- Dad Law made sure that I learned this one: the Golden Rule, here quoted from The Message Bible— “Jesus said, ‘Here is a simple rule of behavior. Think about what you want from other people, then, grab the initiative and do that for them! All of the Law and the Prophets hang on that.’”
- Dad Law taught me, “Don’t do anything that you would not like to see on the front page of the Chicago Tribune.”
- Dad Law showed me that “Integrity is doing what you promised to do, even when the circumstances have changed and you really don’t want to do it anymore.”
- Ignore whatever comes before the ‘but’ in a sentence. It does not matter how many words precede the ‘but”; what someone really believes and will act upon follows the ‘but’.
- Hire people who have demonstrated a success-pattern—e.g., when they got their first job at McDonald’s, did they rise to “Fry Chief”? How people behaved in the past is an imperfect but helpful guide to how they will act in the future. I cannot train people to have either initiative or integrity; they either have it or they don’t. (My dear friend Jessica Bannister is a living example of this rule. She is a model of initiative and integrity!)
- Give winners a mission-goal, then get out of their way. Nonetheless, you cannot expect what you don’t inspect! (I also learned this one from my capable brother-in-law, Inno Okoye.)
- You get the behavior that you reward. When you experience negative behavior with your spouse, kids, and/or employees, check to see if you are actually the cause. Many times, our leadership flaws create rewards that lead others to act badly to get our attention.
www.lawelderlaw.com and read some of the “Meet Our Team” bios and quotations. He had seen that a fair number of our employees have expressed their Christian faith by choosing various Bible verses as their favorite quotations. I am a Christ-follower. Part of what this means is that I hold myself accountable to act in a manner consistent with my beliefs—not always an easy task for any of us, but one towards which I will always strive. I recently received Ronald Sider’s new book entitled I am Not a Social Activist: Making Jesus the Agenda. Myron Augsburger’s preface praises Mr. Sider as he comments, “We share many convictions, especially believing that to be truly evangelical (sharing the Good News of God’s reconciliation with man through Christ) is to be committed to justice, equity, the poor, the oppressed, to peace, and to non-violence. As a disciple of Christ, an evangelical cannot harm or ignore one for whom Jesus died. In fact, a true evangelical will look at all persons as invited into a faith relationship with our Lord.” Mr. Sider is a modern prophet who serves as a model and spokesman for the holistic view of Christianity which states that both faith and action consistent with the words of the bible are necessary to experience what is called “the abundant life.” I am grateful for Ron Sider’s words and deeds, which have had a profound impact on both the Christian community and on me personally. I aspire to believe and to act in a consistent way with the “way of Christ.” The book of James in the New Testament of the Christian Bible states that “…faith without works is dead.” Our actions will show (or prove to others) the reality of our faith. People act in accord with what they believe. I believe that we are called to live according to the Golden Rule. Simply put, we are to first love God (recognizing that we are to submit to a “Greater Power”) and second, we are to take the initiative to act in a loving way toward other people (recognizing that serving others is more important than first serving ourselves). As the lead attorney for Law Elder Law, LLP, my goal is to lead in a manner that inspires respect from our team itself (both employees and consultants), our clients and their families, and our “adversaries” (the hard-working professionals of the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, Office of Inspector General, and Department of Human Services, commonly known as the “Medicaid Department”). The bottom line for me is that I must lead and act authentically and consistently with the Golden Rule, to demonstrate both faith and action, and to: 1. Love God; and 2. Act in love to benefit others. It’s not really a “religious thing” after all. Our law practice is focused on the issues of life, death (whether quick or lingering), disability, health care, caregiver support, estate planning, veterans benefits for the over 65, Medicaid, and healthy spouse survival issues. My work as the lead attorney of Law Elder Law, LLP is a calling to practice law as “faith at work.” This combination of faith and action improves lives on both sides of all of our relationships. Rick Note: Team members are not required to share my Christian beliefs. However, each member of the team is expected to fulfill the Golden Rule by actions that honor both friend and adversary.At a legal conference on disability planning I once had a lawyer abruptly confront me and ask, “You see your law practice as some kind of religious thing, don’t you?” He had visited our website at