The Future Is Bright Podcast

The Future Is Bright Podcast

Enjoy a front-row seat as Chris speaks with thought-provoking C-Suite executives and leaders from corporations, both public and private, professional service firms, and of course, the legal industry from around the United States. read less
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Episodes

EP #36: Where is Legal Tech in 10 Years with Aaron Crews
May 14 2024
EP #36: Where is Legal Tech in 10 Years with Aaron Crews
“I have been really, really lucky in every move that I’ve made to be with really bright people and just be allowed to learn from them,” says today’s guest Aaron Crews who currently serves as chief product and innovation officer and head of enterprise at data and professional services company UnitedLex. On today’s episode of The Future is Bright, Aaron discusses his career trajectory, what it was like living in Silicon Valley at the peak of the tech boom, his innovation role at Littler and the tools he helped to develop. He also describes what he learned about improving business through technology while working for Walmart as Senior Associate General Counsel and head of e-discovery and why Bentonville, a small town in northwest Arkansas is the coolest city in the world.    AI, Aaron says, is following the same circuit—from service providers, to law firms and then in-house—as e-discovery did nearly fifteen years ago. As writing constitutes such a large part of a lawyer’s training, what will the generation of lawyers look like as AI writing programs all but do the work for them? Aaron shares his thoughts on the ability of AI to help people move up the food chain as well as potentially reengineer the fundamentals of an entire industry.    What does this mean for a firm whose philosophy is human first, technology second? Join today’s discussion to learn more.    Quotes “One of my superpowers is, I’m too dumb to be afraid.” (8:07 | Aaron Crews)  “It’s a small but deep community and all of those people taught me a lot in the process. Sometimes it was a lesson in a case, the other side, at the end of something. And sometimes it was just sitting down and talking to people. ‘How do you think about that? Why do you do it that way? What do you think that should be?’ People are just kind enough to share the way they think so that I can absorb it.” (11:44 | Aaron Crews)  “The service providers were the first mover [of e-discovery], law firms then came next and then in-house started saying, ‘How much of this can we bring in and run ourselves?’ And I think you’re seeing that same process replay with AI now and so UnitedLex, in that service provider space really has been the opportunity for the last several years to really get deep in how far you can push the data science envelope in the name of helping and improving and expanding legal services.” (34:24 | Aaron Crews) “We build and train lawyers largely through the writing process. Reading. Writing. We build arguments through writing, we refine arguments through writing. We initially assert them through writing and then the oral argument phase is the nuances and the ‘well, what about’s. That entire paradigm is eviscerated in a decade. And what is the model that we’re going to use to build and train lawyers if they’re not writing anything from scratch?” (48:02 | Aaron Crews)    Links Connect with Aaron Crews: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ediscoverycounsel/   Connect with Chris Batz: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chrisbatz/  Columbus Street: https://www.columbus-street.com/ Podcast production and show notes provided by HiveCast.fm
EP #35: The Future of Law Firm Sales is about Value with Marty Cohn
Mar 26 2024
EP #35: The Future of Law Firm Sales is about Value with Marty Cohn
Marty Cohn, the National Director of Client Engagement at Sheppard Mullin, has a diverse background with significant experience in both consulting and legal sectors in the U.S. Initially steering clear of sales in favor of marketing, Marty's perspective shifted as he recognized the importance of accountability and return on investment (ROI) in marketing, sparking a newfound enthusiasm for sales. In this episode of The Future Is Bright podcast, he sits down with host Chris Batz to delve into the nuances of selling professional services, emphasizing the foundational role of relationships, people, and trust.   During his tenure as the marketing director for the national sports sector at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Marty played a pivotal role in elevating the firm to a leading position among the Big Four's sports practices. He also shares insights from a survey he conducted at Sheppard Mullin, where he gathered opinions from 31 marketing professionals on the current state of sales. Marty discusses his method for identifying potential clients and the criticality of adhering to the American Bar Association's (ABA) best practices.   Join today’s discussion to hear his thoughts on the difference between the worlds of accounting/consulting and the law business, the infinite value of LinkedIn and how he manages to mentor others without actually acting as a mentor.   Quotes “In our business, we’re talking about relationships and respect and trust and every interaction is different and every marketing and sales opportunity is different because you’re dealing with a person, not an inanimate object.” (2:06 | Marty Cohn)  “It’s a matter of respect and best practices. This is a relationship business, our opportunity to bring in a new client is going to be based on our ability to build a trusted relationship with transparency.” (16:54 | Marty Cohn)  “My day is a mix of always looking for potential new clients, following up on existing sales opportunities, following up and being involved in active sales opportunities, working with my partners and our internal teams on all of these pursuits. It’s a big mix.” (18:15 | Marty Cohn) “I think there’s so much potential here in our business. It’s tremendously rewarding. I find it to be challenging, fun, every adjective that you can give it is probably in my vocabulary of what goes on day-to-day.” (21:55 | Marty Cohn)   Links Connect with Marty Cohn: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/marty-cohn-b890363/   Connect with Chris Batz: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chrisbatz/  Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theliongroupkc  Instagram: @theliongroupllc Podcast production and show notes provided by HiveCast.fm
EP #34 Passionate about People and Culture with Michael Pierson and Joel Ferdinand
Mar 12 2024
EP #34 Passionate about People and Culture with Michael Pierson and Joel Ferdinand
“It’s culture through and through,” says Micheal Pierson about Pierson Ferdinand LLC, which he co-chairs with Joel Ferdinand and which recently launched one of the largest law firm launches in U.S. history, counting over 130 partners. The two men join host Chris Batz to discuss the firm, why it’s both ahead of its time and bolstered by timeless principles. Pierson Ferdinand, they say, is about people, happiness and freedom. Where many firms, particularly older ones, are hesitant to embrace technology, theirs thrives on it and the two co-chairs have been practicing the post-COVID-style work model for years now. Having witnessed bosses and supervisors do all the wrong things, they strive to create an open-door environment, where every employee can make their concerns known. They know the importance of listening more than they speak, of admitting they’re wrong—neither of which is easy for lawyers—and putting family first. It’s a mission of service, Joel says, that borders on the biblical.    In this episode, he and Michael discuss the changing legal landscape in a post-COVID world and in a current climate which includes the war in Ukraine, a potential uncoupling with China, issues with the U.S.’s membership in NATO. What opportunities does all this present for lawyers in the U.S., the largest legal market in the world? Since COVID accelerated profitability of so many Adlaw’s Top 100 and 200 firms, what does this mean for billable time? What do clients and lawyers want?   On this episode of The Future is Bright, Michael Pierson and Joel Ferdinand explore these issues as well as surprising new developments in the last two years which, they say, could push us into a whole new world.    Quotes “We’ve started to see a large uptick in lawyers who are looking for better options who are looking for better alternatives than just practicing at a very large law firm environment. And that’s in large part what Pierson Ferdinand aims to do, which is to redefine the notion of what an elite law firm can be.” (4:45 | Michael Pierson)  “Law firms are very resistant to change, being as old as many of them are. And I completely understand that, Michael completely understands that. Clients want change.” (5:48 | Joel Ferdinand) “It’s a pretty turbulent time and it’s one of these times where we can be a very steady hand for our clients in their business affairs, but fundamentally it’s a tumultuous time to be on this planet.” (12:34 | Michael Pierson) “This is one of the core tenets of Pierson Ferdinand: it’s culture through and through.”  (13:32 | Michael Pierson)  “Lawyers typically are so antagonistic to tech.” (23:56 | Joel Ferdinand) “To me, this is biblical. When Michael said we believe in service and leadership, we do. That comes from something very specific for me, and much like Michael said, I watched for close to 20 years of a career, would-be bosses or supervisors even in my early stages, be awful. They’d yell at you, they’d cuss at you, they’d haze you. Because they thought that was the cultural environment of a law firm, or of a business. And I watched it from a distance before I got into C-suites and once I got into C-suites, I watched it closely and tried to do something different.” (31:39 | Joel Ferdinand)  Links Connect with Michael Pierson | Co-Chairman & Corporate: Website: https://pierferd.com/michael-pierson LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/amichaelpierson/   Joel Ferdinand | Co-Chairman & Litigation: Website: https://pierferd.com/joel-m-ferdinand LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/joel-ferdinand-a7518519/   https://pierferd.com/news/pierson-ferdinand-debuts   Connect with Chris Batz: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chrisbatz/  Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theliongroupkc  Instagram: @theliongroupllc   Podcast production and show notes provided by HiveCast.fm
EP #33  Leverage in Corporate Law Firms with Dan Binstock and Gary Miles
Feb 6 2024
EP #33 Leverage in Corporate Law Firms with Dan Binstock and Gary Miles
“You can only divvy up the pie so much and distribute it so much before it starts eating into the profitability,” says Dan Binstock who, with Gary Miles, returns to the podcast to discuss the latest trends in corporate law partnership. More and more major law firms are shortening the length of time it takes for their associates to make partner, or bestowing the title of partner to those who are, in practice, really senior associates. This allows firms to to charge partner-level prices while clients receiving associate-level prices. This raises issues about quality,integrity, transparency. How long can such a practice continue before firms’ integrity and performance are sacrificed for short-term profitability? What happens when firms over-leverage themselves?    By misrepresenting their statistics, Gary explains, more and more firms are robbing valuable players of their due recognition and compensation, and the profits are split among a larger pool of people. Part of the problem is the psychological pressure on both sides–firms don’t want to look like they’re not expanding (and therefore falling behind), and so they offer partnerships to candidates who want to feel like they have a seat at the table.    Part of a recruiter’s job, Dan explains, is to help partners understand what equity means at different firms. He, Gary, and Chris discuss what will happen when, with inflation, rates continue to go up and the inevitable pullback comes. They also explain why firms should think in terms of categories and not tiers.    Quotes “There are a whole bunch of other reasons, like recruiting benefits and profitabilities increasing and going so much higher, you can only divvy up the pie so much and distribute it so much before it starts eating into the profitability. And as we’ve got groups and groups of people who are really skilled but  may not have the business development chops to bring in as much business, putting them into equity may dilute the profits.” (11:23 | Dan) “More firms are increasingly needing a home for the people whom they don’t want to lose, who are very, very valuable but who aren’t yet equity-ready, for one reason or another. They’re losing these people to other firms who are saying, ‘Come over here, we’ll make you an equity partner.’ And it’s an ego and a marketing thing–well, calling it an ego thing is not fair. It’s not just ego, it’s marketing and feeling like even if you’ve got a small seat at the table, it’s still some type of seat.” (12:04 | Dan) “You could be a partner that’s on the lower end, or in the middle, and you did what you were supposed to do but you didn't receive any overrun. It has nothing to do with the firm’s performance. The firm took that money, put it into their bonus pool that all equity partners share in, but then disperses it very unevenly.” (18:19 | Gary) “I think, really, the whole term of equity, at a lot of firms, is just that: it’s just nomenclature. We all know, at most firms, you have as much equity as the contribution you make to the firm, usually in the form of business. That’s generally where the equity lies.” (20:04 | Gary)  “One thing we don’t talk enough about–and this plays at the associate level but plays even more at the partner level of recruiting–is how much psychological and political stuff is baked into the cake already. How important it is for law firm leaders, or the pressure law firm leaders feel, to stay consistent in where they are or rising in the ‘outward presentation of a hierarchical ecosystem of firms.’” (35:06 | Gary) Links Bloomberg Law Article: One Tiny Number Shows Why More Firms Want Non Equity Partners https://news.bloomberglaw.com/business-and-practice/one-tiny-number-shows-why-more-firms-want-nonequity-partners   Connect with Dan Binstock: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/legalrecruiter/ Garrison: https://g-s.com Lateral Partners: https://lateralpartners.com/   Connect with Gary Miles: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/gary-miles-aa7b28103/ Miles Partner Placement: https://milespartnerplacement.com/   Connect with Chris Batz: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chrisbatz/  Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theliongroupkc  Instagram: @theliongroupllc Podcast production and show notes provided by HiveCast.fm
Ep #32 Deceptive Legal Recruiters and How Law Partners can Protect Themselves with Dan Binstock and Gary Miles
Jan 23 2024
Ep #32 Deceptive Legal Recruiters and How Law Partners can Protect Themselves with Dan Binstock and Gary Miles
“Why do we have this problem with such smart people, the brightest of the brights, attorneys at such top firms, getting wrapped up with shady people?” asks Dan Binstock, who returns, with Gary Miles, to the podcast to discuss the less-than-ethical practices employed by legal recruiters that potential candidates need to watch out for. Part of the problem, they explain, is that for all of their advanced education, most candidates are woefully uneducated in this area of recruiting, not to mention many firms fall for the fallacy that if they’re not actively growing they’re shrinking. So, a fast-talking, sales-focused recruiter who’s willing to cut ethical corners and appeal to a candidates’ healthy ego, can convince the candidate to make a decision that could alter the course of their career.    The answer, they agree, is doing the same due diligence as a candidate that one does as a lawyer. Ask the right questions, many examples of which are provided in today’s discussion. Take your time; listen to what is said and what is not said. Don’t fall for fast answers or, as Gary says, give the recruiter an inch of rope and let them think they’re a cowboy.    Dan and Chris act out a series of role plays to give you a better idea of how to remain in control of the conversation with deceptive legal recruiters. They’ll also go over the importance of expressed consent when closing out a conversation.    Quotes “A lot of people who are drawn to recruiting or sales in general tend to be people that, maybe are really good talkers, and may not have the highest ethical barometers and may fudge the corners a little bit.” (7:32 | Dan)  “A lot of firms think that if they do the deal with the “unethical recruiter” at least, for some period of time, according to their fee agreement, the person will not call in their lawyers to try to move someone out of their firm. So it gets to be a cost/benefit analysis.”  (14:12 | Gary) “You do so much diligence, so much preparation, so much finding out what is going to impact your clients’ situation in any given context or business that they’re involved in. Yet, when it comes to a partner’s career, and making one of the most important decisions they’re going to make if I’m going to move from my firm, if so, where? What will be the best fit for me and my practice? What is the potential for long term success? A lot of partners won’t do any diligence.” (20:25 | Gary)  “If they can’t speak about the search for at least 60 seconds, they don’t know. They’re just going off, you can hear them looking at a website. ‘Oh, this is a firm that has offices in Washington, DC, New York, Charlotte, Chicago, Boston, yeah, nine offices in…’ And if it looks like they’re reading through a script? Bulls**t.” (29:42 | Dan) Links Connect with Dan Binstock: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/legalrecruiter/ Garrison: https://g-s.com Lateral Partners: https://lateralpartners.com/   Connect with Gary Miles: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/gary-miles-aa7b28103/ Miles Partner Placement: https://milespartnerplacement.com/   Connect with Chris Batz: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chrisbatz/  Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theliongroupkc  Instagram: @theliongroupllc Podcast production and show notes provided by HiveCast.fm
Ep #31 Scott Love on Being a Legal Recruiter, Podcast Host, Speaker, Author, Trainer and Artist
Jan 9 2024
Ep #31 Scott Love on Being a Legal Recruiter, Podcast Host, Speaker, Author, Trainer and Artist
What does it take to be a rainmaker? Scott Love is here to tell you. An award-winning legal recruiter, keynote speaker, author and podcast host, he’s also a former Naval officer, professional card-counting black jack player and currently a passionate painter. All of these varied experiences have taught him invaluable lessons about leadership, business development, sales and growth, and he joins Chris today to share some of these lessons.    People are always observing and firms will find any reason to disqualify people, he explains. You must give them a reason to trust you and see you as a leader. This means being humble enough to recognize what you don’t know, and be willing to learn–for the rest of your life. This develops an unshakeable sense of self and authenticity that will naturally encourage people to follow you.    He’ll share what works and doesn’t work for getting hired by law firms, especially when many are hesitant to want to grow. Cultivating yourself and being well-rounded help you define your core values and life purpose, which will set you apart as a rainmaker.  Quotes “Most of it was taking my lunch hour, and instead of watching Matlock reruns, I would watch Tony Burn training tapes. Okay, VHS tape, Steve Finkel. And I, anytime I would make a placement when I started my own thing, I would say, ‘I'm going to take 10% of my fees and invest it in coaching, seminars, books, CDs.’ Anytime there's a motivational speaker coming to town, I would go to it. Whatever they're selling, I'm buying. So that was my whole philosophy, and still to this day, there is more that I don't know than what I do know, and until that changes, I'm always going to consider myself a student.” (3:36 | Scott) “One thing that I learned was that if I put 100% into something, I'm gonna get 100% return. If I put 80% into something I'm gonna get about a 20% return.” (5:26 | Scott)  “Trust me on this. When you know exactly who you are, what motivates you and where you're going, that becomes incredibly attractive to other people. People don't want to be pushed, but they're OK following someone. So you have to become someone who is followable.” (14:20 | Scott) If you follow certain principles of game theory in client development, that helps you to number one, make effective decisions; number two, be effective in your execution; and number three, take the sting out of disappointment. And in business development, there is disappointment every day. That's 80% of it.” (21:04 | Scott) “I look for people that have leadership skills. I don't care how much time you spent in the library. Tell me what you did before. Tell me about where you were. Did you play sports? Were you a  musician? You’ve got to practice three or four hours a day as a kid without your mom telling you to do it, and you’ve got to take direction, and realize it's not all about you in a symphony. So those are the things that I think make a richer experience in life and also add to the zest of an organization.” (24:47 | Scott)   Links Connect with Scott Love: Podcast: https://therainmakingpodcast.com/ Website: https://attorneysearchgroup.com/   Connect with Chris Batz: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chrisbatz/  Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theliongroupkc  Instagram: @theliongroupllc Podcast production and show notes provided by HiveCast.fm
Ep #30 Strategic Growth for Corporate Law Firms with Dan Binstock and Gary Miles
Dec 12 2023
Ep #30 Strategic Growth for Corporate Law Firms with Dan Binstock and Gary Miles
Stepping into the complex world of 'magic circle' law firms, Dan Binstock from Garrison, a DC-based attorney search firm, joins forces with Gary Miles, President and CEO of Miles Partner Placement. They're back on the podcast to shed light on the strategic growth challenges and opportunities for these elite law firms. They tackle the critical need for firms to differentiate themselves in a competitive market, cautioning against unnecessary changes. The conversation also covers the recent Allen & Overy and Shearman & Sterling merger, illustrating the struggles magic circle firms face when trying to expand beyond New York.   The episode takes an intriguing turn with a discussion on the closure of Stroock & Stroock & Lavan after nearly 150 years. Dan shares an insightful story that might have signaled early signs of trouble for the firm. Gary points out that ups and downs are part of a firm's life cycle, highlighting the importance of strong leadership and strategic planning.   Throughout the discussion, the respect these industry experts have for each other is clear. Tune in to gain valuable insights into what lies ahead for corporate law firms.   Quotes “I think some of the magic circle firms may not have anticipated some of the challenges in getting US partners to buy into the global platform. I think there are benefits to certain practice areas, but as a whole, it's not always the easiest sell, despite having a lot of positive elements.” (4:00 | Dan Binstock)  “There's one theme that usually runs through most firms: crashes. We're talking big and even small, and one thing that you can always look to is, ‘Does the firm have a succession plan for leadership? Does the firm have leadership, that is, the old terms of where they want to take the firm and grow it from the base of where it is, or is the firm leadership reacting to situations that the firm is constantly faced with in a competitive market?” (11:12 | Gary Miles) “I think the lesson learned is that firms shouldn't wait until things on a scale of one to 10 are at an eight and till they're being reactive, like Gary's saying, when things get to like a five or six in any situation is when the rumbling starts, you almost have to be a little bit more paranoid about the rumbling to be proactive.” (13:57 | Dan Binstock) “I think firms that want to be strategic and impactful in their growth really do need to figure out how they are distinguishing themselves from the herd in the marketplace. What is it about them, their infrastructure, their culture, their platform, how they internally do things that makes them different from firms XYZ?” (21:52 | Gary Miles) Audiogram “You never know what slogan or statement or principle that gets pulled out. If it's emphasized the right way, in the right story context, by a talented, experienced recruiter, you can never measure the impact of that.” (26:17 | Gary Miles) Links Connect with Dan Binstock: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/legalrecruiter/ Garrison: https://g-s.com Lateral Partners: https://lateralpartners.com/   Connect with Gary Miles: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/gary-miles-aa7b28103/ Miles Partner Placement: https://milespartnerplacement.com/   Connect with Chris Batz: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chrisbatz/  Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theliongroupkc  Instagram: @theliongroupllc   Podcast production and show notes provided by HiveCast.fm
Ep #29 Parenthood, Career, & Marriage with Lori Mihalich-Levin and Jason Levin
Nov 28 2023
Ep #29 Parenthood, Career, & Marriage with Lori Mihalich-Levin and Jason Levin
“We are both keeper-in-touchers,” says Jason Levin, author of the book Relationships to Infinity, which studies the art and science of keeping in touch. He and his wife Lori Mihalich-Levin first met on September 11, 2001 in France and stayed in contact as Lori built her law career and Jason built a career which includes his current role as a keynote speaker, trainer and business development coach at Ready, Set, Launch. This practice of keeping in touch has carried over into their married life as well. In a conversation at the kitchen sink, having put their two young sons to bed, Lori asked why there wasn’t a program to help new parents navigate their personal and professional lives. After Jason asked her what she could do to solve the problem, she began in earnest what would become Mindful Returns, a program which guides new parents transition back to work after parental leave.    The two touch base each Saturday night by consolidating what they call the “daily detritus” into one basket in order to tackle the duties of parenthood together. This idea was inspired by Atul Gawande’s “Checklist Manifesto. The two have also been inspired by Eve Rodsky’s book “Fair Play,” and they discuss the importance of a balanced division of labor in a household.   Lori and Jason’s support for one another is obvious. Join today’s discussion to hear their advice on how to write a book or make a speech in public and find out how Jason earned the name The TicTac Guy!   Quotes   “The foundation of Relationships to Infinity is the social science behind networks, and how we think about our approach to connection and reconnection. Lori was just talking about the fact that we both are ‘keeper-in-touchers.’ There's actually a lot of social science behind that.” (8:44 | Jason) “I said to my dear husband, ‘There should be a program out there, a class I can take about how to transition into working parenthood. I can take a class on how to massage my baby, puree baby food, make a birth plan. I can't take a class on how to navigate the personal and professional identity crisis I'm having as I become a working parent. And Jason said, ‘Well, what are you going to do about it?’ And thus, the program that I created, Mindful Return, was born.” (10:53 | Lori) “Too often when we think about building something entrepreneurial, it has to be in the garage, venture funded, all these things. But what if you take little bite sized pieces with mind numbing detail on a weekly basis and you build something?” (14:26 | Jason)  “There are so many dual career working couples these days, that this is an issue and it spills into the workplace too. Because if you have if you're doing 90% of the mental work of your household, you're just not able to focus on your job as much as someone who is doing 10% of the mental work of a household.” (21:52 | Lori)  “Parenthood made me so much of a better public speaker, because before we had kids, I would stew about the slides. And I would sit there and analyze them, and I'd memorize my script. And then we had kids, and I said, ‘I don’t have time for any of that. And I just showed up as who I was, and I was much more spontaneous, and I hadn't over prepared anything, and people liked that better.” (33:14 | Lori) Links The Checklist Manifesto - Atul Gawal https://a.co/d/hppObRx Fair Play: A Game-Changing Solution for When You Have Too Much to Do By Eve Rodsky https://a.co/d/6ZoaX2O Parents at Work Podcast https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/parents-at-work/id1239258343   Connect with  Lori Mihalich-Levin: LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/lorimihalichlevin/ Mindful Return https://www.mindfulreturn.com/ Lori's book - Back to Work After Baby - https://www.mindfulreturn.com/back-work-after-baby-book/   Connect with Jason Levin: READY, SET, LAUNCH readysetlaunch.net LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/jasonlevinspeakertrainercoach/ Jason's book - Relationships to Infinity   Connect with Chris Batz: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chrisbatz/  Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theliongroupkc  Instagram: @theliongroupllc Podcast production and show notes provided by HiveCast.fm
Ep #28 What Partners Need to Know Before Switching Firms with Hilary Gerzhoy
Nov 14 2023
Ep #28 What Partners Need to Know Before Switching Firms with Hilary Gerzhoy
Hilary Gerzhoy has devoted her career to maintaining the highest standards of ethics in legal practice. As a seasoned litigator, she boasts an impressive array of accomplishments, including her pivotal role on the ethics and compliance team during the Biden/Harris transition to the White House in 2020. Presently, she holds the positions of partner and Vice Chair of the Legal Ethics Group at HWG LLP. In addition to her practice, she enriches minds as an adjunct professor of Law and Legal Ethics at Georgetown University and serves diligently as the Vice Chair of the D.C. Bar’s Rules of Professional Conduct Committee. With such a rich background in legal ethics, who could be better suited to join “The Future is Bright” podcast? Hilary is here to share crucial advice on navigating the nuanced, yet critically important, aspects of making a lateral move to a new law firm, and to guide listeners in creating a comprehensive plan for a smooth, ethically sound transition.   For U.S. lawyers, adherence to the Rules of Professional Conduct is paramount, and this commitment extends to the specific codes of their firms and the stipulations of their employment contracts—no matter how long ago they were signed. Even the smallest misstep by a partner can give their current firm grounds to meticulously scrutinize the lawyer’s entire tenure with the organization. Hilary has witnessed firms initiate formidable attacks against individuals attempting to make a move.   Hilary asserts that nearly all the potential pitfalls associated with transitioning between firms are avoidable. By participating in today’s discussion, she is here to share strategies and precautions necessary to sidestep these challenges, paving the way for a seamless transition.   Quotes “There's a number of loopholes that somebody can fall into if they're not cognizant of it. And usually, it’s not because they're trying to purposely not follow the rules, just because they're not thinking about how to navigate this process.” (23:39 | Hilary) “What I have seen is, the bigger the book of business, the more contentious the fight can be.” (24:37 | Hilary) “If you're thinking about making a move, you want to think about what you need to do at your existing firm and where you want to go. And there are two stages of this.” (25:27 | Hilary) “You essentially give a blueprint of what your practice will look like, if the firm were to hire you. What you want to be able to do is deliver on that. There are certain things that are beyond your control in delivering on that, and you want to try to get everything squared away to the extent that you can ahead of time.” (32:05 | Hilary)   Links Connect with Hilary Gerzhoy: LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/hilary-gerzhoy/ Law firm website bio: https://hwglaw.com/members/hilary-p-gerzhoy/   Connect with Chris Batz: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chrisbatz/  Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theliongroupkc  Instagram: @theliongroupllc Podcast production and show notes provided by HiveCast.fm
Ep #27 The 1996 Buffett Essays Symposium with Larry Cunningham
Oct 31 2023
Ep #27 The 1996 Buffett Essays Symposium with Larry Cunningham
“When people think of Warren Buffet they think investor and business icon, but he is an expert in corporate governance.”  On today’s episode of “The Future is Bright,” Larry Cunningham, special counsel at Mayer Brown, tells the story of his organizing and hosting a two-day symposium with business magnate Warren Buffett at Cardozo Law School in 1996. The intellectual traction and gains produced therein–a rare occurrence for such high-level discussions–were aided by the moderation of Charlie Munger, who has been called Warren Buffet’s closest partner at Buffett's holding firm Berkshire Hathaway. Given Buffett’s valuable insights into corporate governance, Larry wanted to call greater attention to Buffet’s largely scattered and isolated writings, and used them as the basis for the panel discussions. The results became the best-selling book “The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America.” Larry recalls his efforts to almost single-handedly print and distribute the book in response to the almost immediate demand for it. The foundational feature at Berkshire Hathaway is trust, Larry says, in contrast to the American business model standard of policies, controls and procedures. Buffett operates under the assumption that most people are not trustworthy, but that a much smaller number of people are infinitely so. He surrounds himself with select members of the latter. Even when organizing the symposium, Buffett was very hands-off, never second-guessing his proposals and leaving all decisions in Larry’s hands.  Recently Larry has pivoted away from academia and toward the practice of law. He raises a new pressing issue regarding corporate governance: the extremes to which some groups have taken the Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) considerations for corporations as initiated by the UN. Hear his thoughts on this and more in today’s discussion.    Quotes “He was exactly as you perceive him in his public persona, and exactly as he behaves in his businesses, to wit: totally hands off, delegated everything to me, didn't second guess anything that I proposed…His management philosophy is to put decision-making power in the hands of the people closest to the issue.” (6:47 | Larry) “We had 200 seats. You couldn't do a conference with Warren Buffet with 200 seats today. You could try to do, say, 40,000.” (7:55 | Larry) “We had traction. Sometimes you get these gatherings together, and people just talk past each other and they leave in the same position in which they came. Here we had real engagement, identification of overlaps and reinterpretations of positions and some wonderful intellectual gains.” (10:16 | Larry)  “I then went into marketing and letting everyone know, through direct mail. Again, this is pre- internet really, but some direct mailings. I created leaflets and I rode my bicycle over Manhattan dropping them off to all of the quality firms who would care about this, and word of mouth started to build.” (18:23 | Larry) “Warren's relationship with all those people and with me which I saw firsthand was trust. Trust in all of those features, you see, a desire and a will, to trust.” (22:52 | Larry) Links Connect with Larry Cunningham:  LinkedIn Profile https://www.linkedin.com/in/lawrence-cunningham-68b7574b/ Mayer Brown web bio https://www.mayerbrown.com/en/people/c/lawrence-cunningham?tab=overview Amazon Author website and Books for sale: https://www.amazon.com/stores/author/B001IYVE0M   Connect with Chris Batz: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chrisbatz/  Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theliongroupkc  Instagram: @theliongroupllc Podcast production and show notes provided by HiveCast.fm
Ep #26 Larry Cunningham on Corporate Governance and Quality Shareholders
Oct 17 2023
Ep #26 Larry Cunningham on Corporate Governance and Quality Shareholders
"Most people thinking about performance think about managers, products, and research. But it's also valuable to have a certain kind of shareholder," says Larry Cunningham. Larry Cunningham, special counsel at Mayer Brown, has had a truly extraordinary career, rubbing shoulders with billionaires, sitting on the boards of large public companies, and writing 20 books. Larry recently joined Mayer Brown, a top law firm known for its strategic business model and commitment to sustainability and growth. In his role, Larry advises boards of public companies on corporate governance, leveraging his extensive experience and expertise in the field. His focus on long-term and quality shareholders aligns perfectly with Mayer Brown's philosophy, making it a natural fit. In addition to his work at Mayer Brown, Larry sits on the boards of several prestigious companies, including Constellation, Markel, and Kelly Plus Partners. These companies, known for their exceptional returns and commitment to autonomy, embody the values that Larry has championed throughout his career. His involvement in these boards allows him to contribute his wealth of knowledge and insights, further enhancing their success. Throughout the episode, Larry's dedication to finding the right fit and adding value is evident in his approach to board service and his advice to others considering similar roles. Larry's journey serves as a reminder that with the right mindset and a commitment to excellence, one can achieve great success and make a meaningful impact in their chosen field.   Quotes: "What I liked about university life was exploring ideas and debating ideas and being able to write basically on any topic that I wanted. And all three of those schools, BC, GW & Cardozo, supported that. It was very important to me." (20:59 | Larry Cunningham) "We said, let's try to relate shareholder quality to, I think we ended up looking at 25 different important features of corporate life. Stock price volatility, we looked at brand strength, we looked at market share, we looked at stability of earnings, a variety of other things. We looked at very specific things like and from sort of the shareholder side, like board composition, attendance at shareholder meetings, quality of the shareholder letters that the CEO writes. And again, all that stuff is we ended up putting it all in pretty much one book called Quality Shareholders. And it's fascinating stuff. And it's more appreciated now than it used to be. But it's still a kind of a niche area." (29:33 | Larry Cunningham)  "I feel like I add value. I feel like I'm contributing something positive." (40:35 | Larry Cunningham) Links Connect with Larry Cunningham:  LinkedIn Profile https://www.linkedin.com/in/lawrence-cunningham-68b7574b/ Mayer Brown web bio https://www.mayerbrown.com/en/people/c/lawrence-cunningham?tab=overview Amazon Author website and Books for sale: https://www.amazon.com/stores/author/B001IYVE0M   Connect with Chris Batz: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chrisbatz/  Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theliongroupkc  Instagram: @theliongroupllc Podcast production and show notes provided by HiveCast.fm
Ep #25 Sandra Cohen | Executive Compensation Expert on Buying a One Way Ticket to New York City
Sep 26 2023
Ep #25 Sandra Cohen | Executive Compensation Expert on Buying a One Way Ticket to New York City
Sandra Cohen returns to “The Future is Bright” podcast for part two of her interview with Chris and to tell the story of how she became an executive compensation attorney at Cohen & Buckmann pc. Her journey was a steady upward trajectory where her fierce sense of independence and ambition served her well at every step. A Midwestern girl, she moved to New York City right out of college, looking for a more cosmopolitan experience. Within five days, she secured a job in HR at Manufacturers Hanover thanks to an informational interview with a Washington University alumnae. Much of her business still comes from relationships she formed years ago, and Sandra advises young lawyers on long-term business development, taking initiative to form groups, and establishing yourself early on as a thought leader. Those with more experience should individuate themselves so that they aren’t as reliant on their boss’s view of their work. She explains what her job is and is not, what she still loves about it years later, and the unique challenges of the position.  Recognizing that most executives in HR were lawyers, she enrolled in Yale law and upon graduating got a job with the Canadian branch of Osler, Hoskin and Harcourt. Though she saw prime examples of female leaders at this firm who were able to admirably balance work and life, sometimes, Sandra confesses, it’s not balanced at all. As she tells her students at NYU, for the sake of both your personal and professional success, choose your spouse wisely.   In between family and work, it’s important to make time for fun. Hear Sandra discuss her hobbies– including a dedicated equestrian practice–and how she makes the best of New York’s incomparable nightlife.  Quotes “I'm still fascinated by the psychology of it, how groups work and how office politics work. And that still informs part of my job as an executive comp, attorney, helping organizations find what's the right incentive for their company, and why are they pursuing the stock option plan, do they have the other pieces other than money also in place?” (7:31 | Sandra) “Find something that interests you enough to write about and talk about, so that you have shown thought leadership, create your own blog, if your law firm doesn't have one, it doesn't matter. Write on LinkedIn, you don't have to get published by a major publisher to show that you know what you're talking about.” (22:11 | Sandra) “It's not who you know, it's who knows you.” (23:00 | Sandra)  “I think business development is really like watering a tree…And if you want to be sort of strategic and calculating about it, it's like, okay, how do I get more people to have known me a long time.” (23:34 | Sandra)    Links Connect with Sandra Cohen: Website Bio https://cohenbuckmann.com/sandra-w-cohen LinkedIn Profile https://www.linkedin.com/in/sandracohenesq/ Top Seven Questions Executives Should Ask About Private Company Stock Options https://cohenbuckmann.com/insights/2020/7/13/top-seven-questions-executives-should-ask-about-private-company-stock-options Profits Interests 101: A Crash Course in Profits Interests https://cohenbuckmann.com/insights/2022/7/27/profits-interests-101-a-crash-course-in-profits-interests Connect with Chris Batz: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chrisbatz/  Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theliongroupkc  Instagram: @theliongroupllc Podcast production and show notes provided by HiveCast.fm
Ep #24 Negotiating a C-Suite Job Offer with Sandra Cohen
Sep 12 2023
Ep #24 Negotiating a C-Suite Job Offer with Sandra Cohen
"The most common thing I hear nearly every day on negotiations is, I hate negotiating my compensation. I usually ignore it, and now I've got this new offer or I'm getting a promotion." says executive compensation expert and attorney at Cohen and Buckmann, Sandra Cohen. Sandra boasts over 30 years of hands-on experience, guiding top-tier professionals through pivotal moments in their careers. Listeners will gain an invaluable education as Sandra breaks down a job offer. Key components are highlighted including short-term and long-term compensation, sign-on bonuses, restrictive covenants, and the all-important severance protection. Sandra provides guidance on which questions to ask and when to broach specific topics.  For those with an eye on equity as part of their compensation package, Sandra delves deeper into its complexities. She touches on the unique advantages and potential pitfalls between the equity offerings of public and private companies. Sandra offers key insights on navigating these differences, including how to evaluate the true value of such equity, understanding vesting schedules, and the implications of liquidity events such as an IPO or acquisition. Armed with this knowledge, listeners can better assess the weight and worth of equity in their compensation negotiations. A standout segment in this episode tackles termination and severance clauses. Rather than shying away, Sandra advises listeners to approach this head-on during the hiring process, positioning it as an essential part of risk management and job security. She offers strategies for handling potential challenges such as changes in company leadership or shifts in job roles, and points out crucial considerations for options in private companies. This episode is an essential guide for anyone stepping into a C-suite negotiation. With Sandra's advice, you'll be better able to advocate for yourself or partner with an executive negotiation attorney to secure the best compensation package possible on your behalf. Quotes: “The number one thing you need to do is to find your original employment offer and save it at home, the signed one, because that is when somebody is already fired, it's hard to know where the starting place is. Please save your documents. (7:00 | Sandra Cohen)  "You can gain confidence going into a compensation negotiation with some data, with good data about what should the market range for this job be. There's always a range. It's a little easier to negotiate by talking about ranges, but make sure you're comfortable with the bottom of your range because as soon as you give a range, that's going to be the place that they start." (28:51 | Sandra Cohen)  An arbitration clause can be from three sentences to a page or two about how the arbitration is going to go. But the one thing that I might add on behalf of an executive is, okay, we'll do arbitration but the employer is going to pay the arbitrator's fee. That's actually more expensive than you would have thought paying an arbitrator. (48:15 | Sandra Cohen) I think banning non-competes is kind of a mistake but I'm of two minds on it because at the executive level it's something you can offer to contract for more money. If you are one of those key people with key secrets that is a legitimate business interest to keep you from working for our competitor, that could be a valuable thing that you can get paid for and if they're banned, it's value that should be contracted for that's sort of disappearing. (50:23 | Sandra Cohen)   Links: Connect with Sandra Cohen: Website Bio https://cohenbuckmann.com/sandra-w-cohen LinkedIn Profile https://www.linkedin.com/in/sandracohenesq/ Top Seven Questions Executives Should Ask About Private Company Stock Options https://cohenbuckmann.com/insights/2020/7/13/top-seven-questions-executives-should-ask-about-private-company-stock-options  Connect with Chris Batz: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chrisbatz/  Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theliongroupkc  Instagram: @theliongroupllc Podcast production and show notes provided by HiveCast.fm
Ep #23 Why Law Partners Leave with Dan Binstock
Aug 22 2023
Ep #23 Why Law Partners Leave with Dan Binstock
"According to Dan Binstock, successful partnerships rely on key factors such as people, practice, compensation, and confidence." Join Chris Batz and Dan Binstock, a partner at Garrison & Sisson in Washington, DC, as they discuss the reasons why law partners decide to leave their current law firms. Dan outlines the top four reasons behind partner transitions, including concerns about firm leadership, inadequate practice support, compensation and profitability issues, and a lack of confidence in the current firm. Chris and Dan provide an in-depth analysis of each of these factors, offering valuable insights for partners who are contemplating a change. During the conversation, Dan draws from his extensive experience to shed light on the complexities of these issues. He also shares advice for those interested in acquiring law firms and emphasizes the importance of thorough due diligence when selecting a recruiter. With his background as a legal recruiter and his past role as the president of the National Association of Legal Search Consultants, Dan brings a wealth of insights into the intricate dynamics of law firm partnerships. This episode offers a comprehensive exploration of the driving forces that lead partners to explore new opportunities and suggests strategies for firms to address these concerns more effectively. Tune in to gain a deeper understanding of the motivations behind partner transitions and to learn how firms can create an environment that addresses these factors constructively. Quotes: "The four reasons I think partners move come down to people, practice, economics, and lack of confidence." (02:34 | Dan) "90% of the problems that partners are facing boil down to people problems that are disguised as other things." (03:28 | Dan) "The bigger the firm, the more complex the leadership issues become." (07:40 | Dan) "Compromising on values to keep high-earning partners can create tension within the firm." (08:41 | Dan) "Partners need to be cautious about recruiters who may submit their information without permission to multiple firms." (37:50 | Dan) Links: Connect with Dan Binstock: LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/legalrecruiter/ Company Website: https://g-s.com/dc-legal-recruiters/dan-binstock.php Lateral Partners: https://lateralpartners.com National Association of Legal Search Consultants: https://nalsc.org/   Connect with Chris Batz: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chrisbatz/  Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theliongroupkc  Instagram: @theliongroupllc Podcast production and show notes provided by HiveCast.fm
Ep #22 Law Firm Merger Conversation with Gary Miles
Aug 1 2023
Ep #22 Law Firm Merger Conversation with Gary Miles
“For mergers to be successful, there really has to be a strategic reason on both sides that is well thought out by both parties, regardless of who makes the approach to whom,” explains Gary Miles, President and CEO of Miles Partner Placement, an elite partner placement group movement and merger boutique. Today, Gary speaks with host Chris Batz about recent law firm merger activity, future trends for corporate law firms, and the ABA rule 5.2.  Gary explains that in his opinion a successful merger is one which has a high level of retention over the time the partnership was brought on along with increased metrics from the combined entity over time. In order to achieve this success, there needs to be a very strategic reason for the merger on both sides that is fully thought out prior to even letting the public know. Recently mergers have been being made more public, hitting the media well before details are truly ironed out. This is surprising as in the past firms were much more careful about stopping the leak of information. As for the future, Gary believes that with the client market heading more toward globalization, that smaller entities will need to consider merging or allowing themselves to be acquired in order to achieve rapid growth. Consolidation happens in businesses every day and the same is beginning to be seen with law firms. Law firm mergers tend to get a lot of attention and it can be useful to have the details completely ironed out before word hits the press. When judging whether a merger is successful or not, it is important to look at least 5 years down the road to really understand where the metrics sit for the combined entity. With a market push toward globalization, law firm mergers are likely to be more and more common in the coming years.  Quotes “For mergers to be successful, there really has to be a strategic reason on both sides that is well thought out by both parties, regardless of who makes the approach to whom.” (7:33 | Gary)  “I term a successful merger, from my perspective, I'm not using some sort of, you know, defined industry standard, but a high level of retention over time of the firm partnership that was brought on. Increased metrics from the combined entity over time.” (11:59 | Gary) “There's consolidation happening every day, law firms depend upon it in terms of revenue.” (19:15 | Gary) “A lot of times what gets in the way most often of deals is either the outright adversity or the quote, unquote major client business conflict that often exists.” (37:20 | Gary)  “In our country's history, money usually wins out. Capital will find a way to win out.” (38:51 | Gary) Links Connect with Gary Miles: Miles Partner Placement:  https://milespartnerplacement.com/ Gary Miles’ LinkedIn Profile:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/gary-miles-aa7b28103/ Connect with Chris Batz: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chrisbatz/  Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theliongroupkc  Instagram: @theliongroupllc Podcast production and show notes provided by HiveCast.fm
Ep #21 Alexis Robertson | Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Foley & Lardner on Law Firm DEI Efforts and Updates
Jul 11 2023
Ep #21 Alexis Robertson | Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Foley & Lardner on Law Firm DEI Efforts and Updates
“For too long DEI work has been focused on changing individual hearts and minds, versus the organization taking on responsibility and frankly, modifying behavior without the need for personal buy-in,” explains Alexis Robertson, Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Foley & Lardner, as well as host of Foley’s Path & Practice Podcast. There has been great improvement in DEI at law firms regarding recruitment, but there is still a long way to go when it comes to employee retention and promotion. Today, Alexis discusses where current law firm DEI efforts are working and where improvements can still be made.  When people think about DEI, their first thought is often to diversify their recruiting pools. The issue with thinking about it this way is that it oversimplifies the problem. Diversity, equity and inclusion really need to be completely plugged into every people facing function within an organization. It cannot be just a one and done type of DEI training or a party for Black History Month. Those can help, but only when used as part of a larger systematic DEI implementation throughout the whole organization. If law firms want to enact real lasting change that creates a better, more inclusive work environment for all employees, they need to look beyond recruitment and into their overall systems and values.  Although there has been a lot of positive change in the DEI space within law firms, there is still a long way to go when it comes to creating inclusive workplaces. Organizations who are truly committed to DEI have to look closer at retention and employee development. Recruiting diverse employees is not enough because if the actual workplace culture is not aligned with DEI values, those diverse employees will not stay with the company.  Quotes “A lot of times with diversity, the first thing anyone thinks about is recruiting.” (24:49-24:52 | Alexis) “What I'm doing is figuring out how our organization can be great for all people. And I think it's important to start framing things that way because it can feel more inclusive.” (26:15-26:29 | Alexis) “What we really need to focus on as it relates to those historically underrepresented or even systematically excluded groups are the things that relate to retention.” (27:00-27:09 | Alexis) “We've seen change. The problem is, if you extrapolate it out over another 50 years, we're not going fast enough for it to get to where we'd like it all to get to within our lifetimes.” (28:56-29:06 | Alexis) “For too long DEI work has been focused on changing individual hearts and minds, versus the organization taking on responsibility and frankly, modifying behavior without the need for personal buy-in.” (31:04-31:15 | Alexis)   Links Connect with Alexis Robertson: LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/alexisrobertson/ Her Foley page: https://www.foley.com/en/people/r/robertson-alexis The Path & Practice Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-path-the-practice/id1523076918 Connect with Chris Batz: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chrisbatz/  Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theliongroupkc  Instagram: @theliongroupllc Podcast production and show notes provided by HiveCast.fm
Ep #20 Generative AI and the Coming Disruption with Mary O’Carroll and Craig Katerberg
Jun 27 2023
Ep #20 Generative AI and the Coming Disruption with Mary O’Carroll and Craig Katerberg
With the fast pace that Generative AI models like Chat GPT have been expanding and improving, it has become quite clear that major disruptions are on the way for every single industry. And the legal industry is likely to be the first to face major disruptions due to these technological advances. Today, Mary O’Carroll,Chief Community Officer at Ironclad, lnc., and Craig Katerber, Chief Legal and Corporate Affairs Officer at Budweiser Brewing Company APAC, discuss generative AI and the impacts they expect it to have on the legal services industry. They also spend time talking about LegalOps, scaling teams, modernizing legal departments, and the benefits of LinkedIn. The landscape of Generative AI already looks very different from how it looked six months ago, and even six weeks ago. It is a rapidly growing technology and is making its way into every industry. This is a very exciting opportunity, especially for creative people who are just beginning to play with the tools and seeing what could be possible. The legal industry is a relatively slow moving one with very outdated processes and an unchanging law school curriculum. Generative AI could bring much needed updates to these areas and propel legal professionals toward a better, more streamlined and efficient way of doing business. Although some people may be fearful of this new technology or worry that it will replace them, there are immeasurable benefits to keeping an open mind and embracing this new way of approaching business. With Generative AI, the old way of doing things is no longer going to be acceptable. The legal services industry in particular is slow to change and many people are still working out of offices with old fashioned filing cabinets and outdated processes. This advanced technology is a great opportunity for people to re-evaluate their current systems and make much needed improvements.  Quotes “One of the biggest catalysts for hiring a legal operations person now is digital transformation.” (18:23-18:28 | Mary) “This is a much bigger moment than a lot of people realize. Generative AI and large language models are going to have a huge effect on every part of our economy in every part of our world.” (26:16-26:26 | Mary) “It's so much about empathy or trying to put yourself in the person's shoes about what they actually want or care about, and there's a huge amount of value there. And we'll see as AI goes, but that's a very human skill.” (33:15-33:29 | Craig) “AI and efficiency has always been at odds with the billable hour, but you can't avoid this now, you can't do business as usual.” (35:34-35:42 | Mary) “If there was ever a distinction of black and white between legal advice and non legal advice, it's going to be a lot more gray in the future.” (36:47-36:54 | Craig)    Links Connect with Mary O’Carroll: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/maryshenocarroll/   Connect with Craig Katerberg: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/craig-katerberg-70a6373/   Connect with Chris Batz: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chrisbatz/  Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theliongroupkc  Instagram: @theliongroupllc Podcast production and show notes provided by HiveCast.fm
Ep #19 Executive Presence and Inner Confidence with Deanna Sheridan and Stewart Hirsch
Jun 13 2023
Ep #19 Executive Presence and Inner Confidence with Deanna Sheridan and Stewart Hirsch
“You have to be yourself, but you have to pay attention to the audience that you’re working with,” explains Stewart Hirsch, managing director and business development coach. The issue with talking broadly about concepts like executive presence is that everyone has a different definition for what executive presence entails. The initial ideas for executive presence applied primarily to white men, but today’s professional environments are much more multicultural and diverse. Today, Stewart Hirsch and Deanna Sheridan, Vice President and legal advisor, discuss executive presence and inner confidence.   Effective leaders exude executive presence and they do that by letting their inner confidence shine through by finding ways to be relatable to their target audience. They have to be open to being authentically themselves, yet tailor their approach to who they are interacting with. When people feel psychological safety at work, they are more likely to show up as their authentic selves. It’s really difficult to feel confident when you are trying to hide portions of yourself from your colleagues. And when leaders lead by example and are authentic with their team members, then the rest of the team feels more comfortable being authentic as well.  Inner confidence takes time to develop and it can still be scary to put your authentic self forward, even in a psychologically safe environment. When you can read the room and adjust your actions and words based on your audience, that can help to increase not only your confidence in yourself, but also your colleagues confidence in you as their leader.   Quotes “Executive presence is just a label to define somebody's perspective on power and influence.” (6:15-6:21 | Deanna)  “It was crucial for me to learn from somebody else how to approach these conversations when I needed to adapt to what my audience needed to hear, because I couldn't put myself in their shoes.” (15:49-16:03 | Deanna) “You have to be yourself, but you have to pay attention to the audience that you’re working with.” (18:20-18:25 | Stewart) “The shift to get that confidence is helping the person recognize that they're absolutely capable, they've done it before.” (40:40-40:50 | Stewart)   Links Connect with Deanna Sheridan and Stewart Hirsch: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dgsheridan/ https://www.linkedin.com/in/stewarthirsch/ https://strategicrelationships.com/   Executive Presence: The Missing Link Between Merit and Success By Sylvia Ann Hewlett https://a.co/d/e773o0B Talking from 9 to 5: Men and Women at Work by Deborah Tannen https://a.co/d/hQJIY7c Play like Man Win like a Woman: What Men Know About Success that Women Need to Learn by Gail Evans https://a.co/d/2iP3Fjs Connect with Chris Batz: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chrisbatz/  Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theliongroupkc  Instagram: @theliongroupllc Podcast production and show notes provided by HiveCast.fm
Ep #18 Michelle Patterson Wimes | SVP Chief Equity & Inclusion Officer at Children's Mercy Kansas City on The DEI Officer Journey
May 30 2023
Ep #18 Michelle Patterson Wimes | SVP Chief Equity & Inclusion Officer at Children's Mercy Kansas City on The DEI Officer Journey
“It was something that I had always wanted to do, because I always felt this inclination to stand up for folks who didn't have a voice,” explains Michelle Patterson Wimes, SVP Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer at Children’s Mercy Kansas City. Michelle began her professional journey as a teacher and then as a lawyer, thinking that was the best route to being able to help people. Along the way, she gathered experiences that made her the perfect candidate for working in DEI. Today, Michelle discusses her journey to becoming a Chief DEI Officer.  Michelle never let fear of trying something new stop her and has made several challenging career transitions throughout her journey. Her foreign language experience and proficiency in Spanish made her an excellent candidate for working with an international community. Then, as a lawyer, she found herself working in immigration law. Transitioning into DEI was a very natural progression with her experiences and goals, especially because a position for Diversity Director opened up at one of the firms she had previously practiced at. Wanting to be able to have a greater impact, she transitioned again, moving to another firm where she’d be able to create a professional development program in addition to the diversity and inclusion work. Then, the pandemic hit and another opportunity came around, this time with Children’s Mercy in Kansas City. Attracted to the challenge and the opportunity to work in her local community, Michelle took a leap and began learning about equity and equality in healthcare.  Transitioning careers can be scary and very difficult, but also extremely rewarding. If you are in a position that no longer aligns with your values or does not offer opportunities for growth, it is useful to start planning an exit strategy. As Michelle says, life is too short to not enjoy what you are doing. Quotes “It was something that I had always wanted to do because I always felt this inclination to stand up for folks who didn't have a voice.” (7:56-8:05 | Michelle) “If it's not meaningful, if it doesn't align with my values, and I'm just exhausted where I don't even have time or energy to do anything else, then to me, it’s time to start planning your exit strategy.” (29:40-29:52 | Michelle) “What they don't understand is that diversity should be interwoven into everything that you do.” (36:36-36:41 | Michelle)  “What happens a lot of times is that the existing leaders that are there feel like their territory is being encroached upon.” (36:57-37:06 | Michelle) “What we're seeing in healthcare is a lot of accrediting bodies putting standards around health equity that before now did not exist.” (46:43-46:53 | Michelle)   Links   Connect with Michelle Patterson Wimes: LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/michellepattersonwimes/ Connect with Chris Batz: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chrisbatz/  Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theliongroupkc  Instagram: @theliongroupllc Podcast production and show notes provided by HiveCast.fm
Ep #17 In-House Team, Talent and Career Advice with Kim Yapchai and Dennis Garcia
May 16 2023
Ep #17 In-House Team, Talent and Career Advice with Kim Yapchai and Dennis Garcia
“It takes time to build that psychological safety, but I think it's a more important area than ever before in the modern workplace,” explains Dennis Garcia, Assistant General Counsel of Microsoft. Today, Dennis and Kim Yapchai, former SVP, Chief Environmental, Social, and Governance Officer at Tenneco Inc., discuss their career advice for developing in-house talent. Trust is something that needs to be earned over time, and creating a psychologically safe work environment is no different. With job turnover particularly high, it is especially important to find innovative ways to retain and nurture top talent within your organization. To develop your in-house talent, as a leader, it is important to be up front and open with your employees. This authenticity will help develop trust between leaders and teammates alike. Mentor the talent you have and give people opportunities to grow their skills. When employees feel understood, appreciated, and supported, they are less likely to look for outside career advancement.  Nowadays, employees, particularly those of the Gen Z and Millennial generations, are more likely to be attracted to jobs where they feel aligned with the company’s values. By being authentic and up front from the very start, leaders can foster relationships with those employees who are the right fit for the work culture they are looking to create. Instead of trying to fight over the top talent in the pool, look in-house and put time into helping your current employees flourish.  Quotes “If people don't feel safe enough to speak up and be heard, the company loses out. You lose out on new ideas, on diversity of thought, and people letting you know when things are going wrong.” (9:25-9:43 Kim)  “It takes time to build that psychological safety, but I think it's a more important area than ever before in the modern workplace.” (10:47-10:57 | Dennis) “It is harder when you don't see people face to face in the office, you have to find other ways to connect.” (16:02-16:08 | Kim) “Build the network and your brand before you need it.” (25:39-25:42 | Kim) “When you reach out to people and you try to build those relationships, it's not all about how they can help you. It's how can you help them.” (29:10-29:18 | Kim)    Links Connect with Kim Yapchai: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kim-yapchai/ Connect with Dennis Garcia: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/denniscgarcia/ Buy a copy of Fearless Organization by Amy Edmondson: https://a.co/d/fP9z92s Connect with Chris Batz: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chrisbatz/  Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theliongroupkc  Instagram: @theliongroupllc Podcast production and show notes provided by HiveCast.fm