should employers be paying attention to for boosting attraction and retention rate? What are the things they should be focusing on? Right now that’s going to help them retain because that’s really what, what the big concern is, is how do we retain? Yeah,



I’ve been doing work with other clients around this. And, and a key area of focus that I’ve structured it around is some interesting results that came out of glass doors, top 100 employer survey for 2022. So this is employees saying what makes where they were so awesome sauce. Yeah, yeah. And the top five things that kept coming up over and over again, were and in order, I will quote, benefits, culture, people, development and flexibility. Wait a second, you’re


Steve Fretzin  [11:37]

missing one. The money? Isn’t the money. The number one thing?



Money is not the number. Oh,


Steve Fretzin  [11:44]

I was setting. I was setting you up for that, by the way. Yeah,



good set up there. But no, thinking the answer is wrong. And it is not money. And we have survey after survey and study after study, even in this past year, that is indicating that money is not the number one driver. It isn’t. And I know that surprises a lot of people, you know, something like 90% of managers and bosses think money’s the driver. And in reality, it’s maybe a little over 10%. That actually money’s Yeah. So there’s a huge gap and understanding and that means there’s a lot of low hanging fruit and opportunity. So when when employers are thinking about like, hey, yeah, benefits matter, but not necessarily just the money?


Steve Fretzin  [12:27]

Well, but let me let me stop you. So I think the reason that people think it’s the money is because they’re not getting the culture, they’re not getting the training, the development and the rewarding life at the firm they’re with so they think when they jump ship and go to another firm and get paid 50 or 100,000, or more than they’re getting paid at their current firm, that it’s they’re doing it for the money, but But would they have left that lower paying, salaried role? If everything had been in place to the five that you just mentioned? The answer’s no, they’re not leaving. They’re not. They’re not going anywhere?



No, no. And you know, and interestingly enough millennials, you know, our friends under 40, in that interesting category, they’re indicating that one of you know that money is not even a big issue for them. And these are people who are saddled with insane like student debt loans and payouts and so on. And they’re still saying that they’d rather see things like, you know, being invested in and being challenged. Yeah, yeah.


Steve Fretzin  [13:27]

So the the way that firms and in businesses in general, are retaining people. What are they doing, too, because I’m dealing with managing partners all the time, and we’re having these conversations regularly. Some of them are doing more charity work, some of them are investing in developments, and most are not, but so what should law for managers be thinking about to make sure that they’re retaining and that they’re making people happy, so they don’t leave?



Now? I think a lot of it, especially these days is coming down to, you know, are people feeling really connected to purpose and mission? Are they connected? Do you have clear values at the firm? You know, do we know what we stand for? What are we about are people well aligned with that, I think there’s a lot more gravity in the direction of, hey, I want to know, at the end of the day that I belong to something bigger than me, I’m making a real difference. That who I’m working for is aligned with who I am, as a human being, I’ll show up much better in that space on a daily basis. So I think those kinds of things and then just not confusing morale, for culture. You know, I kind of say morale is to culture like tacos are to Mexico. You know, you might like tacos, but that doesn’t mean you know, a dang thing about Mexico. So, you know, throwing lunches at people or putting a ping pong table in the break room. That’s nice, but that’s not really going to build people’s sense of belonging. And and worthiness and that they’re really contributing. I mean, I love the idea of, you know, get your staff out doing things like let’s do charity work together, let’s do things that maybe aren’t even work all the time. Because Lord knows we do enough work already. Thank you. Yeah, but giving people that space to be their authentic self, to be you know, really feel like hey, I have a voice. I have ideas that I can share, and I am heard and I feel welcomed and comfortable here. Yeah, I think things that help a lot.


Steve Fretzin  [15:33]

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Jordan Ostroff  [16:09]

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Steve Fretzin  [16:32]

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Stephanie Vaughn Jones  [16:36]

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Steve Fretzin  [16:49]

I did not know that. That’s a lot of business going away right there. Let’s cut to the chase. What are you prepared to do for my listeners?


Stephanie Vaughn Jones  [16:56]

We’re offering an exclusive two week free trial. If you’re interested in hearing more, you can call me directly on 470-534-8846. I mentioned that you’ve heard this ad on Steve’s podcast.


Steve Fretzin  [17:09]

Very cool. Thanks. And I think part of the problem in the legal space is that it’s it’s always been, you know, like not I don’t want to say a workhorse but it’s always been sort of a workhorse mentality of the billable hour, and you’ve got to hit your numbers of 1700 2020 200 hours. And that’s your goal. And if you hit it, you get this, you know, bonus? If you don’t, then you don’t and you could be on the chopping block if you go under it. Is there enough work? And so that’s sort of the sort of in the mentality, and in many of them don’t even know, it’s not discussed? How do I get to partner? How do I make equity? What’s the path, like they’d rather keep people in the dark, because then they just crank out work, you know, blindly versus knowing where the next steps are, because sometimes those next steps are so far away, that they think they might leave because they’re, you know, they’re never going to make and they don’t want him to go out and get business because that takes away from the bill. Well, there’s all these pushing and pulling kind of attitudes at the law firm level. Yeah, I think



you’ve raised an excellent point, you know, we measure what matters and that’s what we tend to focus on. And that becomes the message. So if all we care about his billable hours and the bottom line, we will get those results, even if it means we’ve run over our own grandmothers in the process, because nobody told anybody that how you do something matters as much as what you’re actually doing. And so I think that, you know, law firms, I think are, you know, pretty guilty, sorry, but I gotta throw that pun in there. You’re kind of guilty of that. We’re so focused on that, that we’ve lost sight of, and you’re not alone in this. There’s a lot of businesses in different industries that do this. But if that’s all you’re talking about, and that’s all you’re measuring, well, yeah, those are the results you’re gonna get. People aren’t going to put any time or attention into doing things like how are they interacting with people or think about who are the folks in your firm who are responsible and in leadership roles to your younger and more junior lawyers? What are they doing to help them get better and build up unless they’re just yelling at them about more billable hours? That doesn’t make somebody better? It just means you’re filling time with more billable hours. So sometimes we’re chasing the wrong direction on the compass. And we need to step back and think about that. And a


Steve Fretzin  [19:29]

part of the problem is that managing partners in law firm leaders, they’re wearing so many hats already. You know, they’ve got the billable hour. They’ve got the business development, rainmaking hat, they’ve got the manager hat. Right. And they might be you know, doing a ton of other things. And then they got the personal life, heaven forbid. So it’s hard to focus on culture. It’s hard to focus on learning and development and things that are going to improve the overall you know, feeling of imbibe of a firm because they’re not there. full attention isn’t an AI. That may be why some of the smarter law firms are hiring CEOs. Because the managing partner, as it currently sits, is wearing way too many hats and spinning too many plates.



Well, it’s, you know, it’s a difference between Do you want to work on your business or in your business? Now? Yeah, we have to learn where the times and places that we can let go and delegate it to an outside expert, we can’t be all and do all nor should we, right. I mean, even within the law space, we know that people specialize in different kinds of laws, you’re not going to be super effective if you’re trying to do everything. So I think that’s a smart move for firms that are moving in that realm. But you know, in my mind, too, it’s always slow down to speed up, sometimes if you step back a little bit, it helps you move ahead, you know, it’s again, that whatever you want to call an ounce of prevention, for the pound of cure, whatever, however you want to slice and dice that, I think a lot of business leaders need to slow down a little bit so that you can ultimately move forward much more quickly, because everybody gets, you know, rowing in the boat, and they’re not clashing orders,


Steve Fretzin  [21:04]

and therefore learning and development gets dropped to the bottom of the list. And so why is that a problem? And then how, how was it a great value benefit or differentiator to the law firms that decide to invest in learning and development for their people?



Well, let’s get real. How does anybody know how to do anything unless they’ve learned it from somewhere and had the opportunity to develop the skills based on the knowledge that they’ve learned? I mean, lawyers go to school for a long time, right? And there’s a lot of learning in there. But you also have to practice that learning, you have to develop those skills, right? You were in whatever flavor of law that you’re practicing. It’s like anything else? So how do you expect the members of your firm or your your, you know, you’re up and comers or frankly, even people who can establish for well, what’s the opportunity for that? How do they know how anything gets done? Think about when you hire a new lawyer into your practice. What’s that experience? Like? How do they get up to speed on how things get done? In your firm? Are you onboarding them? No, not


Steve Fretzin  [22:12]

what does that take? They have a phone, they have a computer, they know how to practice the law go,



it became a job, start your billable the clock starts now. billable hours go? No. And this is why when you don’t do proper onboarding, this is why tons and tons of people, the stats are alarming, like boatloads of people will quit in the first 90 days. And onboarding takes time. But it’s the right time and the right effort. So what do you do about stuff like that? Well, you have to slow down to speed up, you have to start thinking about, you know, what processes do we have in place? What are the standard practices that we can operate by that say, Hey, everybody gets a great onboarding experience. This is you were speaking earlier about like, I don’t see a path here. Well start making development paths show people, Hey, if you want to get up to a more senior level position here, if you want to partner here, here’s what it’s going to take. Here’s where you know, from point A to point B, what are the steps and expectations involved? Clearly spell that out for people and then let them know what if anything, are you going to do to help them move from A to B, if they’re the right fit for it? And that’s what they want? You’re gonna have conversations with people, you’ve got to find out what do they want? What do they need, you know, and start moving in that direction. And think about from your firm’s perspective, who do you want? And who do you need?


Steve Fretzin  [23:40]

So let’s assume that a firm has a strong culture, they’ve got learning and development they’ve done the things that we’re talking about properly? How does that differentiate them in the law firm space compared to the other firms that are maybe of similar sighs?



Well, here’s the the great and interesting news. And of course, near and dear to my heart, as you know, somebody who has spent her career doing learning and development, Forbes recently put out an article. And I believe the headline was literally something to the effect of why learning and development is now the competitive differentiator. And here’s what they found in their studies. 76% of people said that they are far more likely to stay when they get continuous training. That’s three quarters of your staff said, Yep, I’m far more likely to stick around and find the exit signs if you invest in helping me do this. Here’s the other thing. 55% of people in that study said that they needed additional training to perform better in their role. That’s more than half your staff whether they’ve opened their mouth and said anything you were not or at least sitting there going. I couldn’t be better if you gave me some more training. Yeah. You know, so those are easy things to go after and Those are significant numbers in this space of saying from an attraction and a retention standpoint, hey, if other firms aren’t doing it, and you are, people will want to come to you because you invest in them if you can say to a candidate, and in a job posting, and on your website and everywhere else, we are the kind of law firm that invests in our people through learning and development. Ah, well, a lot of other places that aren’t doing that. You’re indifferent. I like?


Steve Fretzin  [25:31]

So let me ask you this question. If you if there’s someone listening right now, who is at a law firm, where they don’t have learning development, their culture isn’t where it needs to be. But they don’t really want to move they kind of they maybe they have some decent balance, they’re not in a position to move right now. How do they get development and training? How do they help shift the culture? Is it just suck it up and deal with whatever it is? Or is there a way for them to advocate to get more of what they need?



Oh, they should always advocate to get


Steve Fretzin  [26:01]

Okay, well, but maybe how like, what’s the? What’s the approach? Is it is it? Is it aggressive? Is it passive aggressive? Isn’t soft and nurturing? What how do they do that?



I’m laughing please don’t go passive aggressive.


Steve Fretzin  [26:15]

Chapters of action? I wasn’t sure whatever.



Yeah, I will never advise that. You know, I think some of that will depend on the firm’s culture, some, in some places, I think, maybe a little more assertive, could go over very nicely. And other places a softer touch can could make sense. I think, you know, whoever’s listening to this, if you’ve got if you are the leader, or you’ve got the ear of the leaders, in your firm, open up a conversation and say, hey, you know, I just heard this podcast, and you know, we really haven’t been focused on this or talking about this, this could make a difference to us, let’s at least open the door to a conversation about, you know, what could we do? Look at it this way? What are the pain points that your firm is experiencing that, in part could be solved if people got some learning and development, you know, if we gave people some more knowledge and some more skills in certain areas, you know, then we could reduce that risk, for example, who’s doing the hiring in your firm, because they may not know how to do an effective interview, they might not know how to write an effective job description. These are key drivers to whether or not you get great people in the door or you don’t. So going after something like that, and saying, Hey, let’s get our our hiring partners or hiring managers in the right space to do a great job, that can reduce a lot of pain down the road of expensive Miss hires, and those kinds of things, you know, make sure they understand the head, the heart and the briefcase.


Steve Fretzin  [27:51]

Yeah, and that was gonna be you know, my last question was, you know, you mentioned in our initial conversation, and then again, in my show notes, you know, aligning the head heart briefcase to save time, money resources. What does that mean? People are hearing that going with that I understand how to understand her briefcase. Alright. So that’s a really interesting way to kind of phrase it. So talk to that and explain what you’re what you’re meeting there.



Sure, sure. So let’s start with briefcase because that’s the easiest one brief case is obviously people’s knowledge, skills, experience, you know, their career choices, those are easy things to figure out on a resume or a job application, right. The hard part is a person’s values, interests, passions, you know, you can get to the heart of that pretty easily. If you have a good structured job interview. The head part is the hard part. Because the head is the drivers, the behaviors, the things that make us tick, the vast majority of us don’t even know begin where to begin explaining ourselves, like good luck to any of us say, Oh, well, I know why I am the way that I am. And I know why I, you know, do what I do. Most of us can’t express that that will never show up in a resume. So unless you do certain key things. And in my world, the head part comes through using really good assessment tools. You can use them on candidates, you can use them on your current employees to help get to the part that says we want to make sure that we have people who obviously have the skills and experience we want, obviously have the values and passions aligned with who we are as a firm, and then get that head part and figure out well, who makes the bet, you know, why do we work the way that we do and how can we be better with one another? Or how can I make sure I bring the right person in the door in the first place? Who’s gonna fit with the firm and the team? If you don’t get those three things aligned, you basically typically have a headless monster. And here’s the other quick catch on this one.


Steve Fretzin  [29:53]

Are you ready? I’m sitting down.



Alright, good to hire based on briefcase and heart. And we tend to fire people for their head. Mm hmm.


Steve Fretzin  [30:06]

Yeah, well, that’s really good.



So there’s that missing element that you know. And that’s what I help my clients figure out. Well, let’s let’s,


Steve Fretzin  [30:14]

let’s change over to that. Let’s let’s hear about if people want to contact you to get training and development to talk to you about how you can help their law firms. How did they get in touch with you? And then I want to transition into your game changing book for the show?



Yeah, absolutely. Well, they can obviously connect with me on LinkedIn, they can reach out to me by email, they can pick up the phone, any of those things. Yeah, to get a hold of me. They just say, look, let’s start having a conversation. If you’re if you’re, you know, willing to hear me out. And you know, I always have a long term partnership mentality, but we got to start somewhere. So as long as somebody reaches out one of those ways, that’s great.


Steve Fretzin  [30:51]

Yeah, we’ll put all that in the show notes. So just check that out below. And then your game changing book is called, it’s the manager. And I’d never heard that book before. So tell us what that books about and why you believe it’s a game changer.



Yeah, absolutely. I’m holding it right here in my hand here. Yeah. So this came out from our good friends at Gallup. You know, the people who do all those amazing polling things. Yeah. And one thing that that Gallup found, and this is basically the byline on the book here. But the quality of managers and team leaders is proven to be the single biggest factor in an organization’s long term success. Yeah, wow. 70% of performance variance is directly correlated to who’s the boss. So that’s a passion point. For me, that’s a spotlight area, in my practice, is making sure that and as I was saying to you earlier, I’m like, you know, I like to tell people all the time, when I’m networking, I’m in waste management, just not the kind that you initially think that’s I’m so tired of seeing all the waste that comes from either mismanagement of staff in general, and certainly from wasting managers, it’s not their fault that they don’t know how to do a better job unless we help teach them and show them. So I it’s a really, really great read, it’s very eye opening on what a difference leadership can make. And


Steve Fretzin  [32:17]

I think in the in the legal space, some things need to be outsourced, because the education and the knowledge, isn’t there, business development, marketing, for sure. And then how to how to manage develop culture, and retain and sustain and people like managing partners, they’re not trained on that they’re all winging it, and going flying by the seat of their pants. So highly recommend you guys talk to Michelle, if you’re listening to this. And again, if you’re if you’re working at a firm, and you feel like your firm, doesn’t have the right culture doesn’t have the right, you know, approach to what we’re talking about today. You know, if you have a good relationship, then maybe recommend Michelle and or something because, you know, at the end of the day, it’s just not sustainable, you know, if you don’t have that culture in place, and that that sort of understanding of how we’re going to continue to build in a positive and productive way, right?



Absolutely. Absolutely. You know, the worst anybody’s ever going to do is say no, but at least you brought up the topic. And by the way, if several people all said the same thing, there’s a pattern, right, people will start paying attention, if you’re talking to your colleagues or you know, those kinds of things where you keep bringing it up, like, hey, you know, things can be different if we did something different than what we’re currently putting up with. Absolutely.


Steve Fretzin  [33:32]

Well, Michelle, thank you so much, again, not only, you’re delightful, and I enjoyed our initial conversation, but then again, just sharing your wisdom, your generosity, to help out my audience in understanding this very complex and difficult part of the legal space, which is, you know, the culture, the management in the way that we retain, because these, it’s just never been more challenging in this environment than now. So, yeah,



thank you so much for the opportunity, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate. You know, I always love spreading the word. And, you know, as I always tell people, my mission is to help others be and do better, I simply do it from a learning and development lens. And, you know, I just think that there is a lot of opportunity out there if people are willing to kind of just stop for a second and go, Hey, why do we have to keep it the way that it is?


Steve Fretzin  [34:23]

Some really good food for thought everybody on, you know, what it takes to, you know, be happy at a firm what it takes to run a successful firm. So some of you might be thinking, hey, I’m gonna go out on my own, and we’re already out on your own, and you’re looking to hire and retain and all that. And the content today is really, you know, really helpful for that. So I just want to tell you, Hey, keep it up. You’re doing great. It’s all about being that lawyer, someone who’s confident organized in a skilled Rainmaker. Be safe and well everybody will talk again soon.


Narrator  [34:55]

Thanks for listening to be that lawyer. Life changing strategies and resources Use for grilling 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