Written by Anthony Demangone
I'm currently working in my fourth industry. While this causes my father to shake his head (he worked for the same company for 37 years), I've enjoyed the ride. Thoroughly.
That ride allowed me to see how different folks do things, and that has been a wonderful education. Journalism. Credit unions. Law firms. Trade Associations.
Today's "walk down memory lane" comes from my legal days, when I worked for the Gray Ghost. (Not John Mosby, the Confederate Cavalryman who remains famous in Virginia.) No, my "Gray Ghost" was, and still is, David Sarvadi, an attorney at Keller and Heckman. (He got the nickname, Gray Ghost, because, like Mosby, he was hard to track down and moved quickly.)
I learned quite a few lessons from David, but one of the biggest lessons was handed down via law firm legend.
David joined the law firm later in life. He didn't look like a typical "newbie" associate. He already had a career and ton of experience to go with it.
Faced with a project, David started assigning pieces of the work to other associates. They just assumed he was a partner, and they nodded their heads up and down, took the work, and got to work.
Later on, this all came to light. A few grumbled...You can't assign other projects to associates! Well, David did. He needed help, and he got the job done, one way or the other.
The lessons? The things on our plate may come from a boss or a board. But once they are on your plate, you need to own them. Your boss, or the board? My guess is that they generally don't care how you clean your plate. They simply want it done... and done well.
So, while others may have wondered how am I going to get this done, David looked at the firm phone list and started dialing.
Things worked out well for David. He made partner years ago.
As they say, fortune favors the bold.