I met our Werk Crush Wednesday exactly a year ago while was at the University of Notre Dame for the Mandela Washington Fellowship! Karrah Miller is the Director of Public Affairs at the University of Notre Dame, and it was so inspiring for me to see a young lawyer playing this role in a world renowned institution and also in the community. We still owe each other night of tacos and chakalaka!

 

 

Your qualifications 

  • I am the Director of Public Affairs at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, IN, USA.

Your practice areas:
I previously focused on Employment Law issues when I was the Director of the Office of Institutional Equity at Notre Dame (4 years). This included laws regarding harassment/discrimination, accessibility of individuals with disabilities and affirmative action equal opportunity programs.

The reaction when people find out you are a lawyer:
Some people are shocked, perhaps because they are not used to interacting with young, black females operating in leadership capacities at predominantly white organizations. However, as I have aged, people seem less surprised. Many older people in the black community are extremely proud and often share kind words of support and encouragement.

A major move in the last 5 years:
This past year has been a whirlwind! I have had so many positive major changes happening. Last October I got engaged in Dublin, Ireland to my amazing fiancé, Mr. Ray Herring. He is my rock. My life is so much more balanced now that I have his love, support and encouragement.

In April of this year, I made a career move. After 6 and ½ years of doing quasi-legal work in the Office of Human Resources at Notre Dame as the Director of the Office of Institutional Equity, I was named Director of Public Affairs at Notre Dame. This new role allows me to engage with our campus and surrounding communities in ways that will benefit both the University and city of South Bend. In this new role I am working with local city and state government affairs, the various school corporations, many non-profit organizations, and soon a team of us will be starting a diversity supplier initiative to help drive some of our contract dollars to small, women and minority businesses.

On top of all that, I am planning a wedding and my fiancé and I are building our first home together. I feel so blessed to be alive and doing God’s work.

Why you chose to study law:
I wanted to help my family and the black community gain access to support with and understanding of various contract, real estate, and taxation and business laws.

Something you wish you could change about legal practice:
I wish the expenses and debts students have to incur to become lawyers in the U.S. were not so burdensome. Additionally, so many of the major law firms and positions of influence in our government lack ethnic, racial and gender diversity. This creates challenges for women and people of color to get opportunities in those fields. We have to diversify the top and expand our networks!

What apps do you use to increase productivity OR apps you have to turn off to increase productivity:

  •   Instagram-   I am currently working on a book and I have an LLC called Lucy Mina Consulting, IG helps me increase awareness of my business and skills. It helps me promote my work and events. However, when it is time to get busy writing or preparing to teach a class or lead a workshop, I have to shut it down.
  •  YouVersion Bible App daily for time with God to read His word and gain spiritual wisdom, guidance and encouragement.
  •  Netflix- I love the app! I am currently binge watching a show called Reign, every chance I get on the weekends.
  •   iTunes and Tidal- I am a music head! My sister and brothers are musicians. My brother was nominated for a Grammy a few years back and my sister is currently in Cameroon, Africa performing at a music event.
  • Pinterest has so many wedding and house ideas. I’m addicted.

 

How do you network:
I attend a lot of community events, conferences for work and even when I am at social events or events with my siblings, I am mindful to keep business cards on deck and have my elevator speech ready to go.

Whats your “Go-To” beauty staple and closet item:
I must have Nivea lotion and Dove soap because of my dry skin!

As for my makeup, I am obsessed with Nars Cosmetics Concealers and Lipstick and Bare Minerals Powder. I am a Sephora VIB Rouge Member for sure. I could shop there every other day!

When stressed or overwhelmed, what do you do to refocus?
Church, prayer, family time and alone time! I also love running- that is a huge stress reliever.

A time you made a mistake at work and how you bounced back:
I misread a legal document which cost my company a little money, and got drilled by the head of our legal team. It was one of the worst experiences ever- but it created resilience and serious obsession with attention to detail. That never happened again.

A physical or spiritual practice you have adopted:
I read my Bible daily, I attend worship service every Sunday and I attend Bible study every Wednesday. My walk with God is the most important thing I have. I also tithe to my church FAITHFULLY! I need to increase my prayer life, and I that is something I am working on.

If not law, what would you be doing:
Writing and acting!! I want to write books, speak at conferences and act! I have always loved acting and performed quite a bit as school aged child. That is my passion and I would do it in a heartbeat.

Bad recommendations or assumptions about law that you often hear?
Lawyers lie for a living. That is simply not true. There are bad lawyers, but there are also bad doctors, and preachers and plumbers and chefs. No profession is without its flaws. Most of the lawyers I know are working hard to help their clients in ethical and legally sound ways.

Can you share something you are struggling with right now:
I struggle with people not liking me for no reason. Five hundred people could be cheering me on and supporting my every move, but I tend to focus on the few people who have negative things to say about me. I struggle letting those things go. When people harm me or offend me, I tend to give too much energy to those thoughts. If I had a magic wand I could wave over myself that would help me “not care what people think”  or “what people have said about me that is inaccurate; I would do it in a heartbeat. It is extremely hurtful to me when people misjudge me and I need to learn to let those things go.

The second thing I am struggling with is I have been single and independent for a long time. I have a great career, I own property and I have done well with accomplishing my professional goals. I soon get to merge my life with someone else (finances, homes, goals, etc.), and it feels a little scary. As a black woman, I never want to lose the ability to have my own success and accomplishments, but I must learn to be comfortable with my future husband taking the lead. This is scary for me. I’ll be honest and say haven’t been doing a great job at it, but I am owning up to that and learning to “be quiet” and let him take the lead.

The best or most worthwhile investment you have ever made? 
I don’t know if it was “the best” thing, but getting my law degree was one of the smartest things I have done. It opened so many doors for me. I have a great career, which has allowed me to create a great life for my daughter Brianna and me. It has also allowed me to be able to give substantially to my church and other charities. And this great career led me to my future husband. All that has happened thanks to my law degree opening doors for me at Notre Dame. Ultimately, though, I know God is in control of it all, and I will forever serve Him because He has never failed me.

Major goal for the next 5 years:
In the next 5 years, I hope to be totally independent from any major organization and thriving as an author and entrepreneur.

Quote you live your life by:
I don’t have a quote I live by, but I have a scripture I live by, Romans 8:28, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”

Where can people find you to say hi:

LinkedIn:  Karrah A. Miller, J.D.

Instagram: Karrah_Miller Follow me!

Company Website: Lucy Mina Consulting, LLC: https://www.lucyminaconsulting.com/

Anthony Ray Hinton was imprisoned for 30 years, on death row,  for a crime he did not commit. He was a poor, black 29 year old man who lived with his mother and 9 siblings in Alabama when he arrested for the murder of 2 men in 1985. In his interview with Oprah Winfrey, he describes his attorney, Bryan Stevenson as “Gods best attorney” for fighting for his freedom for 16 years. This left me thinking, how many clients can honestly say that about their legal representatives?

Its a wonderful coincidence that I found  Mr. Hinton’s interview in the same week I have been listening to  Season 2 of Malcom Gladwells Revisionist History Podcast. Season 2 has spent a lot of focus on race, the civil rights movement and the injustice of the justice system- especially in the South of America. In one sitting I have learned the names of Donald. L. Hollowell, Vernon Jordan and Bryan Stevenson.

Court Gowns Turn into Capes

From the 1960’s Mr Hollowell and Mr Jordan were the notable defense and civil right lawyers who represented black clients. In those days a black accused man or woman would face a white arresting officer, a white prosecutor, a white judge, and all white jury and would have opted for a white pro-Bono attorney – even if they were incompetent, just in a bid a avoid the death penalty. This was not always a fool proof plan as it didn’t work for Nathaniel Johnson- who was sentenced to death by the electric chair for raping and assaulting a white woman. It turns that they were having a relationship and she had told him she was pregnant, thereafter a fight ensued and she used her white privilege to fatally punish her black lover. By the time Mr. Hollowell and Mr. Jordan were on the matter is was too late.Willy Nash was more fortunate, with the help of Mr. Hollowell and Mr. Jordan his false accusations of the murder of a white man and raping his girlfriend were dismissed and he was acquitted.

The matters where Mr Hollowell, Mr Jordan and other black practitioners were heard were often well attended, by black spectators. The reason for this was because, in the court, on that floor- the black lawyer was a person of authority over white witnesses and accused. This was the probably the only place where black people could experience an assertive identity and have a voice that bore weight- even if it wasn’t equal.These weren’t just lawyers trying a case, they were superhero’s and some of Gods Best Attorneys.

Mr. Hinton was on death row for over 28 years. His story of forgiveness, faith, purpose, perseverance is incredible- reminiscent of the legacy of Nelson Mandela. His matter was taken on by Bryan Stevenson who runs the Equal Justice Initiative that provides representation for the forgotten and downtrodden. His clients are people who are wrongly convicted, poor and without decent representation. Mr. Stevenson had been working on his case  for 16 years and on Good Friday of 2015. Mr Hinton was able to walk out of prison and exclaim- his first words as a free man- “The Sun Does Shine” which is also the title of his book.

 

I am a 30 year old attorney. My whole existence is every year Mr. Hinton lost. I think of everything I have been blessed with – my education, career, travel, setbacks, family and relationships – were spent in a death row cell by an innocent man. He has witnessed and smelt the burning flesh of 54 men and 1 woman as they died  in the electric chair. It also opens my own family wound having my uncle hung to death for murder of my mother, 2 brothers and our nanny.

The Future Lies Behind Us
At Lawgistics Legal Consultants, where I am the co-founder our focus is on innovation- “Disrupting the status quo of the law”.I am obsessed with finding technological tools to help us work faster, be more transparent in billing and hiring lawyers with an entrepreneurial mindset. This will help us to scale the business in locations and profit.

My father, my mother, Mr Stevenson, Mr Jordan and Mr Hollowell are some of Gods Best Attorneys from their generations. I decided to keep identifying this talent in my generation and in my own Oprah inspired way to share those stories on The Legal Werk, which is online publication. Providing quality legal services is one part and the other part is the hope, light and life they infuse into their clients and communities. Before you knock hope, remember Barack Obama (who started as an attorney) based his campaign on “Hope” and made history.

 

 

 

I am challenged by my learned colleagues to introduce another metric into our business. Apart from providing quality legal services that are reasonably priced to our clients that are mostly start ups and mid-sized companies. We must aim to also infuse hope, light and life into their dreams so their businesses are in shape to create more jobs, deliver excellent products and services and change the nation. A lot of us in the legal fraternity are waiting for the big tech disruption in the sector- but the future could lie in the past. There is no need to innovate around the principles of justice, fairness, equality, dignity and other principles enshrined in our Constitution.


This is not only relevant to legal professionals who do human rights work, but corporate lawyers, litigators, patent and trademark lawyers- all of us across the spectrum of practices must be challenged
.

Rather than worrying about “will robots take our jobs?”, let us do our jobs with integrity, compassion and excellence. Artificial intelligence cannot be taught to “Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed.” This is not only relevant to legal professionals who do human rights work, but corporate lawyers, litigators, patent and trademark lawyers- all of us across the spectrum of practices must be challenged.

There is always going to be work to do for God’s Best Attorneys.

The power of social media has brought us this weeks Werk Crush Wednesday, Rukayatu Tijani- I found her online and became an instant fan – her food posts alone deserve honourable mention! She is an associate at Quinn Emanuel Urqhuart and Sullivan’s – the worlds largest law firm that is devoted solely to business litigation and arbitration. She works from the Silicon Valley office and she is barred to practice in both the State of New York and California. In all these winning ways, Ruky has made championing diversity and giving back part of her mission. I am happy she agreed to share her story with us!

Tell Us…

 

Your qualifications:

I am currently a Fourth Year Associate at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart and Sullivan.I attended the University at Albany for College and UC Berkeley School of Law for Law School. I am also barred to Practice in both California and New York.

Your practice areas:

Right now, I am a general practitioner but I’m working on cases in patent law, trademark and copyright, and employee negligence.

The reaction when people find out you are a lawyer:

Many people are excited and surprised because I look so young!  A lot of young people are impressed and immediately want to connect with me about my journey.

A major move in the last 5 years:

I became a senior clerk in my Judge’s chambers during my clerkship.  This means I had the amazing opportunity to train junior clerks, coordinate the calendar of my judge, and dole out the assignments for junior clerks. I also spearheaded and coordinated a program called the “Extern Speakers Series,”​ a diversity summer program where practitioners and officers of the legal community speak with legal externs about their experiences. During the discussions, externs received practical guidance for becoming a “big shot”​ in the legal field.  Externs were introduced to a Ninth Circuit Judge, several District Court Judges, Assistant United State Attorneys, Federal Defenders, and a myriad of other practitioners.

Lastly, I’m helping my mother find a residential program for my brother, who has Downs Syndrome and autism.  That is one of my greatest accomplishments thus far.

Why you chose to study law:

I chose to study law because it grants a real opportunity to make change in communities I most identify with. It’s an amazing catalyst for change.

Something you wish you could change about legal practice:

The opportunities for every day citizens to serve on the jury pool.  Juries have the unique ability to determine the outcome in many of the cases in our legal system.  Making sure that juries truly represent a cross section in the community is something I aim to work towards as I continue in my career.

What apps do you use to increase productivity OR apps you have to turn off to increase productivity: :

Google calendar; equinox gym sign up, google sheets (I use this app to track my budget and schedule for the week).

How do you network:

Social media and networking events. Putting pictures of my everyday life on social media to bring diversity to the discussion of what lawyers look like.

Whats your “Go-To” beauty staple and closet item:

Black radiance foundation and Iman lip gloss.

Describe your Werk style:

Casual with a lot of bright colors and pastels.

When stressed or overwhelmed, what do you do to refocus:

I pray and seek out help from friends and family.  I also go to therapy and church regularly.

A time you made a mistake at work and how you bounced back:

I missed a huge deadline during my clerkship, but I asked for an extension, worked around the clock to finish the assignment, asked co-workers for their help and input, and finished the assignment successfully.

A physical or spiritual practice you have adopted:

Prayer, reading my bible, church, listening to sermons and motivational podcasts.

If not law, what would you be doing:

Public policy work and likely theatre (Hamilton is calling my name… haha).

Bad recommendations or assumptions about law that you often hear?

I can’t recall.  And it’s likely because I make it a point not to focus on the bad and take time to simply be grateful for the privilege of practicing law.  I’m really really blessed.

Can you share something you are struggling with right now? 

I wouldn’t characterize it as “struggling,” but I am learning to better say no to assignments and opportunities that are not in alignment with my purpose and calling as an attorney.  This keeps me from getting burned out and I’m getting stronger at this everyday.

The best or most worthwhile investment you have ever made? 

Investing in professional development and coaching with Momentum Education.

Major goal for the next 5 years:

Raising a family and becoming a better lawyer.

Quote you live your life by:

Keep going.  God is working.

Where can people find you say hi: 

LinkedIn: Rukayatu Tijani

Instagram: @RukyOfTheYear

This week we chat with Nomakhosi Sandi from my city of birth Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. She is a litigation lawyer who has turned into a commercial lawyer! If you are looking to make a switch in your practice area, keep reading below for some inspiration!

Your qualifications:

I started off with doing a Higher National Diploma in Legal studies. I did this Blackburn College, East Lancashire. From the 40 or so students who registered, I was the only to complete and graduate in my class.

I then went on to do my LLB (hons) at Northampton University, in Northampton, UK and I graduated in 2012.

I currently work with Titan Law, GN Mlotshwa & Co, in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. Which is a corporate/commercial focused firm, and is my main interest in law.

Your practice areas:

When I initially got registered as a legal practitioner, I was interested in doing all areas of law. This was mostly because I was keen in putting into practice what I learnt at university, so I mostly did civil litigation, and criminal law.

My interests have however shifted to corporate and commercial law, such as working on company mergers and take overs.

A major move in the last 5 years:

I think my major move has always been in going after the job/position I want. When you look at my C.V. you will see that I have changed jobs 3 times. One may assume it is because I don’t know what I want or I am flight risk. I look at it as going after my goal and dream job. Leaving one firm for another has been one of those things I’ve had to do so as to practice in my area of interest.

Why you chose to study law:

To be honest, my parents chose it for me,  but I fell in love with it when I was in university.

Something you wish you could change about legal practice:

In my country (Zimbabwe) I would change the efficiency of our courts system. Its frustrating to await months to complete a trial because the record has not been transcribed as we do not have stenographers. The Magistrates have to write down everything for themselves, and sometimes they miss out a few things.

How do you network:

I attend business meeting and luncheons. I also go to business awards and events.

A beauty staple and closet item you can’t live without:

Beauty staple is my lipstick – ruby woo byMac.

Closet item are my black heels.

A physical or spiritual practice you have adopted:

I recently started working out, at least 6 times a week. My aim is to make it a lifestyle change, taking care of my health.

If not law, what would you be doing:

Most likely property development- buying and renovating houses then selling them off.

Bad recommendations or assumptions about law that you often hear?

The law is only for the rich people. That’s not always the case.  Just because you cannot afford a lawyer, does not mean you cannot have one. The State provides a lawyer.

The best or most worthwhile investment you have ever made? 

The best investment is investing in my personal development.

Major goal for the next 5 years:

To own my own property development company.

Quote you live your life by:

Too glam to give a damn.

Where can people find you to say hi:

LinkedIn: Nomakhosi Sandi

Instagram : khosii_theequeenb

Twitter :@Mis_khosii

We hear a lot of excuses around a lack of diversity in race and gender especially with complex commercial law transactions. Today, it is an absolute honour to chat with Silindile Mbuli who is a top tier commercial lawyer and is Legal Counsel for Thomson-Reuters in Sub-Saharan Africa.I met Silindile when we were both associates in a law firm, so its great to see her thriving beyond practice.   She is an avid traveler and her Instagram will leave you so envious!

 

Tell Us:

Your qualifications 

I have an LLB from the University of KwaZulu Natal.

Your practice areas:

Corporate/Commercial law and Compliance.

 

The reaction when people find out you are a lawyer:

Most common is “So you lie for a living?!”

A major move in the last 5 years:

Leaving practice to pursue a career in corporate.  There is sometimes a misconstrued perception that if you leave practice before making partner you failed to succeed in your career and that for me was my biggest worry – not knowing whether I had made the right decision or not. In the end I have no regrets and I am more fulfilled now with the work that I do than I ever was in practice.

Why you chose to study law:

I grew up witnessing a lot of hardship in my community and in my family. I was surrounded by people suffering from societal ills  like women abuse,  alcohol abuse, child neglect, unlawful arrests to poverty political wars. This was I call the after-shock of apartheid and it completely broke my heart. It affected me emotionally and mentally, and as an introvert I could not express myself.

Law was a way for me to get an opportunity to make a difference in our society, even if it was small. I wanted to fight for something, for someone and justice became my opportunity to speak up and make a difference.

What apps do you use to increase productivity OR apps you have to turn off to increase productivity:

Wunderlist is my second brain. I use it to sort organize my professional and personal life. I found that without a second brain I would lie awake at night thinking about all the things I needed to do and things I forgot to do.

I attended a Work Smarter Not Harder productivity workshop in 2017 hosted by CFO South Africa. Since then I have become so much better at knowing that once I have transferred my ideas or thoughts on to another brain they are safe and chances of me forgetting to execute on them are slim. It definitely keeps me focused on my blue chips.

How do you network:

My preferred platform is one on one coffee sessions – that way you have that person’s full attention and you can get real value out of the conversation.

I also have regular catch-up video conference meetings with lawyers outside of South Africa. I find that connecting with professionals in other jurisdictions really puts into perspective the type of work that other lawyers are exposed on a global scale. It helps me to think outside the box.

I also  attend the Boardwalk networking breakfast hosted by Business Engage. It’s an event created to nurture the development of aspiring directors who are currently in senior management positions within medium to large companies.

A beauty staple and closet item you can’t live without: 

Beauty staples:  Smashbox matte lipstick and gold blush palette.

Closet items: I have too many shoes to pick a favourite , but if there was a fire the first two I’d grab are my over-the-knee boots from Steve Madden and my Puma sneakers

Describe your Werk style:

Depending on whether I am seeing clients or not I interchange between smart casual and formal, but high heels are a must every day.

When stressed or overwhelmed, what do you do to refocus:

I’m usually the last one to stress especially about work. If I stress at work it usually transcends to home, which means I am not the best ME on that day to give my full attention to my almost 2 year old son. If I do reach that point though I put on my earphones and listen to Drake or Jay-Z for an hour or so.

A time you made a mistake at work and how you bounced back:

I miscalculated a billing period for a key client and we ended up having to reverse the invoice that should not have been issued in the first place. It took me a long time to approach my Manager to tell him about it. But I learnt that everybody makes mistakes. People around you are more forgiving when you admit to your mistakes and own them.

A physical or spiritual practice you have adopted:

Being a new mom my sleeping patterns have changed so much. I used to have 8 hours of sleep before I had a baby but now its down to about 4 hours on a good night. I had to quickly learn to take care of my mind and body to avoid burning out in the day time.

I spend 10 minutes first thing in the morning to plan my day and most importantly, count my blessings. Then I’m ready to tackle anything. I also am more focused now on eating clean and staying healthy whereas before I never hesitated to grab takeaways.

If not law, what would you be doing:

Interior Design! I love beautiful spaces. I’m always shopping for decor items and I can’t bring myself to stop.

Bad recommendations or assumptions about law that you often hear?

People assume a lawyer is the jack of all trades. A good lawyer is excellent at two or three areas of law and is not afraid to admit it to clients/friends/family. You simply cannot be good at every area of law.

I am a commercial lawyer , so when friends and family always ask me for advice on things not related to corporate/commercial law,  I often find myself having to explain to them that you wouldn’t go to a neurosurgeon to treat a stomach ache.

The best or most worthwhile investment you have ever made? 

Investing in taking time off to celebrate ME. We don’t do that often enough. It becomes even harder when you’re a parent to just do something for yourself. I made a conscious decision to invest in travelling. I now make it a point to see a different country at least once a year. I’ve been fortunate enough to see so many places around the world. With each travel experience I come back home a different person. There is so much we can learn from different races, cultures and religions outside of our own.

Major goal for the next 5 years:

Start my legal consultancy business

Register an NGO to help abused women

Buy myself a house

Quote you live your life by:

I recently came across this quote by Mahatma Gandhi which I find so relevant in today’s world:

There are seven sins in the world:

Wealth without Work

Pleasure with Conscience

Knowledge without Character

Commerce without Morality

Science without Humanity

Worship without Sacrifice

Politics without Principle

How can people get in touch with you to say hi:

LinkedIn:   Silindile Mbuli

 

Accepting criticism is hard. It affects you physically, emotionally and sends your mind into a tailspin. It does not matter whether it is done by email, in person or on the phone, being criticised sucks. It makes us defensive- either by outright telling the person they are wrong, or your mind just filters the information and sends it straight to the trash box. You just remember the highlights so you can recount the ridiculousness to your friends.

The internet is ablaze with the hip hop rivalry between Drake and Pusha T, where each rapper has called out the other over personal and professional events in their lives. Rap rivalries, or “beefs” are used a sparring grounds, where the top lyricist with the “hardest bars” is emerges as the victor. In this beef Pusha T has criticised Drakes parenting participation, and we are now waiting for Drake to reveal his son to the world. This allows the rapper that takes an L (“loss”) to go back and improve their style. This time, it looks like Pusha T has won and we will see if Drake learned anything when his album comes out later this month.

This made me wonder, how can criticism make us better? Frankly without criticism, we cannot improve, all people need to receive feedback to find out what is working and what needs to be stepped up.
Adam Grant is an organisational psychologist and a professor at the Wharton School of University of Pennsylvania, which is one of the top business schools in the world. He recently started a podcast called Work Life with Adam Grant, where he explores ways to work suck less. I recently listened to his talk on “How To Love Criticism.”

Adam spoke to Ray Dalio,a billionaire and the founder of Bridgewater Associates which is the most successful hedge fund in the world with $160 billion assets under management. In 1982 Ray made a horrible mistake that saw him losing all his staff and borrowing $4000 from his father to make ends meet for his family. He said this was because he had become too arrogant and when he was rebuilding his company he decided that brutal honesty would be its bedrock.  At Bridgewater, they practice “Radical Transparency” where, within their framework, anyone can openly criticise another colleague- including Ray himself.  I think Radical Transparency sounds like Constructive Criticism on steroids.

According to Ray, one the formulas for life is Pain + Reflection = Progress.  He says “mistakes are like puzzles” and the reward for solving the puzzle is a gem of knowledge. Dalio has compiled each of the gems into his book Principles, based on his reflections after the mistakes he has made. If a billionaire who runs the most successful hedge fund in the world can find value in mistakes, there is no reason that we cannot do the same in our organisations.
A Support Network Vs A Challenge Network
In my previous article about trusting people you don’t like, I spoke briefly about how workplace cultures promote cliques. Everyone wants to be in the squad and you get there by being the same- not by being different. When your boss is mean to you at work, you call your BFF, mom or work bestie who will symphathise with you and agree that “they are just out to get you.”
Adam says that “A challenge network are the people you trust to push you to get better!” They who will keep it 100 with you and tell you what you need to hear- not what you want to hear. A challenge network will only be as effective to the extent that you are willing to listen. Ray Dalio says ” If your objective is to be as good as you can possibly be, then you are going to want criticism. You have care about results than you do your image.”
The Dos and Dont’s of Radical  Transparency
Adam spoke to Kim Scott, an Executive Coach in Silicon Valley and she said the following about Radical Transparency:
Do care personally about the person receiving the criticism and also challenge them directly.
Don’t give the “Feedback Sandwich”- which is starts off with praise or positive feedback, then moves to criticism or negative feedback and ends with more praise on a positive note. Its as bad an idea as a week old tuna sarmie.

Do make it clear that your desire is to help the person by giving the criticism.
Do it like Bridgewater, where the video or audio of almost every meeting is recorded. This eliminates rumours and the “he said/ she said” that is necessary to fan the flames of office politics. I remember that when I was working at a law firm, the associates would use their cellphones to record meetings with HR just in case they needed to prove constructive dismissal!
 
Rap beefs, done right, can elevate a career like 50 Cent was able to move from a rapper to being a suave business man by applying the 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene. Drake or Pusha T can definitely learn a few things from Ray Dalio and should consider reading his book Principles where he complies his lessons on life and work.

Given under the right circumstances, we can look at criticism as objective data that is telling us what we are like- whether it is good or bad. Adam says when someone gives you feedback, they have already evaluated you and now they judge whether you are open or defensive. He adds that the best way to prove yourself is to improve yourself!