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The Chronicles of a Lawyer: The ups and downs of having a Team…

I often say, lightheartedly, that I should write a book one day describing all the experiences I have collected over the years, involving employees. One thing is for sure, people are dynamic beings and often unpredictable.

However, without a team and if you do not create future leaders in your organisation, there is little to no prospect of long-term sustainability and continuity. It, therefore, goes without saying that a well-functioning team is worth gold. But what about the stories we rarely share?!


As I am writing this, I cannot but now find some of my experiences humorous:

  1. There was one who sat on his employer’s chair and took selfies whenever she was not in her office….

  2. Then there was one that started employment, worked out his first day and never came back.

  3. I cannot but mention the one who lost all sight of ethics and inflated her timesheets. Or the one that called in sick, after claiming she hurt her foot. That later elaborated into being ill and needing an operation. Lastly, actually having been kidnapped by her ex-boyfriend and therefore could not come to work for over a week.

I also remember a situation where, after the hearing, the employee was dismissed. He screamed profanities all the way out the front door (down 10 flights of stairs). Or the one that after being found guilty of assaulting a co-worker, had to literally get that last swing in.

Things, as a commercial lawyer, chairing hearings – you do not always think you will witness in life.

One thing is for sure, building a business is tough – regardless of who you are or what industry you work in. Hopefully, though not everyone will witness what I have through my own journey or in hearings, I have chaired.

Although contracts and policies cannot avoid all and every dispute, a concrete structure goes a long way to ensure that these are minimised.I often say, lightheartedly, that I should write a book one day describing all the experiences I have collected over the years, involving employees. One thing is for sure, people are dynamic beings and often unpredictable.

However, without a team and if you do not create future leaders in your organisation, there is little to no prospect of long-term sustainability and continuity. It, therefore, goes without saying that a well-functioning team is worth gold. But what about the stories we rarely share?!

As I am writing this, I cannot but now find some of my experiences humorous:

  1. There was one who sat on his employer’s chair and took selfies whenever she was not in her office….

  2. Then there was one that started employment, worked out his first day and never came back.

  3. I cannot but mention the one who lost all sight of ethics and inflated her timesheets. Or the one that called in sick, after claiming she hurt her foot. That later elaborated into being ill and needing an operation. Lastly, actually having been kidnapped by her ex-boyfriend and therefore could not come to work for over a week.

I also remember a situation where, after the hearing, the employee was dismissed. He screamed profanities all the way out the front door (down 10 flights of stairs). Or the one that after being found guilty of assaulting a co-worker, had to literally get that last swing in.

Things, as a commercial lawyer, chairing hearings – you do not always think you will witness in life.

One thing is for sure, building a business is tough – regardless of who you are or what industry you work in. Hopefully, though not everyone will witness what I have through my own journey or in hearings, I have chaired.

Although contracts and policies cannot avoid all and every dispute, a concrete structure goes a long way to ensure that these are minimised.


Posted By: Nicolene Schoeman - Louw on: October 13, 2020 In: nicoleneschoemanlouw.com


 
Contributor:

I Am an Entrepreneur, Wife and Mother – Trained and Practising as a Legal Professional.


In 2007, aged 24, I moved to Cape Town (from Bloemfontein). Not long after moving, the opportunity arose to start my own law firm, which opportunity I seized with open arms. This was the birth of SchoemanLaw Inc, now, the Preferred Law Firm for Entrepreneurs (owning both large and smaller businesses). Our focus is client eccentric, we are ethical, tech savvy, innovative and entrepreneurial. I am proud to be the Managing Director of, what I personally see as, a progressive law firm of the future.


I am also the innovator behind the SME and Start -Up Legal Tech product, Contracts4Biz.


In addition I am a Director and co-founder of PocketAdvisor (Pty) Ltd, a platform that aims to bridge the gap and create access to trusted legal and business advice. Powered by the latest technology it aims to be a trusted adviser for any South African Entrepreneur available 24/7 and affordable to all.


I am passionate about business, and as consequence, I am involved and/or have an interest in several businesses outside of SchoemanLaw and PocketAdvisor. I believe this was a natural progression, because the passion, required “grit” and dedication involved in successful entrepreneurship has been having a dialogue with my soul for as long as I can remember.


As a legal professional, I have enjoyed the confidence of many successful entrepreneurs (both locally and abroad) over the years and continue to do so. As their trusted advisor, I have actively contributed to the successes of many businesses and helped many entrepreneurs build lasting legacies. It is this calling that I am honoured to answer to every day.

I therefore suppose, my skill set is best described as being a Legal Entrepreneur.

Unarguably however, my most loved titles are wife to Deon and mom, to our two young boys – Ivan and Andrèa.


I love my life! True, business and life are certainly not easy. I have had to overcome many challenges particularly given the age at which I started SchoemanLaw and in a male dominated profession. Admittedly, I often felt very isolated whilst I was going through it all. Now, although I am no longer a “lone ranger” in my journey, I am under no illusion that there are and will be more challenges to overcome and more growth to embrace.


I believe that through sharing experiences we are able to extend our reach to help and guide others along their own journey. For this reason, I am sharing my journey on this platform and as a speaker in the hope that somewhere someone benefits positively.

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