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Episode 54 — Eric Farber — The Case for Culture

"We were told when we were young that we're going to work for five different places. There's no real reason for that. I've come to realize more and more that people are doing that because most companies suck to work for. They just suck." - Eric Farber

  • Why do you need to take a leap of faith and invest in your company culture?
  • How can you make your team happy and un-poachable?
  • Why should you make progression and development a priority for all your employees?
  • How can you encourage others to be comfortable with being vulnerable and asking for help?

Cultivator of Company Culture

When a lawyer decides to hang out their shingle and start their own firm, they usually dream of using their practice as a means to do the kind of work they want to do, when they want to do it. But the reality is that as soon as they open their practice, they need to don their management hat and quickly learn how to become business people as well as attorneys.

Eric Farber is an attorney, a CEO, and the author of the highly-rated “The Case For Culture,” a book all about transforming your law firm, taking control of yourself and your business, and establishing a clear company culture. Eric knows all too well the pitfalls attorneys fall into in their own practices, and in this episode, we'll discuss how law firm owners can avoid these mistakes and motivate their team members to stick around.

Not Hiring is Better Than Hiring Wrong

When you're growing fast or find that certain departments are overwhelmed, any manager's gut reaction is to start hiring. While bringing in the right people can help to handle the extra workload, hiring someone unfit for the task can end up costing your firm dearly.

Eric explains how poor hiring choices make for unhappy and unproductive employees, and he tells us why it's better to leave a position empty rather than fill a seat with someone who doesn't fit your culture. Eric also reveals the only two follow-up questions you'll need in an interview and offers a word of warning about candidates who seem to tick all the right boxes.

Give Until It Hurts

When starting your own firm, you have to make sacrifices. That might mean giving up personal time to work on your business, or it might mean taking a smaller salary to make sure your team gets paid. But if you want to promote a healthy culture to support your business, you might have to go yet another step further.

We discuss why you and your culture need to be able to recognize that nobody is a superhero and that from time to time some might need a little extra help. Eric also details the extraordinary lengths he went to in order to support one of his own employees, and he shares the unexpected positive impact it had on his business.

Key takeaways:

  • Have faith when investing in culture. Some benefits will be immediate, and some won't be obvious until the future.
  • The company culture might not be what you think it is, so ask your key stakeholders to find out what it is to them.
  • Keep your employees challenged and satisfied if you don't want to lose them.

Links and Resources