imageThe Sports Dude and I are sitting on a plane right now headed to Chicago. I have had the privilege for the past six months of attending and participating in The SmithBucklin Leadership Institute, which is culminating this weekend, and we get to bring our +1. If it wasn’t for the merger, and all the work that took place behind the scenes prior to the merger being announced, I would have written on my experience in the Institute more. In short, I don’t think I could have provided the assistance to my partners without the lessons and skills I have learned. I have specifically employed new techniques, avoided some pitfalls, and smoothed over some ruffled feathers, all because of my new leadership skills. As I finish up my final homework assignments, and prepare my final presentations, I am struck most by how prior to the Institute I did a lot of these things, and I knew a lot of these things, but it was instinctive, or by intuition. I had never been taught, or learned it. I picked it up along the way through good examples and incredible mentors, specifically Frank Moon and Steve Barrett; incredible friends and colleagues, like Catherine Alman MacDonagh; and, to be completely candid, some really shitty situations and interactions with some really crappy human beings. What I am walking away with most from my experience these past six months is a heightened awareness of who I am as a leader, and what that means and looks like within the legal industry, my professional association, my job, with my team, my HOA, Girl Scouts, my family, and the list can go on and on. If I could sum it all up: I have become more intentional, and less dependent on my intuition and instincts. So what’s on tap for today?

  • Finishing up my homework and final assignments for my class tomorrow.
  • Signage, letterhead, new business cards are all in the works. So nice being a part of the team where all I had to do was open a PDF and say, “Wow. Great job. Looks good to me.”
  • We ordered a little something-something for 10/1. I hope everyone likes it.
  • Yes. I am still dealing with bios and service area assignments. But they are coming in and heading over to Hinshaw for uploading.

I just have to say, as I am somewhere over Missouri and making my way north towards O’Hare, technology is so incredible. While everyone should be expendable from their jobs as a whole, during standard business hours, the ability to log on to my network or get into my email from an airplane, and handle a couple major situations, is 100% necessary for me to do my job well. And talk about timing for this trip? Not only will we get a break in the weather, but the Boys in Blue will be at Wrigley tonight, and I just happen to know someone who knows someone who lined up some nice seats … at face value … for me and some of my fellow Institute students. The Sports Dude is also thrilled that he lined up press credentials so he can hang in the press box tomorrow while I am in class, praying for Kershaw to pitch a no-hitter. Tip: If you have the opportunity to take a good leadership class, do it, even if you think you are a great leader. There is always more to learn. I am taking this class with 17 other incredible people. I am walking away from this experience with more than I anticipated … a whole new group of life-long friends. (p.s., sorry for the lack of links. Working off my iPad, and they are a PITA to connect. You’ll just have to Google Steve, Frank, and Catherine)