Rob’s great advice that has guided my law practice and life ever since
Here’s Tip # 4, another vignette –a short, very short story — that I’ve gathered over the years. I write them down whenever I can. Why? Because I believe they can bring some wisdom, a smile, common sense reality, a path forward — in our challenging public education world. These gems come from clients, colleagues, famous people whom I don’t know personally, relatives, passers-by. Life, itself. You get the picture.
Wisdom and humor are everywhere — often in the most surprising places. Now, I’m grateful to share them — as I do believe that common sense, wisdom, and mantras can help us move forward to improve schools for all students. And that — dear friends and colleagues — is always the goal.
Tip # 4 — Rob’s advice — “Return phone calls the day you get them” — has guided my law practice. It reminds me of Billy Joel’s song, “It’s a matter of trust.” Yes, it’s all about trust. “It’s always been a matter of trust….”
Cinderella is right — midnight is the witching hour.
Here’s the story. Back in the late1980’s, I landed my wonderful job as a lawyer in a start-up education practice. Rob*, the partner at the law firm, smiled, shook my hand, congratulated me heartily, and then, gave me a piece of advice:
“Return phone calls (that was in the 80’s!) the same day you get them.”
Do it, even if just to say that you got the call and will be in touch later. Even if you have bad news to share. Even if you have no news.
It was excellent advice. I believe that it helped me to build trust with my clients, colleagues, and yes, adversaries. It showed that I cared about them. They mattered. I’ve never forgotten that advice, which has guided my practice all these years.
No one likes to wait for their lawyer’s or doctor’s call (or email or text, these days). When that call comes on THAT day, watch the smile of a face that has been anxiously waiting… Often, the strain disappears; a smile returns. Amazingly, this is so, regardless of what the actual message or conversation is about.
Rob’s advice turned out to be an excellent habit during my many years of practice as a lawyer — and even in my personal life.
I believe that a positive and TRUSTING relationship among school, family, and the community is vital for excellent education. We need it at the front office; in the…