– DEMETRI HELIOTIS
Attorney at Law
In 1994, 800,000 people were
slaughtered in 100 days in Rwanda. Twelve
years later, the United Nations was still
sorting out the legal issues involved
in this genocide. I was privileged
with a clerkship at that tribunal. My
involvement at the UN confirmed my
Passion to Fight Injustice.
But injustice isn’t always massive, and
it can happen anywhere. I recently
defended someone falsely accused
of domestic violence. At trial, the
complaining witness took the stand.
My rigorous cross-examination proved
the entire story was a lie. The judge
called a recess. The prosecution dismissed
the case. After months of hardship, my
client got justice.
The effect of the daily dump of volumes of legal and social information
leads us not toward the promise of better
choices, but into less certainty. It disconnects us and our lives from our families,
friends, firms, and our clients.
Acting, Not Reacting
Janice Marturano reminds us, “We can
no longer afford to miss connections
with those who we work with, those who
we love and those who we serve. We
can no longer make decisions with a
distracted mind, reacting instead of re-
sponding or initiating. We can no longer
lose touch with what motivated us in the
first place. We need mindful leadership
to lead with excellence.”
Every day we need to cultivate the
ability to notice when we are simply
reacting and then return to make con-
scious, calm choices. That is what differ-
entiates leaders like Michael Jordan and
Russell Wilson. They find “the zone” and
nobody can take them out of it. It’s their
space to make best choices. It’s their
space of calm during chaos. It’s their
space to excel while others are limited to
reaction. It’s their space to connect and
really see what is around them.
Jordan finds the shot nobody else
saw possible. Wilson connects passes
just as all seems lost.
Imagine having the keys to enter the
Matrix at will, and joining a world where
you have time to make best choices,
while the rest of the world moves in slow
motion around you.
Is Multitasking a Myth?
Today, too many lawyers think the key
to such success lies in multitasking:
doing many things at the same time,
fast. They rationalize that they can get
twice as much done in half the time. The
reality, however, is quite different. You
see, we don’t really multitask because
our brains are not hardwired to switch
tasks. We can’t do two things at once.
When we try, we make bad choices,
give indecisive decisions, make half-considered guesses, and we physically
and verbally fumble, which can lead to
dangerous and unforeseen outcomes.
Don’t believe me? Try this: Count to
We can’t do two things
at once. When we try,
we make bad choices,
decisions, make half-considered guesses,
and we physically and
verbally fumble, which
can lead to dangerous