• Applying leadership lessons from the best coach in basketball to your business
  • Commercial Real Estate Lawyer, Caroline R. Nichols, joins J&C
  • Save the Date: JBA Young Lawyer's Section Annual Chili Cook-Off
  • New Blog Posts
  • Firm News: Charlie joins Melissa Ross on First Coast Connect, J&C shows team spirit for the Jaguars, and a stork brings our firm a special delivery
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“It’s not about any one person. You’ve got to get over yourself and realize that it takes a group to get this thing done.” – Gregg Popovich
We live in a golden age of athletic coaching, with some of the all-time greats still active and winning championships. In both college and professional football and basketball, a strong argument can be made that the greatest of all time are still commanding from the sidelines. Much has been written about the strategic brilliance of Belichick, Saban, and Krzyzewski, but one of the most venerable basketball minds and shepherds of social enlightenment toils away in relative obscurity in a place not traditionally known for connections to basketball luminance or open-minded communal commentary. He is Gregg Popovich, current head coach of the San Antonio Spurs, and he is universally regarded as one of the best, if not the best coach in NBA history. I know we really don’t “do the NBA thing” in Florida, so I thought I’d tell you how he has helped me become a better leader in my business in hopes that his lessons will help you in yours.

First, a little background is due. Taking over as coach of the Spurs in 1996, Popovich is the longest tenured active coach in both the NBA and all US major sports leagues. Coach Popovich became the face of recruiting European basketball players into the NBA before the NBA promoted league globalization. The Spurs began exploiting the corner 3-point shot before many other teams, which has now been proven as one of the most effective and unstoppable shots on the floor. Coach Pop was even met with league fines when he decided to start resting older starters for whole games during the midseason as to not wear them down too much- a strategy now extremely common and used by every team, especially once a playoff spot has been clinched. Under Popovich, the Spurs have won the NBA Championship five times, an accomplishment that only four other coaches in NBA history can claim. Coach Pop is also one of only nine coaches ever to win 1,000 games during his career. He also holds the record for most consecutive winning seasons at 20 straight years. If you have not seen an anguished or melancholy Coach Pop during an interview, you are missing a source of blissfulness in your life. Popovich is one of the funniest and most sarcastic interviewees of all time. Like Belichick and Saban, he has a strong dislike of sports journalism and therefore normally provides very curt and hilarious remarks to most questions. If you have not seen him during an interview, I urge you to spend five minutes watching this video . Coach Pop is an electric factory in front of a hot mike. With all of his accolades, I’d be willing to bet that if you walked around your office right now and asked 10 people to tell you: a) who is the best coach in basketball right now, or even b) who is the coach of the San Antonio Spurs, less than half would declare Coach Pop.

Bloomberg Business wrote a contemplative article last week entitled, “The Five Pillars of Popovich, in which the publication said: “Gregg Popovich, the crusty, ingenious NBA coach, will never write the management advice guide that business needs. So we wrote it for him.” The Five Pillars from the article are espoused below, with my commentary on applying them to your business to formulate success in 2018 and beyond.

Pillar 1: Own your own luck- Coach Pop had the good fortune of being able to draft the best power forward in NBA history with his first draft pick. While he surely developed the talents of Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobli and Tony Parker, he was also modest enough to know that the success of his teams was predicated on being in the right place at the right time in order to have access to the talent that he cultivated. His modesty in “owning his luck” ensured that his ego would not take credit for the success of the team as contributed to by many individuals. Luck always seems to be against the person who depends on it, and although Coach Pop does consider himself lucky, I doubt he has spent a day of his career depending on luck to lead him to victory. How has your business been lucky and what are you doing to make your own luck?

Pillar 2: Do your work- The article says this about Coach Pop: “This is a working-class kid who long ago discovered that what he didn’t have in natural talent he could make up just by outworking people. The long hours are a prerequisite to everything Popovich does, establishing his credibility and earning goodwill.” Boy, this sounds familiar. I suspect if you’ve had a modicum of success as a leader at anything you’ve ever done in life, you can relate to this on several levels. I’ve long ago learned that my efforts are truly the only thing I can control in business and life.

Pillar 3: Unleash your anger (strategically)- There is a calculated measure associated with Coach Pop’s anger. Internally, if he lashes out at a player, it will be because the expectation, which was established and agreed upon as reasonable, was not met. The standards and basic rules of the team are never compromised and it should not be a surprise to anyone (the player or the team), when Coach Pop dresses the player down for non-performance. Due to accepted expectations, when Coach Pop gets angry, there is rarely confusion why. Perhaps one of the best traits of Gregg Popovich is that he holds his team accountable and does not deal with players that have a "superstar" mentality. Coach Popovich focuses only on playing basketball, and that is exactly what he demands of his players. No flash, little excitement, just solid fundamentals and players excelling. Personal accountability drives his success. Tell me, can you think of a more important word in business than accountability? How does your company hold its employees accountable? Is there always a broader strategic point associated with your angst or discipline?

Pillar 4: Widen your world- San Antonio’s current roster includes players from the United States, France, Australia, Argentina, Latvia and Spain. Popovich enjoys learning about the world from each of them and broadening their horizons as well. Sharing life experiences and lessons beyond the hardwood creates team culture and establishes an esprit de corps that will create on court chemistry. Successful businesses cultivate environments where their employees know and respect the character of their teammates beyond just their ability to perform their jobs.

Pillar 5: Know your people- Coach Pop has deep, meaningful relationships with his players. All of them. He fully humanizes his players, wanting to know as much about them as individuals as he wants to know about them as a basketball player. When you care about your employees, and I mean really care and not just fake like you care, you will find that they will follow your lead and produce on the level you expect them to produce. Real leaders see their employees as humans first- humans who you are ethically responsible for making successful. A great leader will acknowledge that their personal success is tied into their ability to amalgamate the personal successes of many individuals. It is impossible to do that without knowing what success means to the individuals. Therefore, know your people. 

Hoping you found this message inspiring and were able to pluck something to make your 2018 and beyond more successful. Bottoms up to a new year and new you!

Very truly yours, 

Commercial Real Estate Lawyer, Caroline R. Nichols, Joins J&C's Growing Real Estate Group
As the firm grew in 2017, we thought it best to bring in the new year by adding to our team of talented professionals. We're are thrilled to welcome Caroline R. Nichols to Jimerson & Cobb!

Caroline earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors in English Literature and French Literature, followed by a JD with honors from the University of Georgia School of Law. Yes, you read that correctly - we have a BULLDOG in the house! There goes the neighborhood.

She began her career as an associate at Smith, Gambrell & Russell, and later practiced at Pappas, Metcalf, Jenks & Miller, P.A. Her vast knowledge of real estate and transactional business law lead her to an in-house counsel position at Merrimac Capital Corporation, where she was responsible for real estate and business transactions. After five years, she accepted teaching position at Florida Coastal School of Law, where she has been teaching real property law to law students for the past six years. Her diversity of perspective will allow J&C clients to approach real estate problems from several angles, with a heavy emphasis on practical measures geared toward achieving organizational success. 
Can You Smell What J&C Is Cookin?!
The social (food) event of the season will be here before we know it! Nothing says cold-weather comfort like sipping on a steamy bowl of chili in the company of friends. Adam Edgecombe is Co-Chair of the Charity Chili Cook-Off hosted by the Young Lawyers Section of the Jacksonville Bar Association. This event began in 2009 and has continued to grow bigger and better every year. All proceeds will benefit Rethreaded - a local organization who says their mission is to unravel the effects of the sex trade by fighting business with business on a global and local level.
This event is free to the public, although donations are encouraged. Attendees can sample chili from law firms around the city and vote for the crowd favorite. Local firms compete and county judges rank the entries in a variety of categories including most unique and spiciest. Mark your calendars now and come support Team J&C!
J&C Legal Blogs
Are you keeping up with the latest information in business and law? J&C publishes weekly blog posts covering topics from construction law, business litigation, eminent domain law, community associations law and everything in between. Click here to subscribe today and stay up-to-date on the latest legal news from these areas:

Construction Industry Law Blog

For the Florida residential property owner, the construction process may seem confusing. Most contractors either have years of experience and/or schooling which teaches them the means and methods of constructing a project. Most Florida owners do not have the benefit of such experience and, as a result, many owners not understand the construction process or the application of money in that process.  In an effort to protect Florida property owners, the legislature has enacted laws to protect the them from unscrupulous contractors.  Click here to read the full blog post.
Condominium Law Blog

Prior to mandatory homeowners’ associations, planned master community developments, and CDDs becoming en vogue, developers established civic associations, and other forms of property owners’ associations to oversee the communities they constructed. Developers created these antiquated, and mostly voluntary, associations as non-profit corporations. As the formation and administration of mandatory homeowners’ associations became more sophisticated over the years, the perception became that these older voluntary, civic and property owners’ associations were powerless.   Click here to read the full blog post.

A seemingly whimsical story out of California offers Florida community association boards a valuable lesson in being vigilant in enforcing the covenants of the association’s declaration and making thoughtful, considered decisions. Click here to read the full blog post.
Business Litigation Blog

Security deposits are obviously one of the most important tools for landlords to protect their property when leasing it to a tenant. However, when accepting a security deposit, residential landlords must comply with Florida law governing how security deposit must be held and how the accrued interest is paid out to the tenant. If the landlord fails to comply with the applicable laws, the security deposit can quickly transform from a useful tool into a nuisance. Click here to read the full blog post.
Eminent Domain Blog

If you own property in Florida, your private property cannot be condemned or taken by the government, unless the government takes it for a public purpose and you are fully compensated for the taking. The Florida Constitution guarantees that “[n]o private property shall be taken except for a public purpose and with full compensation therefor paid to each owner.” But what does it mean to be an “owner” of property?  Click here to read the full blog post.
Firm News
Curiosities, Ruminations and Various Eccentric of Firm Biz
Irma’s Aftermath: The Rebuilding Continues
Charlie Jimerson joined Melissa Ross on WJCT First Coast Connect to talk with First Coast families and businesses that are still rebuilding four months after Hurricane Irma hit the area causing massive flooding.

Jaguars Team Spirit Day

As the  Jacksonville Jaguars  earned a spot in the  NFL Playoffs , J&C had to show their support on Jags Pride Day! While they did not get a ticket to the Superbowl this year, we are extremely proud of this team.   Go Jags!
J&C is excited to announce that on January 23, 2018, we welcomed a new addition to the firm family - a beautiful baby girl! Weighing in at 7 lbs 7 oz., Eva Layne was born to proud parents, Brandon and Jenna Meadows. We offer our best wishes to the Meadows Party of 5, and are excited to see what the future has in store for their family!
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