ode to leadership team

It’s the end of another year, so let’s be real for a minute ok?

I’ve been a lawyer for 20 years. I have run my own law firm for 15 of those years. But we’ve only had serious growth for the last 4 years. And there’s no secret as to why. Their names are Jill, Nicole, and Ashley.

First, I’ve written many times about the love and support from my wife Jill, pictured below. Without her faith and encouragement, I would be working 90 hours per week at some big firm in Boston and never seeing my family. Her constant and unbending belief in me, when I didn’t even believe in myself, is why I started the firm and why we are still in business today.  Jill’s ever-present “you got this” is a big reason why I kept going, and why we are thriving. 

Jill and Mike

Four years ago I found a marketing group, called Great Legal Marketing, which I am still very active in today. They helped me realize that there was a better way to run the firm and I could do that and still have a great life with my family. They taught me how to grow and, to quote my friend and mentor Ben Glass, they taught me how to “Live Life Big”. My friend and Coach, Charley Mann, helped show me that I could do it better, that I deserved to do it better, and that I could really help the world by being a good lawyer. To do that, I had to grow.

Part of that growth meant letting go. For years I did everything alone. Top to bottom, I did everything in the firm by myself. Phones, letters, court, documents, you name it. I eventually added an assistant and we marched on, the two of us, for years. But to have the life I wanted, I needed more staff. I had to let go of some of the work I was doing myself. I wanted to be CEO, run the company, and let others help me. That’s when fate stepped in. Well, I don't call it fate. I call it "magic" but if fate is easier to swallow, so be it. Enter Nicole Rego and Ashley Maiuri. I found two employees, and at the beginning, that’s what they were – employees who came in every day worked hard, and cared about the work we were doing.

But after a short time, I realized that I had more than two great employees.

I had two rock stars, that I thought could take us to the next level. No, not “thought”. I didn’t “think” it – I “knew” it. Not only were they amazing at their jobs, but they were a joy to work with every day. It didn’t take long for us to become true friends. I knew that with their help, we could grow, thrive, and deliver an amazing experience to our clients.

Fast forward to 2021. Nicole, who is now our Chief Marketing Officer, just celebrated her two-year work-iversary. Ashley, our Chief Operating Officer, will celebrate her two years in a few months. Nicole runs all of the marketing and has her own assistant. Every day she makes sure that the world knows we exist, and that we can help people to make their lives better. Ashley runs the law firm, is in charge of employees, and controls all of the systems we use to deliver our services to our clients. When I have a new idea, Ashley makes it happen and Nicole makes sure our clients know about it. With their help, I get to be CEO and do the work that I love doing (including writing articles like this!).

Leadership TeamI’ve written an Ode to my wife many times, and deservedly so. But I owe this Ode to my leadership team, Nicole and Ashley. At this point we are beyond true friends; they are my family. There’s no other way to put it. I love them like family. They support me, help me run the firm, and they inspire me to be better, every single day. They are my sounding board for new ideas, a kind ear when I need to vent, and they believe in me, just like Jill does. They challenge me when I need it – they don’t let me get away with anything less than 100%, and if that means they have to tell me something I don’t want to hear, then they tell me anyway. They are two people that I never want to disappoint, and whom I always want to deliver for.

With their help, we’ve grown to 7 employees and counting. We’ve moved to bigger offices – not once, but twice in the last year! Without them, I would have never been able to come this far. I’m smart enough to know that it wouldn’t have happened without them.

So here’s to you, Nicole and Ashley. From employees to friends, to family. Keep doing what you do. Keep challenging me when I need it. Keep working hard and we will keep going, keep growing, and get better every day. With your help, I know we can do anything; we can reach the stars.

Michael Monteforte, Jr.
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People come to me in trying times and when I tell them I can help them, the weight falls off their shoulders.
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