The Atlanta Lawyer February 2017 - Page 29

involved in the Atlanta Bar for the rest of my legal career , wherever the need for assistance arises .
Genie Iredale , Fellows LaBriola
ACYL President 2014-15
The ACYL provided me an opportunity to hone my leadership skills . During my time as a member of the ACYL and then on the Board , I watched other Bar leaders and learned from their example .
The ACYL ( and the Atlanta Bar as a whole ) is a group of vibrant and diverse young attorneys who are learning how to practice law . With such a diverse constituency , it was important to be mindful , creative , and proactive in addressing problems and concerns . This not only came in handy while serving the ACYL , but also in my practice as a business litigator .
Jonathan Smith , Assoc . general counsel for the Atlanta Braves
ACYL President 2015-16
When I was asked to write about how my leadership role with ACYL has helped with my professional career , my thoughts gravitated more toward personal growth than professional growth . Leadership roles can certainly help build resumes and may earn awards , but I think most importantly , they teach you about yourself and how to relate to others . This , in turn , helps build emotional intelligence , which is being more widely recognized in the business world as a critical skill and as an
indicator of professional success . Putting myself in front of people ( especially in a leadership role ) has never come naturally to me . I was the only 4 year old on the soccer field with their mother because I wouldn ’ t go out on the field “ alone ” with all of the other kids – love you mom . I think it ’ s safe to say I tend to have a more introverted personality . I ’ m no expert , but I suspect the majority of natural born leaders are extroverts . At some point I realized that I needed to put myself in positions that weren ’ t naturally comfortable to me in order to grow and challenge myself . I have never regretted any of the leadership roles that I ’ ve assumed because I ’ ve always learned more about myself and gained skills , experiences , and most importantly , relationships , that I would not have otherwise gained had I sat on the sideline .
These lessons have most certainly positively impacted my personal life and professional life and I encourage anyone considering taking a leadership role to act on it ( especially my introverted brothers and sisters ). The ACYL is a great place to start or continue your leadership journey . More than likely you ’ ll have fun doing it , as well – I did . At the risk of trademark violation , just do it , lean in and jump in .

P . S . I have been playing soccer for 33 years now without my mom ( I will neither confirm nor deny that she still brings oranges and Capri Suns though ).


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