24 — John Berry — The Warrior Ethos

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"You keep your edge. You keep your cool. But you go at it like a steely-eyed, barrel-chested killer." - John Berry

  • Why do veterans make the best trial attorneys?
  • How did John Berry grow his father's niche law firm to even greater heights?
  • Why is ego the downfall of true personal growth in leadership?
  • How do you create the ultimate brand affinity in a niche legal space?
How John Berry Went From Second Lieutenant to Trial Attorney and CEO

As a second lieutenant, John Berry had high-profile postings all over the world, from Iraq to Bosnia. The grueling experience of training and active duty taught him dedication, fortitude, and the wisdom to choose your battles. In the military, you can't always control your outcome — but you can control your appearance, fitness level, and attitude.

John explains how he applied that warrior ethos and love for the mission to both the courtroom and to the business of law, building upon his father's practice to become one of the fastest-growing law firms on the Inc. 5000.

Pressure Makes Diamonds: Why Your Best Investment is Yourself

John's father was a celebrity lawyer who, despite spending a lot of time away, always developed John's interests by giving him great mentors and coaches. John grew up knowing that the best investment you can make is in your personal growth — and that nothing is unattainable if you put in the hours.

This ingrained work ethic has characterized John's legal career. He's continued to seek out the best and brightest people as mentors, advisors, or team members at his firm. John shares how he strives to better himself every day, and why he's always reaching for the next goal.

Veteran Clients Need Veteran Lawyers: Building the Ultimate Niche Practice

Berry Law Firm was specializing in veteran law cases before it was recognized as a niche. United by a passion for helping veterans, John's team has developed a culture within the organization that draws in their ideal client through the ultimate brand affinity.

John's team is his platoon. They share his love for the mission, and he looks for other military training characteristics when hiring as well. If John hands you a task, he expects it to get done without having to look at it again — the so-called “fire and forget.” John shares why veterans make impeccable attorneys, and how doubling-down on the firm's niche is expanding his business.

Key takeaways:
  • Getting someone to “cover your six” is about securing all your bases and not being perceived as weak. John explains why dealing with the “who, what, when, where, why” and hiring the right person to deliver the “how” empowered him to progress his firm to new heights.
  • Your ego will fail you. If pride gets in the way of feedback, then you're doomed to repeat your mistakes, explains John. He believes feedback is a gift — and that you'll never be a leader until you're willing to truly listen to your team.
  • Elite firms have a bigger vision and concrete steps to get there. Moving from being a good firm to a great one takes incremental progression always aligned with your big picture, plus the courage to make and stick to critical decisions.
Links And Resources

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