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Confession From A Business Leader: I’m Addicted To Crisis Mode

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How I refocused my brain to use hustle mode for the greater good of my legal business.

I’m Claudia King and I’m addicted to crisis mode. 

Most people crack under a once-in-a-lifetime event. Not me. I’m brilliant in a crisis. So when Covid-19 hit I was like I’ve got this. And I did. I absolutely owned it. I lead my team. I drove results. I thrived. 

For a lot of law firm owners, the start of 2020 has been a wake-up call for how they’ve been running their law firms. It has meant that we’ve been in demand here at Automio. We’ve worked from home the whole way through the lockdown. We listened to our audience and we adapted as needed. As a parent, I led all this while having the kids at home and taking on guiding their education. It was an action-packed, adrenaline-fuelled time.

When we moved down on alert levels here in New Zealand, I went back to work and the kids went back to school and the pressure came off. 

And with it, the adrenaline was gone. 

  • I felt bored
  • I felt antsy
  • I questioned what we were doing 
  • I picked at our processes 
  • I wanted to kickstart new things to keep myself interested

I found myself filling the void that was left once we started to move out of crisis mode.

And at first, because I was feeling bajiggity without the immediate pressure, it caused me to pick at the seams of my life and business.

I started to see problems everywhere and I wanted to find solutions to them immediately. 

I’ve always known there has been some brain-trash there around performing well under pressure or a crisis. So I started to examine that and look at how I could focus that energy in my day-to-day life (in an un-adrenaline junkie way). 

Here is how I channelled that energy and used it for the good of my business and the benefit of my team (and you can too):

Crisis mode motivates me because I clearly see the pain points or the problems and when it was over I found myself immediately looking for more problems to activate my brain (spoiler alert: turns out some of the issues I found weren’t even problems). 

Step one: Write them down.

To harness that energy start drilling into the problems you’re seeing in your law firm. Put these down on paper and start thinking about them objectively. 

To do this, I use a spreadsheet and pull all the problems out of my head and put them on one side of the page. 

Step two: Understand the result you want 

Now that you have the problems out of your head you need to ask yourself:

  • What is the result I want? 
  • If the problem is a system or process not going how it should be, then how do I want it to be going? 
  • What does this problem need to look like so it’s no longer a challenge in my firm?

Start mapping out the ideal results on the right-hand side of your problems. Each problem needs an end result. 

By understanding the ideal result you want you can figure out how you, or your team, can make it a reality. If you have no end game to work towards you’ll continue to get stuck in the frustration. And, you’ll create even more problems if you task this out to someone to resolve and they don’t really understand what you want. 

Step three: Figure out how to get from one point to the other

Now that you have the end result you can start to communicate that and move past the frustration of the problem. You have a starting point and an endpoint and you can figure out the solution.

You can delegate this to your team. I’ve hired my A-Team of experts so I know that I can hand these problems and the result I want over to them and trust that they’ll create the solution to get us there where we need to be so these are no longer challenges. 

If you’re a sole practitioner, you’ll need to spend some time finding the solutions.

Step four: The power of understanding

Since doing this big brain dump and getting these challenges down on paper, I was able to figure out that some weren’t actually problems and the ones that were I was able to act on and get my team to collectively work on.

A problem shared is a problem halved. 

And, by having those problems clearly mapped out I’ve been able to harness my crisis-mode boss-power to create positive action when the pressure is off. 

We all have reactions or behaviours that can be turned into super-powers. As a law firm owner and a leader, you need to really examine these within yourself and look for opportunities to play to these strengths. Doing this will allow you to scale your law firm faster and with greater success.  

Tell me in the comments how you’re harnessing your super-powers to create growth in your law firm.  

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