Letter from the CEO: Part 2

ILTA's Quarterly Magazine

From the ceo

Dearest ILTAns!

by Joy Heath Rush

W ait a second? Didn’t we just speak a few weeks ago? Yes, we did! However, we had soooo much great content submitted for our Summer P2P that we had to spread it over two issues – one print and one digital. What an embarrassment of content riches! Anyway, I am always happy for any opportunity to speak with ILTAns!

You may be pleased to know that I am going to step away from firsts for a bit (a first!) Instead, I am turning my attention back to service.

Over the past six weeks or so, I have had the distinct pleasure of interviewing ILTAns (members and business partners) for positions on the Talent Council, Membership Task Force, and Diversity Task Force. In addition, as part of the Membership Task Force effort, I have been engaged in in-depth conversations with thought leaders throughout our community (thanks to Curt Meltzer, John Alber, Connie Brenton, Sherry Kappel, and Brie Leung for spending so much time with me!)

I always, always, always learn when speaking with peers. That’s what makes ILTA so special.

In these conversations, I had many takeaways, but a number of them were about service – and the power of service (I know that sounds like an oxymoron, but it isn’t, truly.) Please allow me to share a few takeaways on the power of service.

Diversity and Inclusion in the Service of ILTA and the Broader Legal Community. Diversity and inclusion, when practiced, provide a powerful service to our community by bringing in new ideas, fresh approaches, and alternate visions. When diversity and inclusion are ingrained in the DNA of an organization, we can provide service to the community as well as receive service from those newly-added to the conversation. One of my most powerful learnings was around the many faces of diversity: gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, age – yes. Those are givens. But to serve our community well and truly, it also means diversity of organizational types, roles, employers, country of origin, and socio-economic background. Most importantly, diversity without inclusion is meaningless – just lip service. Inclusion is the service component of any diversity effort.

Organizational Passion as Service. In those six weeks I mentioned above, I spoke with nearly 50 ILTAns. A treat in and of itself. I can’t tell you how many conversations started with “ILTA is special because of the passion of its participants.” Passion was the common word in every interview. That passion, in and of itself, provides a service. It helps ensure the viability and vitality of the organization and allow us to continue to service the community.

Serve by Contributing. One of the guiding principles for the ILTA Staff is to possess a volunteer spirit. Volunteers are the beating heart of ILTA. However, volunteers are not just members. Business partners are anxious to volunteer their time and contribute to the broader community. ILTA staff regularly work early mornings, evenings, and weekends to provide maximum availability to our volunteers. And I learned that not only does this volunteer effort serve ILTA – but the ability to contribute provides a service to the volunteers and member entities, as well. Our volunteers gain valuable skills in leadership, project management, and personal networking. Our member entities are served when our volunteers bring those skills back to the workplace. And there is the general satisfaction in reaching out, giving back, and paying forward.

If you have any ideas, thoughts, brainstorms – practical, wacky, or anywhere in between – about how ILTA can serve and be served better, please let me know. I am joy@iltanet.org. Looking forward to seeing many of you in Orlando. And when you see me, remember – hugs are a form of service.

Orlando, here we come! ILTA

Listen to the full interview!

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