Spring 2019 Gavel Spring Gavel 2019 - Page 4

SBAND PRESIDENT WE ARE ALL LEADERS ZACK PELHAM SBAND President A fallacy of our society is only those “born” to be leaders can lead. Such a premise is un-American, and I reject it. While it is true some will lead in more prominent positions, we are all leaders to one degree or another. While there are times to follow, there are times to lead. What does it take to be a leader? I believe important components are the realization of a need, the desire to address the identified need, and action to address the need. The first two are no problem for us! We are all pretty good at identifying needs and problems. In fact, we’re experts. And most of us are pretty good at wanting to “do something” about a need we identify. We may find ourselves pondering solutions in our head (I do this). But not as many of us take the next step: action. I encourage you to act. Lawyers are better adapted to act. Remember, you spent at least seven years of your adult life in higher education before becoming a lawyer. Why? The answer will vary. But many of us became lawyers because we thought we could make a difference. Some of us, including myself, really did not understand how well positioned lawyers are to actually make a difference. The type of action may not be marching down an avenue with a megaphone in hand. In fact, I’d suggest the most effective type of leadership is impacting those around us. Leadership takes many forms. One area is helping those around us. How much time does it take to call a person you know is struggling? Probably less time than thinking about the pros and cons of calling that person! I’m too busy. It’s none of my business. They created their own problem. I’ve got this obligation. I might cause more harm. Maybe. If you identify a need for someone in your sphere of influence, think of a way to address the need and then act on it. Being a leader is someone who identifies an issue, formulates a possible solution, and then acts. This is true in the most complex situations, and it is true in the simplest situations. I realized a need at our state’s law school. I worked with others to develop a plan, and we acted. It appears our state’s law school is going to receive much needed additional funding. Funding to restore a clinical education program, hire additional faculty and staff, and put the school back on the track to regional respectability. Sure, I’m president of the bar and that’s “my job.” But this formula for leadership applies to you too. This is my last column as president. I have been blessed to lead our association. I’m just a regular civil trial attorney who is trying my best for my clients, my firm, my family, and the list goes on. I encourage you to get involved in a need you have identified, thought over, and want to do something about. It is time we deconstructed what leadership really is. Leaders are just regular people who have decided to be involved by offering a solution they believe in. Call for CLE Speakers SBAND and the North Dakota CLE Commission sponsor seminars and programs throughout the year in all sorts of formats, including live, webinars, and IVNs. We want to know about SBAND members who have ideas for topics or who are interested in being a presenter. Contact Carrie Molander at carrie@sband.org. 4 THE GAVEL