Connecting With Our Genius

“Everyone is born a genius, but the process of living de-geniuses them.”
-- R. Buckminster Fuller

There is something magical about talking to a child. Really talking to them, not about making their bed or how school was today. Asking questions like, “What made you happy today?” or “What does an angel do all day?” or “What does a lion think?” brings forth genius. Sometimes there is genius in the content of the answer but more often there is genius in their perspective. Simplicity is eloquent. Children have not been “de-genius-ed” by living; they are connected to their “genius” more fully.

There is an old urban legend about a truck wedged in the entrance to the Holland Tunnel in NY. Traffic is backing up and emergency services were having a hell of a time trying to pull the truck out. It just would not budge and then a little girl, in a passing car says “Why not just let the air out of the tires.” And so it was out of the mouths of babes, “genius”. Not that the solution was genius, but the perspective is. Original thoughts and alternative thinking can yield practical result.

What prevents us from connecting with our, “genius”? In the legend, what blocked all the emergency people from seeing the situation as the little girl did? What keeps law firms from seeing that they could be such a strong safety net for attorneys, and for all society? Why don’t attorneys demand that law firms, “take the air out” and stop blocking good people from access to the safety net which allows them to practice their “genius”?

People are going to make their dreams happen. But law firms should not make it harder. Law firms need to abandon the “love it or leave it” attitude and allow for substantive organizational changes to allow good men and women to connect with their “genius”.

Those of us who have good fortune, through intellect, family, friends, providence or the like, have a choice. Central to this choice, for me, is the idea of “obligation”. The obligation to stand up and say: too many good men and women are being forced out or just shut out of the law firm structure, out of the safety net, cut off from the benefit of a “collaborative union” (as in face-to-face collaboration). As a result, society as a whole suffers.

I am collaborating with attorneys, former attorneys and other professionals on a document, a “law firm 2.0 business plan”, to outline the objectives, structure and ethics of a law firm that will at its core “support individuality” as they practice their genius. If you have any interest in adding your perspective to the project, I welcome your email.