Leading through Adversity: Michael Mogill + Susan Chesnutt

3–4 minutes to read

Challenging circumstances can actually be a catalyst for positive change in your law firm — and can provide your team a unique opportunity to STEP UP and show you what they’re made of.

Crisp Founder & CEO Michael Mogill recently sat down with Susan Chesnutt of The Chesnutt Law Firm to talk about how her firm has been making their operations BETTER during the coronavirus crisis.

Check out their full conversation below.

2:15 Adapting to life during COVID-19. “There has been a substantial financial impact for sure. The phone has not been ringing like it was. We track our leads. Most of our leads are still coming from Google, and I’ve been heavy on Facebook.”

3:04 Free consultations. “This week, I advertised for free 30-minute consultations because everybody is starting to panic financially. They don’t want to spend money. My husband asked me if that was a good decision when I should be making money and not doing free consults. That’s a touchy subject with attorneys. My logic is, ‘Well, people don’t think they have the money right now, but when they know they have the money, they’ll have already gotten the advice.’ That’s my logic. Hopefully it works out.”

3:42 The team is stepping up. “They have stepped it up. I have been trying to find and really exploit these strengths of my team. When I find that they’re not working in a certain capacity, my main goal — because they’ve learned our culture and they fit with us as people — is to find out how to make it work.”

8:51 Susan’s motivation. “I think my motivation to help people, obviously, is what everyone’s going to say. I think that’s what really motivates me. But I have been on a mission since I met you and became part of this process and this program to see what my potential is. I’m not going to let three weeks of everybody not working take that away from me because I was going to and I’m still going to do it. I’ve just got to find a different way. I always have. My determination is what makes me a good attorney.”

9:36 Challenges we face. “I think right now the most challenging aspect is adapting. Because I’ve been telling the girls… Anticipating the next step, for example. I said to my girls, my team, ‘Right now, this is going to be the excuse for these people to act like assholes to each other, these parents.’ You know, I do family law.”

11:38 Using COVID-19 as an excuse. “I’d say that that’s just a really poor excuse. It’s not even a good excuse. Because I can sit behind this computer for 12 hours at a time and still get as much done as I did when everything else was still going. I get up every day, I put my lipstick and my high heels on just like I’m going to work, and I mean business. I mean business while I’m here, and it’s just an excuse. It really is.”

12:42 Susan’s routine. “I’m doing the same things. I have a morning coffee, an afternoon tea time, and we’re going to do the virtual happy hour on Friday. My team, not only by having them develop their own strengths and their own competences, but they’re breaking out into sub-teams. You know, I told you that pair that’s doing the workflow. Once we get off our 15-20 minute meeting, they break out into their teams. They’re doing it. I’m not doing anything! I’m not. I’m sitting back, and they’re doing all of it. And it’s such a pleasure. I feel so blessed.”

14:21 Final thoughts. “I think you need to know that it’s only going to be a few weeks. Just pretend you’re on vacation and it’s a working vacation because you want to get ahead. Trust your team and they might blow your mind. Absolutely.”


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