How One Entrepreneur Learned to Not Be the Boss Everyone Hates

Sheela Murthy is the founder and president of Murthy Law Firm, a Maryland-based law firm that specializes in US immigration law. Though she now runs a thriving practice, it wasn’t always so. When Murthy first started her law firm in the 1990s, she was working 16 hours a day and expected her team of paralegals to stay past midnight as well. Eager to get her business off the ground, she says she was doing the work of three lawyers. Her team, however, became stressed out by her management style, and three of her four paralegals quit in the span of one week.

“I had to eat humble pie, do the work, and really begin to ask myself what am I doing wrong because I knew the problem was me,” says Murthy. She realized that while she kept telling her staff to treat their clients with care and compassion, she was completely neglecting her employees. Murthy had to learn to become more sensitive to her team’s needs and remember that their lives didn’t revolve around the office. Murthy Law Firm now has 92 employees, 22 of whom are lawyers.

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