It’s a balancing act...
Reprinted from Lawyers Weekly, Australia
4 July, 2012
This article was published in the Canadian Lawyers Weekly in June, 2012. PDF of the actual article is attached.
Not long ago, I was speaking to a professional responsibility class at a law school in Ontario. The students were asked: Do you believe it is possible to make a difference in the world, earn a good living, and have a satisfying personal and professional life?
The looks on their faces spoke volumes. The answer was clearly no. “Two out of three?” I asked. A few hands went up, somewhat reluctantly.
I’ve been giving some thought to the personal qualities of the many bosses I’ve worked for, going back to high school and extending to the present day. A handful stand out as being especially good, and I’ve come to realize that they shared a lot of positive characteristics. Here goes:
1. They all were very hard workers. They didn’t preach a work ethic; they exemplified it.
2. Interestingly, not one was charismatic or dazzling in terms of personality. And yet, they inspired others and led effectively in their own ways.
Bullied bus monitor Karen Klein looks forward to retirement, helping her family, and paying it forward
When 68-year-old school bus monitor Karen Klein was savagely bullied and taunted by a group of teenage boys last month, the YouTube video of that event went viral. (See earlier blog post, with link to the video, here.) A good Samaritan set up an online fund in hopes of raising $5,000 to give the upstate New Yorker a vacation from her work situation; to date, it has raised over $680,000.
Lawyers Bev Clark and Chris Swan care more about their clients and doing the right thing for them than the showmanship and egos of winning in court. "In 2007 I learnt about Collaborative Law and wanted to learn more about this new approach," says Clark.
In the context of preparing for a hearing on a civil harassment restraining order, it occurred to me that on a basic legal all that most of us want is a life in which we feel free to interact openly with our environment – the freedom to go where we want and be who we truly are with minimal constraints. When another unreasonably infringes upon this freedom, the law affords a civil remedy that will legally restrain another from his or her ability to infringe on your physical space.
I recently completed a term as board chair of a non-profit organization, a volunteer position. The two-year term was not what I hoped it would be. Instead of concentrating on important public policy issues of the day, my work centered mainly on difficult financial and personnel matters facing the organization itself.
Some nine months ago, I wrote a blog post about the challenges of leadership in hard times: