I wonder how many of you have ever heard of Jim Croce and his love song: Photographs and Memories. Nancy and I loved Jim Croce and his music.

Recently I have been looking at our old (hard copy) photographs. I confess looking at them brought back many wonderful memories. I want to share some of those photographs and memories with you in some of my posts on Fridays.

I wrote the blog that follows three years ago and thought it was worth sharing with you again. This time  I have made some edits and been able to add photos capturing two of the events mentioned in the blog.

Many young lawyers I meet only focus on relationships with people their own age. Those lawyers tell me their contacts are not in a position to hire or recommend lawyers to the management of their companies. That is only logical, but I wonder why those young lawyers ignore opportunities to build relationships with more senior people they know.

When I was a young lawyer, I never thought I should limit my relationships to people my age. Some of my very best friends, clients and referrals sources were actually my father’s and mother’s age. A few of them also played a big role in helping me and giving me opportunities.

I met Harry Lindberg in 1981 when I did a presentation for the Virginia Road and Transportation Builders Association (VRTBA). At the time Harry worked with the American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) and after hearing me speak, he asked that I speak to the national association.

That single gesture was likely the most important opportunity I ever received. I spoke to the ARTBA contractors in the summer of 1982 and that led to my speaking again on the panel in 1983.

Harry later became the executive director of the Wisconsin Roadbuilders Association and introduced me to several Wisconsin contractors who became lifelong friends and clients.

Nancy and I loved Harry and his wife Phyllis. They were very close friends and we loved doing road trips with them. We frequently met them during the winter in Palm Springs and in Scottsdale.

One summer we went on what we called “Our Great Wisconsin Road Trip.” We started in Madison, drove to the far northeast corner of Wisconsin. Then drove across the state to the Apostle Islands.

 

For many years in the 90s, Nancy and I would join Harry and Phyllis and another couple for the Bears v. Packers game at Lambeau Field. (I think we are wearing Bears colors in the photo below).

One year in September Nancy and I flew to Madison and watched the Badgers play on Saturday, Then Harry and Phyllis took us to Green Bay and we watched the Packers play on Sunday. By that time, Nancy and I had decided we would wear Wisconsin colors on Saturday and Packers colors on Sunday.

If you are a young lawyer, there is someone older than you like Harry who can be a great friend and who can help you. Don’t ignore them, Seek them out.

I want to leave each of you with one more thought: I frequently say that my clients were my best friends and my best friends were my clients. One of the reasons I loved my work as a lawyer was the lifelong relationships I have had with those clients and friends. So. whenever you are working with a client you appreciate and like, build a lifelong relationship.

  • Nancy aka dogear6

    Cordell – I follow your blog because as a CPA in public accounting, I could not develop a practice mostly because I was inexperienced, uneducated and not mentored in the skill of developing a practice. As a (much older) CPA in industry, I find that I’ve developed those skills just fine, but in a different arena.

    When I was young, an older attorney at a COST seminar (COST is a very influential group in my industry) took me around and introduced me to everyone he knew. He dragged me all over! And while I was not an influencer to hire people, I was an influencer for my boss to talk to those people and many of them did get hired.

    And all these years later, when I am the one hiring those attorneys and consultants? Many of them were the young staff that I worked with for those people that my boss hired to do our work. We all grew up together or as laugh about, we were all nobodies together.

    The point is, you don’t know how the person you’re networking will help you later or how you can help them. I now can introduce many young people to others (and I do repay that favor many times over). I remind them to network and keep their relationships strong and talk to each other once in a while. Because you never know when you will need each other professionally.

    Nancy Smiegowski

  • Nancy, thank you for your thoughtful comment.