May 15, 2020
Dear NCBA Members:
As another week comes to a close, I hope everyone is maintaining good health and taking steps to keep your spirits up (exercise helps!). I am confident that the Nassau County Bar Association is providing valuable information and services to you during this troubled time.
I was thinking today about leadership. I’ve taken lessons from the great leaders of the past about how to spearhead an organization such as a Bar Association, especially during a crisis. If I have been effective as your President this past year, it’s because I applied what I learned from the giants upon whose shoulders I stood.
Professional leadership isn’t for everybody. But I urge you to consider taking a more active role in the Nassau County Bar Association. A great place to start is at the committee level. With committee meetings now taking place by Zoom, it can’t be more convenient to pop in. We are always on the lookout for tomorrow’s committee chairs, co-chairs and vice-chairs. Chairing a committee is a stepping stone to other leadership opportunities, such as a position on the NCBA Board of Directors or within the Nassau Academy of law.
On the highest tier of NCBA leadership are the Officers of our Executive Committee. These are the people who have assumed the highest level of responsibility for our association. What makes a truly great leader of any group? I’ve made observations over the years and here are some thoughts.
Great leaders don’t stand on the sidelines watching. They lead the charge. You need to be brave enough to stand up for principles, even in controversy.
You can and must delegate duties to get more done. But never ask someone to do something you yourself wouldn’t do. Work smart, but never be outworked.
Participants in a group may have divergent interests. Even as a leader, you can’t always get everything you want. Prioritize what you really need.
Be open to different viewpoints and opinions. Embrace the possibility that you might be wrong about something. Be open to reevaluate your position and change your view.
Faced with a crisis, you need to be willing to put the interests of your group above your own personal interests. I believe that’s the responsibility of being the captain of a ship.
You need to stay engaged. No quitting, no backing off. The key to successful leadership, as in most areas of life, is consistency. See it through to the end.
I have found leadership within the NCBA to be enormously rewarding, both professionally and personally. I hope some of you who may not have been actively involved in the NCBA before the pandemic have now seen its importance. Now is the perfect time to get more engaged. In next week's
e-blasts, you will find Zoom links to upcoming committee meetings. Come join us!
Lastly, I wish everyone a safe and healthy weekend!