Nurturing High Velocity Decision Makers


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Are you a leader within a law firm who wants to empower their staff? In this episode of the Maximum Lawyer Podcast, Tyson explores the concept of high-velocity decision-making within law firms. 

Tyson shares what the concept of high-velocity decision making is and why it is so important to have within a law firm. This concept, by Steve Bezos, is about empowering staff at the lowest levels to make decisions. Most times, these decisions are big and can have an impact on a company. This is more so if companies have staff who are front facing and deal with clients or customers on a daily basis. Empowering staff to make their own decisions can come with the risk of mistakes, but as law firm owners, it is important to communicate with staff that mistakes are part of the process. Tyson shares that allowing staff to make decisions will allow for things to be done faster instead of waiting for the go ahead from those in higher positions with more power.

Empowering staff to make decisions will also allow for people to become more confident in themselves and their ability. Without this mentality, staff will become fearful to make the smallest decision or even make the smallest mistake at the risk of being fired. As law firm owners, having trust in your teams to make their own decisions, especially ones that affect their clients is key to a great work environment and makes you a good leader and decision maker.

Take a listen.

Episode Highlights:

  • 00:24 The importance of empowering team members 
  • 2:07 Encouraging a mindset that allows for mistakes
  • 6:36 The crucial role of giving team members permission to make mistakes
  • 7:29 Encouraging the nurturing of a mindset that allows for quick decision-making


Transcripts: Nurturing High Velocity Decision Makers

Tyson (00:07.818)
Hey, it's Tyson and I'm back with another Saturday episode. I am fresh off the heels of our quarterly meeting and I want to talk about an approach that I talked about with our firm and something that will allow our team to be faster and more effective. And that's nurturing high velocity decision-making. Really, really important thing. And it's a concept that Steve Bezos talks about and I'm going to talk a little bit about Napoleon. Before I get into all that though.

I do want to remind everyone if you've not yet gotten maximum or maximum lawyer minimum time I'm gonna resay that Before we get into the episode though. I do want to remind everyone if you've not yet gotten stage one of maximum lawyer minimum time I'm not sure how much longer we're gonna offer it for free If you do want stage one just text me 3 1 4 5 0 1 9 2 6 0 text me stage one so stage one to

314-501-9260. We give this to all Guild members. We give all stages to Guild members absolutely free when you join the Guild. We're giving our listeners just for being a listener, just for being an awesome listener, stage one, absolutely free. I will also just ask, shameless plug, if you will give us a five-star review. If you enjoy something, if you get something out of these episodes, if you enjoy them, if you learn something, if you will please give us a five-star review.

It allows us to help spread the love to other law firm owners that need some help. So please do that if you will. All right. So let's get into the whole idea of high velocity decision making. And that's the term it's coined by Steve Bezos. And he wants to make sure that he talks about how he wants his people to make decisions at the lowest level as possible. And sometimes these are.

decisions that are big decisions, but if you want to be able to try to not run things up the flagpole, if at all possible. There is that question I learned from Christopher Nicolais and I've been asking it for a while about what do you want to do about it? So whenever someone asks me a question, I say, what do you want to do about it? That's one way of sort of handling an employee that continues to ask you questions about things.

Tyson (02:33.91)
You do definitely want to foster this idea that people, it's okay to make mistakes, that you're going to make these mistakes. I want you to make these decisions. It's going to allow us to move a lot faster. It's going to allow your firm to make a decision, move on, empower your people, make the decision, move on. If it's a mistake, it's a mistake. It's usually a mistake that you can fix. And I told our employees, I said, Hey, here's the deal. You're going to make a mistake. It's fine. And usually we can fix it. If not.

That's what we have malpractice insurance for. Okay. That's what I told them. That's the reality of it, but we want our people to make decisions quickly. Big decisions, make those decisions instead of letting them just sit because letting those big decisions that need to be made just sit, it actually causes, I mean, a lot of problems, a lot more work. And if you can free up just the bandwidth from multiple angles, the

you know, brain bandwidth, because you're thinking about it all the time, because it's not there. You've not, it's just sitting there. You've not made the decision, but it also just all thinking about all the followups. If you think, like I use the snowball example when it comes to discovery. Like if you don't do something on that, guess what happens? It's snowballs because next thing you know, you're getting followups about it. And then you're having to, you know, get motions to compel or file motions to compel, and then you're, you're having to, you know, go appear in court. So it just kind of snowballs. Same thing with decisions. It's snowballs if you don't make the decision.

and move on. So you want to empower your people to do that. Part of that too is the mindset. Empowering your people and making sure that they have the right mindset about it. It's not something that's optional. Having that mindset is absolutely essential. That's one of the things that we hire for is edge. And that's the ability to make those really difficult decisions. That's one of the key, that's why we call our people's peeps. One of the E's stands for edge.

We're looking for the people that can make those really high level decisions. Okay. All right. It's interesting. There is Napoleon Bonaparte. I think a lot of people know about him as this person that he led these massive campaigns, these war campaigns and was highly successful. Some people would say that he is the most successful.

Tyson (04:56.882)
war general in history, right? He's someone that was able to take these massive, massive armies and defeat larger enemies, smaller enemies, but he's able to move these massive militaries very, very quickly. And there's several examples about how his military had been essentially cornered and they thought that this was going to be his

his defeat, massive defeat, but his teams were able to move so quickly and adjust so rapidly that he wouldn't lose. And a lot of that, big part of that was that his teams were built, they were built in smaller teams that could make, they were all empowered to make these high level decisions very rapidly. They all communicated with each other, they all communicated really, really well, they all communicated with the leadership at the top, including Napoleon.

What they were able to do is because of the high level decision making, they were able to move and maneuver very, very quickly. And it made them much more nimble and effective and one of the most effective militaries in history. So this is one of those things where it applies to our teams as well. We may have multiple teams inside of our law firms, but if you empower them to make these high level decisions, they can maneuver a lot faster and make high level decisions that

I mean, are not going to, are not going to cloud you either. They're these, these are things that they're not going to be bringing to you on a daily basis. You're allowing them to make these decisions. They're not having to wait on you. And then they're able to move on and move on to the next case. So you want to be able to empower them to do that.

A big part of this, and I mentioned this before, but flat out tell them that they have permission to make mistakes. The first part of this is obviously empower them to act. You want to make sure that they know that they need to just make the decision. Instead of running up a flagpole, if they can make that decision, make it. And usually you can. The other part of it is making it very expressly telling them, you have my permission to make mistakes. You're going to do that. It's maybe the most crucial part of that. Because many times people don't act.

Tyson (07:07.458)
and they don't act because of fear. They don't act out of fear, all right? And that is one of those things where they're paralyzed from fear. So they, instead of making that decision, they come to you. But if they know that they're not gonna get fired just because they made a decision that they didn't run up the flagpole because they wanted to make sure that they were trying to help the client or they were trying to do something better for the firm, you had to be able to trust your people to do that. They're doing things in the best interest of the firm.

You got to be able to make, allow them to make those decisions. They've got permission to give them that permission to make those mistakes. That way it's, it's not something that you're getting bombarded on a daily basis, but remove that fear element. And there might be certain things that you absolutely won't run, ran up the flagpole. That's fine. Create a list of those things and tell them what those things are. But if for everything else say, here's the decision. You, you, you make the decision and.

If there's a mistake, it's a mistake, we'll fix it. Okay. You can put, I mean, let's say it's a spending decision. Okay. Anything over $50, you gotta run by me or anything over $500, you gotta run by me. You can have those different limits. So just set limits around what they can and can't do and then let them go out and act and watch how quickly your teams move and how much your workload goes down because you're allowing them to make those decisions.

I promise you, if you invest in nurturing this mindset in your people, you will see massive returns and you're gonna set yourself up for a firm that's full of leaders and not followers, which is what you want. You want a team that's absolutely full of leaders. All right, let's wrap things up. As a reminder though, if you have anything you want me to cover on one of these Saturday shows, just shoot me a text and I'll try to cover it. Text me 314-501-9260.

We've had a lot of great suggestions. Keep it up. If you have, you should shoot me a question or say hi, do that too. I'd love to hear from you. Until next week, remember that consistent action is the blueprint that turns your goals into reality. Take care.

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