Ideas worth sharing: Just say No.

Ideas worth sharing: Just say No.

How good are we all at saying No to things? Pretty darned good, I’ve discovered—at least when it comes to things that are satisfying and fulfilling. But the other stuff? We let people pile it on.

That was one of my takeaways when I presented on The Power of No. It was this past Friday, and the opportunity came to me from the great folks at the Arizona Society of Association Executives (I know; it’s fun to say).

Here’s my session description:

“Leadership requires making decisions that affect people and resources. But how do we make those important decisions? How do we sustain an ethical workplace and deal with the many pressures to do all things and be all things for our members and the public? Sometimes the best answer lies in resisting the urge to say Yes.”

As well-placed “No” is one of my favorite words evah, So I thought the topic and I were a pretty good fit. The more I dug into it, of course, the more I saw how much I had to learn about No. I mean, our inability to Give Good No—in the workplace or in the wider world—has deep roots.

But with time and practice, I urged the association leaders, every one of us can develop the muscle to say No when necessary. The soundness of our organizations and our own sanity occasionally demand it.

Here are a few photos from the event (click to biggify), held at the beautiful Falls event center in Gilbert, Arizona. And a special thank you to the very funny Jeremy Arp, Executive Director of the Arizona chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, for his kind introduction.

Does your workplace foster engagement, or the opposite? (employee motivation morale leadership dave-wheeler harvard business review

Does your workplace foster engagement, or the opposite? (illustration by Dave Wheeler, Harvard Business Review)

Easy lifting is my Friday mantra, and I wish the same for you. For an enjoyable read, I suggest Ashley Kasarjian’s blog post that could transform your workplace.

Ashley is an employment & labor attorney at Snell & Wilmer—and the chair of the Arizona Attorney Editorial Board. So she has great experience about what works and what doesn’t in regard to motivation and morale.

And you’ve got to be wowed by the way she pairs her advice with song choices. I love the smell of leadership in the morning!

Ashley Kasarjian

Ashley Kasarjian

(You might recall I wrote before about Ashley’s being honored with a 2015 Athena Award—so well deserved!)

After reading Ashley’s insightful post, please send me a note to say which morale-boosting tip is your favorite.

I admit it’s hard to separate the wisdom from whether you love the song that inspired it. So my favorite—Michael Jackson and making a change—might be musically driven as much as workplace driven!

Meantime, if you needed more evidence that de-suckifying your workplace may help your staffers’ morale, I have one word for you: Harvard!

That’s right, who isn’t impressed by words of wisdom that emanate from that Ivy League school on the Charles River? So head over to read a great piece on employee motivation and your company’s culture in the Harvard Business Review.

Here is one graphic from that article. I suspect we all have aspects we could improve in our organizations. Let me know what you’re doing in your law office. Write to me at arizona.attorney@azbar.org.

Company process and employee motivation (frightening graphic by Harvard Business Review)

Company process and employee motivation (frightening graphic by Harvard Business Review)

Have a terrific—and lyrical—weekend.

 

New State Bar of Arizona officers, L to R: Jeff Willis (Secretary/Treasurer; Bryan Chambers, President; Lisa Loo, First Vice President; and Alex Vakula, Second Vice President, June 23, 2015, Arizona Biltmore, Phoenix.

New State Bar of Arizona officers, L to R: Jeff Willis, Secretary/Treasurer; Bryan Chambers, President; Lisa Loo, President-Elect; Alex Vakula, First Vice President, June 23, 2015, Arizona Biltmore, Phoenix. (Not pictured: Geoffrey Trachtenberg, Second Vice President.)

At its regular annual meeting at the State Bar Convention this afternoon, the State Bar of Arizona Board of Governors confirmed its slate of officers for the coming year. The new roster includes the newest officer, Secretary/Treasurer Jeff Willis, elected today:

  • President: Bryan B. Chambers
  • President-Elect: Lisa Loo
  • First Vice President: Alex Vakula
  • Second Vice President: Geoffrey Trachtenberg
  • Secretary/Treasurer: Jeff Willis

Following board bylaws, the new slate of officers assume their positions at the close of the annual meeting.

Follow more news via this Convention Daily and on Twitter, hashtag #azbarcon

The cosmos have spoken through my fortune cookie; I'll have to alert my high school guidance counselor.

The cosmos have spoken through my fortune cookie; I’ll have to alert my high school guidance counselor.

Last Friday, managers at the State Bar of Arizona engaged in the first in a series of leadership development dialogues.

I was able to participate, and I look forward to the subsequent conversations. At the end of the series, we all should have learned some valuable lessons, and we may even receive a certification of sorts.

On the very evening of our first meeting, though, I received a very prescient piece of information.

Our meal at a Chinese restaurant complete, I opened my fortune cookie, expecting some general, bland information.

Instead, I received:

“You have the makings of a leader, not a follower.”

Thank you, cosmos.

I wonder, though, whether the learning available in the Bar’s training might be information-overload. I mean, if my plastic-wrapped cookie says I’m on the right track, could additional training derail that? Is too much leadership in one person a risky proposition?

Well, I guess that’s the risk we’ll have to take. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Leon Silver, center, and Judge Roxanne Song Ong, far right, are two of the honorees of the YWCA Leadership Awards. Photo taken at Ritz-Carlton, Phoenix, Dec. 9, 2013.

Leon Silver, center, and Judge Roxanne Song Ong, far right, are two of the honorees of the YWCA Leadership Awards. Photo taken at Ritz-Carlton, Phoenix, Dec. 9, 2013.

This month, the Arizona YWCA announced whom it is honoring this year for leadership in the community. I’m pleased to report that among the honorees are a few members of the bar.

Congratulations to Judge Roxanne Song Ong, Presiding Judge of the Phoenix Municipal Court, and Leon Silver, a partner at Poilsinelli.

Judge Song Ong was honored as a leader in public service, Silver as a leader in advocacy.

On Monday evening, that announcement was made at a cocktail reception at the Ritz-Carlton. The bigger-deal event will be a formal dinner on February 1 (also at the R-C).

More detail on the February 1 dinner (and names of all the honorees) is here.

ADL awards header 2013

Today, I’m pleased to report about a great lawyer (and fellow) who is about to be honored. It only adds to the news that this occurs during Pro Bono Week, for which this attorney could be equally recognized.

The lawyer is David Bodney, the talented partner at Steptoe’s Phoenix office. And the organization honoring him is the Anti-Defamation League, which has recognized David as a leader for many years.

David Bodney

David Bodney

This Thursday evening (Oct. 24), the Arizona Region of the Anti-Defamation League will bestow on Bodney its Torch of Liberty Award. He has much leadership experience with the ADL, including service on the National Legal Affairs and Civil Rights Committees and National Commission. In addition, the ADL announced that Bodney “recently co-authored ADL’s amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court challenge to Arizona’s SB 1070.”

As the ADL describes the award:

“The Anti-Defamation League’s Torch of Liberty Award was established over 40 years ago to recognize individuals who have exhibited extraordinary humanitarian concerns and whose everyday actions exemplify the principles on which the ADL was founded—diversity, civil harmony, social justice and respect for human dignity.”

ADL logoMore detail about David and the award are here.

And tickets are available for sale here.

I had anticipated going, but a family conflict prevents that. So I’m hoping one of you gadabouts will send me a note (arizona.attorney@azbar.org) to report how the evening went. Photos? Always welcome.

State Bar of Arizona Board officers 2013-2014

State Bar of Arizona Board officers 2013-2014: L to R: Lisa Loo, Richard T. Platt, Whitney Cunningham, Bryan Chambers, Alex Vakula

At its regular annual meeting at the State Bar Convention this afternoon, the State Bar of Arizona Board of Governors confirmed its slate of officers for the coming year. The new roster includes the newest officer, Secretary/Treasurer Alex Vakula, elected today: 

  • President: Whitney Cunningham
  • President-Elect: Richard T. Platt
  • First Vice President: Bryan B. Chambers
  • Second Vice President: Lisa Loo
  • Secretary/Treasurer: Alex Vakula

Following board bylaws, the new slate of officers assume their positions at the close of the annual meeting.

State Bar of Arizona Board of Governors 2013-14

State Bar of Arizona Board of Governors 2013-14

Follow more news via this Convention Daily and on Twitter, hashtag #azbarcon