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Episode 274 — AMMA — How to Build a Culture of Gratitude

In today’s challenging economic landscape, leading a law firm requires more than just strategic acumen. It demands heart, resilience, and a deep commitment to cultivating a culture of gratitude.

Crisp Founder & CEO Michael Mogill returns in this episode of The Game Changing Attorney Podcast to share his invaluable insights on how to keep your team motivated and appreciative, even when times are tough.

Join him and learn:

  • The importance of transparency and vulnerability in leadership
  • Actionable strategies for fostering continuous recognition and appreciation within your firm
  • How to transform your team’s entitled attitudes into engaged commitment
Episode 274 — AMMA — How to Build a Culture of Gratitude
Show Notes:

Lead with clarity. “As a leader, it can be challenging to admit any weakness or vulnerability, as we’ve discussed on this podcast before. However, vulnerability is actually a strength. When people are uncertain and stressed, one of the best actions you can take is to gather everyone for an all-hands or team meeting and openly share the reality of the situation at your firm. Being transparent about where you’re struggling and where you need to cut back, while emphasizing your commitment to the long-term future, builds trust and clarity. You can say, ‘I’m committed to navigating us through this challenge, and here’s the plan we have to move forward.’ Clarity helps alleviate uncertainty. If you try to hide the severity, people may imagine the worst-case scenarios, like payroll not being met next week. Instead, honesty helps identify those truly committed to weathering challenges alongside you.”

Drivers only. “Business is tough. There are ups, downs, and economic uncertainties like we experienced during the pandemic, which may recur in the future. One of my goals has always been to set clear metrics, KPIs, and targets. Those who meet these goals are secure. I’ll do whatever it takes to support them through tough times. However, if you’re not committed or not hitting targets, there’s no security. Now is the time to be fully committed. If you’re dedicated, I’ll ensure your safety, but for those not contributing, there’s no place to hide. We need drivers, not passengers.”

Celebrate often. “The grass is greener where you water it, and sometimes you have to water your people. In our weekly leadership meeting, one of the items on the agenda is Customer & Employee Headlines.The leaders from different departments share a client win or a team member win. We have a lot of teams and obviously work with a lot of clients, but I hear these in our weekly leadership meeting and I can message that person — be it a client or a team member — and congratulate them. This allows me to keep my ear to the ground and know what kind of amazing things are happening around me in my organization. Celebrating achievements, thanking someone for their contributions, and reinforcing gratitude needs to happen on a recurring and frequent basis. An annual review with stuff like that is not enough.

Shut down entitlement. “You want to make your team more grateful? Well, this may be slightly controversial, but in my opinion, you can’t. You can’t change someone. You can do amazing things for the people around you, but if you have an expectation of being returned with a high five or a ‘thank you,’ you’re rarely going to get it. It’s not because those people are bad people. They’re just people. When you do something nice like rolling out new benefits, there are going to be some people in your organization that say, ‘Wow, thank you so much! This has changed my life,’ and there could be other people that are complaining that say, ‘That’s it? I don’t think that’s enough.’ Those are the people who you give a raise to and then a few months later they come back asking for another one. The first time you do something for someone, it’s nice. The second time you do something, it’s an expectation. The third time you do something, it’s entitlement.”

A thankless job. “Just because someone’s not grateful or doesn’t say ‘thank you’ doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do good things. You should do the things that are necessary to help the organization be more competitive and the people in it grow, become more effective, and make a greater impact for your clients and your community. When you started out, it was probably just you on your own, and if you could have grown your organization and achieved a vision on your own, you would have. However, you hired people and invested in them to support you in achieving the vision, so you should be grateful for them for being on this journey with you. Sure, it’s your journey, but they’re helping you accomplish your dreams and turn your vision into reality. The fact is that as much as you’d like them to, they’re not saying ‘thank you’ for a check that they received today. As a business owner, I get it. Sometimes you are busting your ass to make sure that you’re able to support your team, and when you’re down and you’re having a tough time, a ‘thank you’ would be nice, but it’s probably not going to come. You’ve got to get over that and lead.”

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