A Study in GRIT and Resilience:
Paulette Brown, Esquire, President-Elect ABA
Today, I had the good fortune of bearing witness to a question-and-answer session with Paulette Brown speaking up close and personal about her journey in becoming the first woman of color to be elected to the presidency of the American Bar Association. When asked how it feels to be in her position, she answered “It feels a bit surreal.” Not surprising from a woman who said she never even imagined having the opportunity to head up the nation’s bar association.
What was also not surprising were the secrets to Ms. Brown’s success:
- tremendous support from family and friends;
- wisdom and role modeling from mentors who didn’t even know they had been chosen as such;
- healthy habits to manage stress, including daily walking (no matter the weather), and stress-releasing hobbies, including cooking and reading;
- over-preparing and considering both sides of the case;
- understanding the low expectations everyone set for her, and using that attitude to her advantage by doing well and “hammering” the other side;
- courage to ask for what she wanted;
- courage to not care what others were thinking;
- excellent performance in whatever she was doing because you never know who was watching; and
- sacrifice of short-term needs for long-term career growth.
Yes, indeed, a model of GRIT and resilience. Congratulations to Paulette Brown on her amazing career journey. We wish you well and are excited to have you as our leader and role model.
Everyone has heard, seen and dissected the “slap” Will Smith bestowed on Chris Rock. On the precipice of receiving the crowning achievement of his career, the Academy Award for Best Actor, Smith slapped Rock on television before a global audience.
As we enter this new year, the pandemic is still creating uncertainty in our personal and professional lives. That said, now is the most popular time to set goals and resolutions. In order to set ourselves up for success, we need to be thoughtful about what we want to accomplish.
Who among us hasn’t had a moment, a day or a week where we felt the pressure in our lives – professionally and personally – to “go out there” and do what is expected of us even when all we really wanted to do was get back under the covers?
As part of my goal to practice wellness during the work week, I committed to do a short mindfulness exercise. I downloaded a Mindfulness app and began using it for a 10-minute practice three times a week.
Covid has caused us to reevaluate many aspects of our lives and ask the questions: What am I doing with my life? Is this what I really want?
Getting into a good public high school in NYC, where I grew up, was a high-stakes, competitive process. My older brother was already attending the Bronx High School of Science, the crown jewel of the magnet schools, and now it was my turn to take the exam, pass it, and follow in his footsteps.