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When your personality and your professional life do not align with who you are, it causes friction. In today’s episode Elise Buie is pointing out the strengths of embracing your unique qualities. What is the impact that your uniqueness will have? Professionally and personally?
Elise unpacks the effects of being your authentic self — and how that will uplevel your emotional intelligence as a leader. Listen in to this MaxLawCon presentation, if you are ready to dig deep into your authenticity and uncover it!
01:48 When your personality doesn’t really match what it “takes” to run a law firm
04:06 When your inner critic is loud – How do you turn that into something positive and motivating for you?
06:43 Lean into your authentic self?!
10:04 As a law firm owner, you have such a unique opportunity to model something different …
15:07 Getting into a owners mindset by …
16:35 What is that minimum standard of care!?
19:17 Being an emotionally intelligent leader
26:33 Treating people a different way than we are taught in law school
🎥 Watch the full video on YouTube here.
➡️ Fair Play A Game-Changing Solution for When You Have Too Much to Do
➡️The Fair Play Deck: A Couple’s Conversation Deck for Prioritizing What’s Important
➡️Find Your Unicorn Space: Reclaim Your Creative Life in a Too-Busy World by Eve Rodsky
➡️Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts. by Brené Brown
➡️Trust and Inspire: How Truly Great Leaders Unleash Greatness in Others
➡️Radical Candor: Fully Revised and Updated Edition: How to Get What You Want by Saying What You Mean by Kim Scott
➡️ Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t by Simon Sinek
Connect with Elise:
- Join the Guild Membership
- Meet us in Austin, TX! The ZAPATHON Automation Workshop featuring Kelsey Bratcher! Become a member to purchase your ticket.
- Subscribe to the Maximum Lawyer Youtube Channel
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Transcript: “Froo Froo” for the Win!
In today’s episode, we’re sharing a presentation from maxilla con 2020. To keep listening to hear Elise buoy, as we share her talk Frou Frou for the win, you can also head to the maximum lawyer YouTube channel to watch the full video. Now to the episode.
Run your law firm the right way. This is the maximum liar, podcast, podcast, your hosts, Jim hacking and Tyson metrics. Let’s partner up and maximize your firm.
Welcome to the show. First, I just wanted to thank Jim and Tyson and Becca for having me speak today and also for having me do the masterminds this year, I’ve just really enjoyed getting to know everybody so much better. And the masterminds have been so powerful for me and all the things I’ve learned this community is so supportive. And as somebody who’s going to expire sooner, maybe it is amazing. I mean, having practice law for I guess more than two decades now. There’s not a more supportive community that I have ever been a part of. And I really want to thank I mean, and I really wish all of you would come together and thank Jim and Tyson for everything they’ve done.
It’s just it’s really amazing. Most of you who know me well, personally, I mean, know, how truly geeked out I get on all the things kind of you know, Frou Frou and woowoo? I mean, I am one of those somebody said the other day something about like, I think it was a deeply feeling empath. I mean, and if that is not me, I do not know what it is. And so I mean, to be that type of person, and then also try to, you know, run a law firm and do all the things we do. They don’t always necessarily go together really well. And I mean, even coming up here and doing this, I mean, people who know me well, I mean, personally, I’m super gregarious, you know, really easy to talk to. And it’s all good. I mean, speaking in front of all of you, I mean, some major imposter syndrome steps in. And I mean, I’ve been listening to my nasty girl all morning, her name is Eloise, she talks to me in my head, and she talks smack a lot. I mean, she tells me some pretty bad things. You know, like, why would they want you to speak like, what do you know, you’ve got all this problems and your own firm, you know, how can you do this. And so really trying to master that and master imposter syndrome. And I think, I mean, really, for women, it is a, a very large issue that we suffer from. And I think that it is something that we all need to bring out and talk about and really try to get our heads around it. And one thing that I think of when I think of impostor syndrome, and actually, I wore my my famous outfit today just for this talk, because you’re probably wondering, why is she wearing those pants, but I wore this outfit because this outfit literally exemplifies the imposter syndrome to me, like my black baggy jacket, you know, I can hide in it. And it’s, you know, boring. And I mean, it goes with anything, you can put a black jacket with absolutely anything and you’re gonna be fine. So you don’t have to stand out, you don’t have to have a certain opinion. You can just blend my pants. On the other hand, you’re not blending with these, there are some of the strangest colors in these pants. And trust me, I have tried to find things that exactly match these pants. And it’s difficult, because they do stand out. I mean, to me, they’re joyful. They’re outspoken, they’re loud, they’re not going to blend with anything well, and so I can’t just have any opinion or any thought. I mean, I’m gonna have to stand on these crazy pants and I love to name things. So these are my hot mess pants. And they mean a lot to me, but they helped me lean in to my imposter syndrome. So when Eloise is telling me things like Elise, you need to blend more you need to be a more traditional law firm owner, you need to be a better sheep. She’s always telling me that that I need to be a better sheep because I am the worst sheep. Well, these pants teach me I don’t need to be any of those things instead, Eloise is actually pointing out my unique qualities. And my unique qualities are that I am loud, I am joyful. I am outspoken. I don’t blend well. And I’m not a good sheep. All those things make me an untraditional law firm owner they make me an untraditional mom. They’ve made me an untraditional person in many ways, but that’s okay. And to being able to lean in to those unique qualities has really been And one of the main things that I can say has catapulted our growth as a firm, and really myself personally learning to lean in to those unique qualities. And I think as lawyers, it is something we struggle with time and time again, I was talking to somebody this morning who’s starting law school, and I could not be more excited for her that she is starting law school. But one thing I was telling her is, oh, God, do not get wrapped up in the drama of law school. Like I mean, everyone wants to make you think you’re not good enough, you’re not this, you’re not smart enough, you didn’t read enough, you don’t do moot court good enough. I mean, the list goes on and on. And we kind of internalize that, and we all have such baggage around this. And I see it so much. In law firm owners, and kind of like Tyson was talking about having your ideas and being able to execute on them, they have to come from you. Like they have to be part of the authentic you. And really being in digging deep into your authenticity is such an important part. I think of everything we do here. And learning to be vulnerable in your authenticity and accepting that I mean, you might have your own hot mess pants. I mean, there are a few people in this room that I can think of that really have used fashion as part of their authenticity. Who can name one? Jim, can you name one? You Exactly? What about you, Jordan? Yep. I mean, it’s really fascinating to see how people’s authenticity can really come out and how powerful it is. And so I want to encourage all of us to think about how can we lean in to our authenticity in everything we do. So that it’s not just what you are maybe in your personal life, because let’s be serious, if you’re being authentic, you are the same person. You I mean, God forbid, I’m quoting my ex husband here, but I am, my ex husband has told me for however long I’ve known him, I can bring you to Burger King. And I can bring you to Commander’s Palace, and you’re the damn same in both places. That is being authentic. And being able to lean into that and know that, you know, the Burger King girl is the Commander’s Palace girl that allows you to drop away so much of the drama that is carried in typical impostor syndrome. And so the more authentic and vulnerable, we can be in everything we do, and especially as a firm owner, I mean, you’re probably thinking, What the hell does this have to do with running a law firm, it has everything to do with running your law firm. If you come to your team, your practice area, your colleagues, other professionals, and you’re coming as an authentic, vulnerable person who is embracing your authentic self, your team is completely revolutionized. They are committed, they are engaged, they are aligned, they’re curious. And with that, you can absolutely compel your team to truly reach down in themselves. And they themselves become authentic, vulnerable people and your team is just, I mean, it’s amazing to watch people where they are maximizing themselves, they are rising up, they are all working in an aligned fashion, for the vision of your firm. And I mean, it is, I think one of the most powerful things in the world. And it’s funny, I got introduced as the maximum mom, because the reality is, I mean, parenting is so much like this. I mean, if you can parent your children in a way where you’re authentic, and vulnerable, and you are curious about all of their skills and abilities and potential. I mean, you can rise up these humans. I mean, you might not recognize them. I mean, they might turn out completely different than you envision the perfect kid. But I mean, they are coming into their full potential and you are unleashing creativity and just brilliance on the world. And I think it is pretty cool. I do as a mom of four step mom of two, I got a lot of, you know, I want to put six brilliant people out in the world and it’s pretty impressive to see what can happen. But it requires so much work in embracing your own authenticity. Never ever and I think Tyson said this too. Don’t try to be somebody else. Like you can’t do it. You are the best version of you, but you can’t be anybody else. You’re just you. And another thing that is something and I know people who you know know me and follow me on social media have really been sick of hearing about it. But as law firm owners, I feel like we are in such a unique place. Because let’s face it, law firms are notorious for bad culture. This workaholic mentality people are stressed, overworked, burned out. As a law firm owner, you have such a unique opportunity to not only model something different, to provide a different environment, and to help grow the people in your law firm to look at it differently. We don’t all have to be overworked, stressed out and miserable. And one of the things that has come out recently, there’s a set of books, two books, one is called fair play, and one is called Finding Your unicorn space. They’re both written by a Harvard educated lawyer, Ed Brodsky. And they truly revolutionized my thinking. I mean, an as a mom, stepmom of six, I can tell you that life in our house was exceedingly busy learning, fair play is a book, I urge you all to read both books, and I know you guys are gonna be like, Okay, those are some pink looking books like I don’t know. But they are powerful. In especially if you are a guy, and if you are in a heterosexual relationship, I am urging you to read these books as a divorce attorney like it will help you save your marriage, it is impossible. I mean, this, it is impossible to hold resentment and desire in the same heart. marriages and relationships are destroyed every day, over the things that are occurring in homes. And specifically in the whole idea of the lack of equality in homes in the the situation where and I noticed stereotypical and some men obviously don’t do this, I do realize that but the stats are abundantly clear that women carry the bulk of the invisible workload in the home, women are sinking under this invisible workload. And we all know we all love data, what is not measured is never valued. And it never changes. If we do not measure what is happening in the home for our own families, but also for our teams. We are working with people every day who are living under horrible workloads, they are sinking, they are burned out, they are miserable, they don’t see an end in sight, being able to come into your home and use the Fair Play system, which is in fact a system just like we create in our law firms. We spend hundreds of dollars we hire people we’re executing all over the place to get systems in place. But we don’t do it in our homes. And our home is one of our most important places that we operate. The fairplay system is actually there’s a card game. I mean, there’s a deck of cards, it’s a game. So I mean, a lot, you can get guys involved, you know, they like card games. And if you want a deck of cards, just find me and I will get you a deck of cards, a lot of times they sell out, they’re really hard to come by. I have a huge stack of them in my house. I give them out every chance I get. But it is so powerful to understand how much is happening in our homes. It’s not that it’s not fair. It’s not well thought out. I mean, people in homes are doing things in these very inefficient ways, ways that we wouldn’t accept in our law firms at all. Where you’re constantly nagging somebody to do something, you’re reminding them over and over again. I mean, I think of soccer. I don’t know about you all, but I mean, my kids didn’t play soccer, so maybe I should use football. But you have a sport so many times. I mean, as a divorce attorney, I’ll hear a dad and he’ll tell me, Well, I picked up the kids from you know, football practice for years, you know, and I’m thinking, Whoa, great. I mean, get you a fucking award dude. And it’s like, Do you have any idea what went into getting your kid on the damn football team? Like, did you research the schools they were going to did you actually, you know, meet the coach. Did you go to the medical appointment? Did you make the medical appointment? Did you find the uniform? Did you order the uniform? Did you get your kid to try and on and then it was the wrong size? Did you return it? Did you get another one? Did you sign up for the email list? Did you do the carpool thing did you buy the coach’s gift. I mean, the list goes on and on of the amount of work that goes in to doing things and fairplay creates a system where you look at all these tasks and there’s 100 cards in here. I mean, it’s pretty daunting to think there’s 100 cards 40 of them are kid related. So if you are a family with children 40 cards are just for raising children and that is It’s pretty amazing. And like in our home, you look at 40 times six, we were looking at some serious cards. But learning to get what’s called an owner’s mindset, the thing that we all want for our teams, where people are looking at the conceptualizing the planning and the executing of these tasks, and you can’t in a home, split them up because it creates that situation where one person has to become the queen Nagar and relationships are destroyed. So I really just urge you to understand and read fairplay, it will revolutionize how you run your life. And even more importantly, it is going to revolutionize if you share it with your team. And there’s several people here who I’ve, you know, browbeat enough where they’ve read it and I have listened to how it has impacted them and their family and their teams. And it is just game changing. And so I encourage you,
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One of the things that is in fairplay is the whole idea of when you do a task, what is that minimum standard of care? Because again, that goes back to our law firms, when we’re looking at our own systems, what is the minimum standard of care that we expect? And how to run a case? And in our case of family law case or a personal injury? What do you expect your team to do? Why wouldn’t we have that same thing for our families, and as law firm owners, it is up to us to bring these things and help people so that our team members are operating not from a place of total depletion, but from a place of where things are fair, and they have the space they need. And that brings us to the whole idea of unicorn space. You wonder like, what is unicorn space? Again, I mean, taste, and I’m just picking on you today. I mean, it Tyson’s becoming a pilot isn’t the ultimate show of unicorn space, and taking the time to do something creative that he loves. And that brings him joy. I don’t know what it is. I mean, watching Tyson get its pilot’s license has been so inspirational to me. I mean, Doug is already signing up. But it’s pretty powerful to think. And to understand how that learning that creativity, that curiosity, I can’t imagine and I haven’t had the chance to ask Tyson this. But I can’t imagine what that has brought to his firm. Because having that space and that time to be that creative person and find your own unicorn space, and then share it with the world is really powerful as a leader. And if you in your firm are wanting to be an emotionally intelligent leader and help your team thrive, being able to explain and expand upon unicorn space, not only in your own life, your family’s life, but your team’s life. And these are such important things. And I cannot tell you I mean, I don’t know how much you all read and like are involved in all this stuff with you know, women and paid leave and childcare issues and women are burned out. I mean, like completely burned out. And if you are a law firm owner, and you have a woman in your office doing anything, you have a burned out employee, I can promise you, and anything you can do to put scaffolding and emotional intelligence support around that human is going to benefit your firm, it is going to benefit them and it is going to benefit everybody they come in contact with. And that brings me to the whole idea of being an emotionally intelligent leader. And that in my mind is one of the things as lawyers, we have pretty much missed the boat on like completely. I mean, they didn’t mention it in law school, like I don’t know, the boat sunk before it came to my law school. I don’t know but it was nowhere. And so people are just kind of in the really kind of old school way of like command and control leadership. You know, that kind of top down model. People talk about like motivating their employees, you know, you hear about carrots and sticks. There is not a human in this room. For sure, and there is not a human on this planet that wants to be led that way. They don’t want to be managed. They don’t want to be manipulated. People need to be LED systems and things need to be managed. And to lead people, you have to inspire them. You can’t motivate them. You have to inspire them to make change, and to do something and to take some action. I mean, so you have to think about emotionally intelligent leadership. Like I think of it like Brene Brown. So you think like dare to lead meets Steve Covey’s trust and inspire I don’t know exactly his book, I think it’s called trust and inspire leadership meets radical candor, because you got to have some radical candor thrown in there. meets Simon Synnex leaders eat last, you put all that together, read all of those books, dwell on him, kind of think of it like gumbo, put it all together, let it sit in marinate for hours. And that is what an emotionally intelligent leader looks like. And to be able to pull that off in a law firm, truly, will radically disrupt your entire law firm culture, it will not look the same again. Because if you can bring together the elements needed to be an emotionally intelligent leader, and really focus on what you need to be focused on, which is your people, your people are your greatest asset. I mean, just your people. And if you have owned a law firm for any length of time, I mean, I’ve been a law firm owner now for seven years. We have grown from you know, I started with me and to others. And I think as of yesterday, we’re at 56. So I’ve really had to learn people in the hole. I joke all the time, like people are sweet and stinky onions, I think of good Vidalia, Georgia, you know, in there, just onions. But learning to understand people and be able to navigate all the issues of people, is the key to everything it is the Frou Frou secret sauce of all the things is your people. And those of us that attended masterminds? I mean, I know I’ve been in many and listen to them. We all struggle with the people issues, every single one of us talks about it. And we talk about the struggles we have when somebody leaves or if there’s not good productivity, or how do we, you know, help this and help that we have got to be the leaders that we are all called to be, which is leaders that are inspiring our people to be aligned with our core values. And that looks like many different things. Because all of us have different core values, and all of us are going to want different kinds of people. But it is critical that you are honest with yourself, in your firm, when you’re looking for people and you’re hiring people. And you know, people I hear all the time, they’ll be like, Oh, yes, well, I put all these ads on Indeed, you know, and I, you know, I hired this person, and then I had to fire him three days later. And I’m like, Well, duh, of course you did. Like you don’t just put an ad on Indeed, and you know, do an interview, and then all of a sudden, you’ve got an aligned core value. A lot goes into the hiring of people. I mean, I can’t tell you how much we test, people get sick of our tests. We do a lot of personality testing, all kinds of things to understand, like, how do people operate. But I mean, understanding your people and how your people are going to come in and fit in your firm that you already have, is just so so so important. And I just cannot say enough, as law firm owners, the more we can educate ourselves and immerse ourselves in the psychology of people, we will benefit our law firms so much. I mean, the cost involved in the loss of people is so profound and listening to people talk about how they’ve, you know, fired or gotten rid of employee after employee after employee. I mean, it’s hard to stay upbeat and positive in the face of all that. And I think that if we would take a step back and realize this is an area as lawyers, we really haven’t been taught well, and I mean, understanding that, that it’s like a deficit in our education. I mean, that doesn’t mean we’re bad. It just means that it’s something we weren’t taught and we need to really, really reach out and learn because it is super, super important. And I think that coming into your law firm, and realizing that your goal as the owner of your law firm is to inspire others. into inspire people to be their best selves, that sometimes means those people are going to get off your bus. And they’re not going to be on your bus forever. And that’s okay. And I think, again, as law firm owners, we sometimes get caught up in that, again, they’re tight. And I’m picking on you again, the scarcity mindset of when somebody gets off the bus, sometimes we’re like, well, well, why are they leaving? Like, you know, we had a perfect job here, I don’t understand what’s wrong. I mean, it could be something they’re exploring, rather than actually looking at somebody leaving and thinking, how can you support that person in their next adventure? How can you be a sponsor, to that employee as they’re going to their next job? Can you help them find their next job? What can you do to help that person as they take their next step? I can assure you, those types of relationships are powerful, when those people are now at other places, other working environments, and they’re referring you cases, because you help them rather than, you know, had some bad attitude that they left and you are interested in their success in their future. I mean, I recently went out to wine and drinks with an ex employee. And just I mean, we spent five hours, absolutely having a grand old time. And she has referred me cases the whole time she’s been gone. It means something to make deeper connections with people and treat people in a way that makes sense, not like we are taught. I mean, we just are taught some really backwards skills in law school, when it comes to how we treat people. And I think when you think of emotionally intelligent leadership, I mean, you need to think about vulnerability, authenticity, caring, and service. I mean, I think sometimes as leaders, we forget the service piece, and that we as leaders, I mean, and you know, we could have a whole conversation about our country, and whether the leaders in our country have any idea what service looks like, but I mean, serving the people that are working in our firms should be one of our highest goals, in my opinion. And I mean, service can look like all kinds of things, it can be just connecting with your team, one on one finding out, what is their unicorn space? I mean, how many of you know your team members, unicorns, faces? I mean, how many of you encourage it, how many of you put dollars towards it, you know, so maybe this person, instead of giving them a cash bonus, you’re giving them a flying lesson, or, you know, maybe it’s somebody who’s an amazing cake baker, and you’re gonna give them, you know, cooking classes. I mean, there’s all kinds of things we can do to serve our team. And I think that we really have to look inward and think about service and think about how important it is to developing the kinds of firms that we want that are going to last through time, through recessions, through pandemics through hurricanes. When you have the type of office that focuses on authenticity, vulnerability, care and service, a pandemic isn’t going to mess that up. I mean, you’ve got this, you’re going to be able to pivot, you’re going to be able to do things differently. And you’re going to be fine. You’re going to withstand the storm. And I know a lot of us are thinking about what’s happening now, like a recession, people are talking about a recession coming. I mean, it’s time to really think about how do you shore up your firm, and in my world you shored up with a lot of that Frou Frou stuff and a lot of the human psychology, because people nowadays I mean, we are looking at a whole different world. I mean, people want to be connected, they want to have a passion. They want to follow something they can believe in, and they want to be inspired to do good work. And it really matters. Inspiration matters. And don’t pass up your opportunity as a leader of your law firm, to make a real change in the lives of the people who work with you, for you and around you. Because I mean, again, we look at our world around us making a difference in the people in your office. I mean, might be one of the most powerful legacies you leave. And so take advantage of it. And I think that’s all Thank you.