What Dallas' Czar of Ethics Thinks About DEI, Cars and Work Shield
Advisory Board Spotlight Series
There’s not much Tim Powers doesn’t know about running an organization ethically and successfully. So much so that Mayor Eric Johnson picked him to be Dallas’ Ethics Reform Czar in 2019. Powers is a brilliant, humble mind and helps lead initiatives all over town and beyond with an eye for moral standards and best practice legal foundations. He is also a valued member of Work Shield’s advisory board, so we have a unique appreciation and respect for the Czar.
We recently sat down with Powers to ask him a few questions about himself and to get his thoughts on successful DEI initiatives and creating ethical workplace cultures and procedures. Plus, we got some of his best podcast and book recommendations.
We can all learn something from a guy like him, so here goes --
What's your day job?
CEO of Haynes & Boone, LLP. I’ve been there for almost 40 years, from associate, to practice and department leader, to Managing Partner since 2015.
(It's a big time internationally-recognized corporate law firm)
Do you play any sports?
I am a runner now, but I was a member of crew when I was in college at UCLA. I have a photo I’ll send to prove that I used to have hair.
(He actually sent it!)
UCLA, 1973 - 1977
Culture affects many aspects of a successful law firm, including associate and partner engagement, morale, and retention. How do you describe the culture at Haynes & Boone?
Client-first focus; teamwork; mutual respect and trust; civility and humility; diversity and inclusion; focus on the greater good of the firm over the individual; and a high level of accountability to each other.
Statistics show that companies that have diverse, equitable, and inclusive employee workforces are more innovative and financially successful. What are some examples of successful DEI initiatives that have been implemented within your company?
Our firm’s long-term strategic plan (called our 2025 Plan) has stated objective and subjective goals so that it is very apparent internally and externally that we value diversity. We have instituted programs and policies to ensure retention and promotion, including leadership training.
More specifically, we focus on the creation of opportunities so that our diverse lawyers believe that their best opportunities in the future are at Haynes and Boone, as opposed to possibly being led to believe that a better opportunity may exist someplace else. We also have established mentorship programs. Many of our diverse lawyers have joined clients, which we do encourage though.
What are the values that drive you?
Humility; hard work; commitment to the greater good/purpose of everything that I am part of and associated with.
Given what you know about Work Shield, what, in your opinion, is the most important thing we do for our clients?
The ability to provide an impartial, holistic and credible solution to employer harassment and discrimination concerns at a reasonable cost - giving the employer confidence and certainty.
What do you enjoy doing most when you are not working?
Running, learning more about wine and enjoying it with family and friends, studying U.S. Presidential history and political theory.
What was your first car?
It was a Volkswagon Beetle. I drove it to UCLA as a freshman. It was very cool.
(He sent us this pic, too!)
Going to College
Your top three favorite podcasts/books?
Peer to Peer Conversations
with Jon Meacham
from The New York Times
What's your favorite, go-back-to-for-another-read book?
by Daniel James Brown
What’s on your nightstand right now?
by Anand Giridharadas
by Isabel Wilkerson
by Erik Larson
by Phillips Payson O’Brien
In addition to his widely recognized and diverse work in the legal profession, Powers has served in senior leadership roles and on the board of directors of the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth, Dallas Regional Chamber, Dallas Committee on Foreign Relations, YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas, American Heart Association — Dallas Division, Japan America Society of Dallas/Fort Worth, Southern Methodist University Tate Lecture Series, Dallas Breakfast Group and Crossroads Community Services. He also serves as a trustee of The First United Methodist Church — Dallas.
About Jennifer Pope
Jennifer is the Co-Founder of Work Shield, the only start-to-finish workplace harassment and discrimination reporting, investigation and resolution solution that protects employees, employers and cultures at the same time. Jennifer's background as an attorney fueled her desire to help others. She leverages her experiences from Hewitt Associates, Thompson & Knight, and SMU Dedman School of Law to help employers shift the paradigm related to workplace harassment to ensure that everyone has a voice.
Connect with Jennifer on LinkedIn.