Recently, I was interviewed by TruPath, an executive search firm, as part of their company’s “Executive Interview Series”. They asked me a range of questions where I opened up about the culture at Corso Law Group, highlights and hardships in my career and my leadership philosophy that’s helped bring Corso Law Group and our clients to where we are today.
Take a look: http://bit.ly/1lcsS7q.
What’s most exciting to you at this point in your career?
After nearly 10 years in the industry, it’s rewarding to see which systems within your business are working successfully. As the head of a company, there’s a lot of trial and error in the early stages, but after a few years you realize what works for you and your team. For me, I’ve had great success as a mentor to my attorneys, and it’s been very exciting to watch them progress with the firm over time.
Give me an example of when you inspired people with a vision.
Our team understands that it’s our mission to care about the whole person, including their families, not just the case. The vision I project is showing my staff the positive outcome of treating every client with the utmost respect and care.
How do you build “culture” within your organization?
Unlike some law firms, the attorneys and legal professionals at Corso Law Group work individually and as a group to produce the best outcomes for each case. The entire firm knows about every case, which allows our attorneys to be interchangeable. Each of us has our own strengths and levels of experience to contribute, so we sit down together to look at every angle and analyze all the facts. This not only helps build a solid defense for the client, but also allows us to perform as a team and build strong relationships within the firm.
How would you describe your leadership philosophy?
You have to cater to each member of your team differently. You have to recognize that everyone has different strengths and different weaknesses, making them valuable in different ways.
I also make a point of leading by example. In our industry it might be easier for an owner to pass along the hard cases to an employee but that’s not how a successful team runs. You have to stand in the shoes of your employees and work together.
What’s the greatest compliment you’ve ever been given in your time as a leader?
I recently spoke with one of our newer attorneys, who has 20 years of legal experience but is still learning the ins and outs of how we do things at Corso Law Group, about a few mistakes he had made. We sat down together and I gave him advice and guidance on how to correct those errors and move forward. To me, this is more important than becoming upset about the mistakes that were made.
After, he told me how refreshing it was to actually come together and identify his mistakes, learn how to improve and avoid making the same errors in the future instead of just being scolded or chastised. That really puts things into perspective for you as a leader about what truly matters to your team.
Tell me about how you’ve scaled your organization. What was a defining moment or decision you made that put you on that path?
Decisions about the types of cases I take on and how I project myself as an attorney define my business everyday. Over the years, these moments have helped create a set of core values that I believe in deeply. Once we realized our philosophy worked, we knew it could be implemented anywhere.
Share with me one of your greatest accomplishments while being incredibly resource disadvantaged.
My greatest accomplishment comes from the most emotionally and financially taxing situation I’ve experienced in my career. In the middle of starting the expansion of Corso Law Group in Houston, there was a breakup in the firm’s original partnership, leaving me as the sole proprietor.
During this time, employees were leaving and the finances of the project were affected due to the break-up. I honestly wasn’t sure if the new business would ever come together.
While it was very difficult, I was ultimately able to open the Houston firm by believing in my leadership style and values. I feel accomplished knowing that we’ve overcome these challenging times, and it’s rewarding to see both locations doing very well.
How do you invest in yourself to increase your impact?
As the founder of Corso Law Group, it’s important to me to stand out as a leader by being heavily involved in my field. Currently, I belong to the American Bar Association, the Arizona Bar Association, the Maricopa County Bar Association and the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, all of which allows me to improve the legal education of myself and my staff by staying updated with the rapid changes in our industry.
How does consistent learning and curiosity show up in your organization?
The minute you believe you know it all is the minute things start to go downhill. None of us eliminate the will or desire to stop learning about our industry and this business. You have to know that you don’t know everything, and that goes for everyone in an organization.
What’s one piece of advice you have for entrepreneurs who are just starting to hire C-Level talent?
There are two pieces of advice I would give. First, make sure their goals and mindset align with the culture of your business. You need a leader who is on the same track as the rest of the team. Second, identify people who complement the skills you lack so they can pick you up and catch you when you need it.
How do you attract the best and brightest?
The way to create an outstanding team is to offer the best and the brightest attorneys an environment where they can thrive. We have a sound infrastructure at Corso Law Group that is stable and organized. We’ve honed in on a unique system that focuses on teamwork as well as constant learning and improvement.
Demonstrate that you, the leader of the company, are focused on providing the optimal environment for each of your employees, and you’ll attract the right kind of people to your organization.
If you could go back to when you were just starting out at your organization and give yourself one piece of advice, what would you tell yourself?
While I truly believe that each mistake is part of the learning process, I would have told myself to avoid taking the easy route. Looking back, it can be tempting to accept instant gratification, but hard work and dedication to your goals will always lead you down a better, more significant path.
To schedule a free consultation with Corso Law Group, please call (480) 471-4616.