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BUILDING A TEAM Why Doré Law Group Takes a Systems-Based Approach
Recently, one of my most important clients told me something very gratifying. They said, “I’ve never been more confident in your team than now. It’s clear that you have built a system structured to help your clients through their problems.” That statement went right to the heart of my philosophy on team building, which was already on my mind. The law firm had just lost a key attorney to an extended health issue, and I was concerned about our ability to serve her clients. New associates with less experience had to be plugged into her roles, and our experienced lawyers had to spend more of their valuable time on training. The client’s comment reminded me of a set of business truths I’ve discovered over my 40 years in business:
effort. Our legal services are delivered more efficiently (increasing profits) and consistently (better client service) when we follow those systems. Just as importantly, new employees can learn their jobs more quickly when they have a system to guide them. Around the time my client praised our team, I was reading “Quiet Leadership: Six Steps to Transforming Performance at Work” “I’ve developed a systems-based approach to building my team and managing the business because I think constructing thought-out systems to guide our team members is worth the extra time and effort.” by David Rock, which confirmed much of my thinking. If your team isn’t going in the direction you hoped, Rock’s steps might give you some new ideas. I liked the first two best: Force your employees to think about what they are trying to accomplish, their level of enthusiasm and commitment, and what alternatives there are to get there. Focus on asking your team questions instead of giving them answers. Maybe they will surprise you with a new solution, but certainly you will be training them to think and problem-solve on their own. STEP 1: THINK ABOUT THINKING
STEP 2: SPEAK WITH INTENT
Be succinct. Don’t confuse your team with long explanations, but instead clarify with statements that are “short and sweet.” Be specific and generous. A kinder, gentler approach often prevents your employees from getting defensive and blocking your efforts to help. As a former engineer, I find it hard to avoid jumping into problem-solving mode immediately, and as a lawyer, it’s almost impossible to limit my words. I grew up thinking of leaders as the ones giving orders, but I’ve found that to succeed in building a system that doesn’t need me to constantly grease its wheels, it’s best to help others improve their own thinking first. It’s a strategy I’m still practicing.
1. No one wants to be a slacker.
2. Everyone is capable as long as they’re enthusiastic and have a questioning mind.
3. Leadership is more about asking
good questions than giving the right answers.
I’ve developed a systems-based approach to building my team and managing the business because I think constructing thought-out systems to guide our team members is worth the extra time and
-Carl Doré, Jr.
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A Road Map to Closing Deals
Business majors and longtime entrepreneurs will be very familiar with this work. And in an age when many shiny new theories on leadership and personal development come out every year, it’s refreshing to revisit a classic that has stood the test of time. Thirty- five years after its original publication, “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” should still be required reading for marketers, small- business owners, and anyone else looking to improve their negotiation skills.
Dr. Cialdini lays out six “universal principles” of the human psyche. These include “Reciprocity,” our tendency to want to return perceived kindness or concessions; “Commitment and Consistency,” our tendency to cling to past decisions; and “Scarcity,” our tendency to assign value to things based on their rarity. While these may sound like surface level business concepts, the way Dr. Cialdini uses these principles as a launching point gives “Influence” value. With each principle, the author dives into examples of how these psychological elements can be used by you or against you in any negotiation. Take “Commitment and Consistency” for example. If you are able to get a person to agree with you on several small points, you lay the groundwork for them to agree with you in the future. Conversely, you can be more alert when people try to use this tactic on you. One of the most powerful results of reading “Influence” is that it helps you recognize behaviors you yourself were unaware of. Indeed, that’s the whole underlying thesis of Dr. Cialdini’s work: As social creatures, we all have habitual behaviors geared towards finding common ground with others. Once you are aware of these behaviors, you’ll begin to see conversations and negotiations in a whole new light.
Written by Dr. Robert Cialdini, “Influence” explores why people say yes. A professor of business and psychology, Dr. Cialdini is uniquely qualified to tackle this question, combining scientific data with practical applications. “Influence” is still a subject of praise, with marketing research groups and journals of psychology lauding the book as a “proverbial gold mine.” You don’t have to get too far into “Influence” to see why.
FOCUS ON THE FIRM The Oilfield Equipment and Services Industry
Doré Law focuses on a handful of practice areas where our attorneys’ depth of experience and intimate familiarity with our clients’ businesses allow us to add the most value to our legal services. One area we have built a formidable reputation in over the last three decades is the oilfield equipment and services industry. In fact, several of our firm’s practice areas are dedicated to serving clients in that line of work. Doré Law files more mineral liens across the U.S. than any other law firm. Our clients rely on our expertise to protect their interests with that important tool. Our litigation section is also experienced at pursuing collections and defending claims and counterclaims when necessary. Over our decades of practicing,
our commercial litigation attorneys have successfully represented clients to not only recover outstanding debts, but defend against multimillion-dollar claims for well loss and damage to underground property. Our firm also has a section dedicated to helping our clients navigate the complex world of bankruptcy claims. Doré Law has represented creditors in almost every oil and gas bankruptcy in the past decade, helping oilfield companies recover on their receivables and defending preference suits. Using a dedicated, experienced attorney and skilled paralegal staff, we have even taken over the task of initially reviewing Master Service Agreements (MSAs) from in-house
legal departments. Doré Law can perform this fixed-fee service more quickly (generally in less than 48 hours) and more cost-effectively, freeing general counsel to do other work. For clients without in-house counsel, our contracts attorney provides this indispensable risk-management service at a reasonable cost, and, because we review MSAs daily, our staff is always up to date on best practices and recent trends in the industry. Doré Law represents more companies in the oilfield equipment and services industry than any other legal group in Houston — a substantial accomplishment, considering the city is known as the Energy Capital of the World. After 30 years in the Houston Energy Corridor, we are proud of our reputation.
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THE GOOD LAWYER What the Ideal Attorney Can Do for You Almost any decent business lawyer can tackle your company’s legal problems as they pop up, fending off the same issues time and again as they rear their ugly heads. If your legal defense seems to be an endless cycle, then your company just might be what’s called “a slow learner with cash to spend” by the “decent” lawyers in the industry. The alternative to that expensive legal grind is finding a good lawyer rather than a decent one, an attorney who wants to earn a lifetime client by working to become more than a problem solver. The good lawyer wants to be a problem avoider. The longer the good lawyer works with you, the more they know about your business operations. They understand not only the legal aspects of your business, but all of its parts — your market, your customers, your sales and marketing efforts, your back-office processes, and your goals. They master them for the year and can perceive them in the long-term. As the good lawyer learns more about your business, they use their experience to suggest alternatives, shortcuts, and solutions discovered from working with other clients. They also put their suspicious mind (the one that gives lawyers reputations as “deal killers”) to work to spot potential problems with your company’s new
initiatives and helps solve them before they become real problems. The good lawyer understands that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The good lawyer always asks you to explain what differentiates your company from the competition. As someone who advises a lot of business owners and managers, a good lawyer will volunteer sound ideas that will help you separate from the crowd. And nothing makes the good lawyer happier than connecting two clients and helping them both succeed. Finally, the good lawyer understands that companies achieve success over time because of relationships. As a business owner, you need a lawyer you can rely on to tell you good and bad news and one you enjoy spending time with, too. The good lawyer fits both of those molds. If you’re dealing with a problem and the lawyer you hired is difficult to communicate with — in other words, “decent” — that problem just got bigger.
Do you have a good lawyer? We hope you do. It makes life easier and you more successful.
GRANMA ANITE’S CHICKEN AND SAUSAGE GUMBO
• 1 cup roux (store bought or see recipe below) • 1 onion, diced • 4 qts. water • 1 lb. sausage • 1 lb. chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces • Salt and Cajun seasoning (such as Tony Chachere) to taste • 1/4 cup parsley • 1/4 cup green onion tops
1. Combine 2 cups flour and 1 1/2 cups oil. 2. Cook in the microwave 1–2
minutes at a time, stirring thoroughly in between until it reaches a caramel brown color (about 10 minutes total).
INSTRUCTIONS 1. Put roux into a large pot and add onion. Cook until onion is limp. 2. Add water slowly until roux and water are thoroughly mixed. 3. Add sausage and chicken and season with salt and/or Tony Chachere Seasoning to taste. 4. Bring to a boil and simmer for 2 hours until chicken is tender. 5. Add green onion and parsley in the last 15 minutes of cooking. 6. If desired, serve over rice.
BARBEQUE CAMPFIRE CAMPING FIREWORK
HOT INDEPENDENCE JULY
SUMMER SUN SWIMMING TANNING UFO
LEMONADE OUTDOORS SANDALS SKEWERS
FISHING FRIENDS HIKING
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Building a Team
‘Influence’ and the Psychology of Yes
Focus on the Firm: The Oilfield Equipment and Services Industry
The Good Lawyer Granma Anite’s Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
The Absolute Best in Advertising
THE BEST CONTEMPORARY AD CAMPAIGNS AND WHAT YOU CAN LEARN FROM THEM
A great advertising campaign transcends the company that creates it. The Budweiser Clydesdales are nearly as iconic as the beer itself. People still say, “Dude, you’re getting a Dell,” in 2019, despite the fact that PCs aren’t even a major part of Dell’s business model anymore. When it comes to creating an ad campaign that Don Draper would be proud of, it’s best to look at massively successful examples from recent history. Here are a few of our favorites, as well as commentary on why they work and how you can use similar tactics. BRAND DIFFERENTIATION: APPLE This mega-popular ad campaign consisting of 66 spots personified the difference between PCs and Apple computers. Playing the role of “PC” was a buttoned-up, nebbish character you’d expect to find in the most morose workplace on earth. The “Mac” character, by contrast, was laid-back, youthful, and effortlessly cool. After launching the campaign in 2006, Macs became the default laptop for nearly every incoming college student. Clearly, the lighthearted jabbing at the competition worked. OFF-THE-WALL IRREVERENCE: OLD SPICE Most deodorant and shampoo commercials are bare-bones basic. They describe the “odor protection,” “moisturizing effects,” and the like. Old Spice takes the opposite approach. Their ads often feature absurd imagery, insane special
effects, and Terry Crews literally yelling at you that you smell bad. Would this tone work for a life insurance company? Probably not, but it’s a great way to make simple consumer goods feel fun and exciting. SOCIAL AWARENESS: DOVE Dove’s “Campaign for Real Beauty,” which launched in 2004, was a long overdue change of pace for the beauty industry. Since time immemorial, fashion and beauty campaigns featured only impossibly beautiful women who had body types that the average person could never attain. Dove threw this aspirational, and potentially toxic, messaging in the garbage and decided to celebrate women of all shapes and sizes. If you can create a campaign that includes those who aren’t used to widespread representation, you’ll increase your reach in a hurry. CURATED COOL: DOS EQUIS Here’s a dirty little secret the beverage industry won’t tell you: Most industrially produced beers are made by one of two companies, and the vast majority of them taste remarkably similar. The difference, for the most part, comes down to the way they are marketed. Dos Equis, with their “Most Interesting Man in the World” campaign, carved out a name for themselves as the beer for urbane, thrill-seeking drinkers, despite the fact that their product is about as exotic as a Coors Light. Sometimes, perception really is reality.
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