Jean Niven is a beautiful and extraordinarily caring lawyer. Like many lawyers at Merlin Law Group, she also works long hours in places far away from home. She and I were in Long Island, New York last night preparing for depositions regarding a fire loss to a chicken egg manufacturing plant out of Texas. During a discussion about mitigation costs of a temporary manufacturing plant, she casually mentioned that it was her birthday and had to take a call from one of her children wishing her well. I instantly felt like the worst boss in the world because she should have been celebrating in Tampa with friends and family rather than diligently plying her trade in New York with me.

Goodman, Gable, Gould and Adjusters International public adjuster Harvey Goodman was with us. He took the photo shown above. While I was writing my blog earlier this week, Characteristics of the Best Public Adjusters, I was thinking of him. He told me he read the blog and that he was missing one characteristic; I told him 5 out of 6 was not bad. Harvey works long hours as well and is proud of those in his firm that demonstrate their dedication by trying to be the best they can in his profession.

The truth, from my experience, is we give more credit and value to the work we personally do than the work and long hours others put into a project. I think this is human nature because we know what we do and can only guess about the effective time and effort others give. I also think we tend to overstate how effective our own time is versus others when working in teams.

Regarding Jean Niven, I’ve had the pleasure of observing her work and performance for over fifteen years. She understates her own work and effort. Unlike yours truly, she does not seem to suffer from an ego that needs reinforcement. She is just as concerned about the emotional aspects of a client following a catastrophic loss as the financial end result she is dedicated to obtaining. She truly cares first about her client and the quality of her work shown through the depth of preparation rather than publicly proclaiming how great of an attorney she is. It is an honor and a privilege to work with her, and for her to hitch her star to our law firm. All of us should learn from her noble humbleness.

Next year, Jean Niven should take off a couple of days before I get more anxiety filled about being a slave-driving boss.

Happy Birthday Jean!!

Positive Thoughts for the Day

"God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well."

"The way I see it, you should live everyday like its your birthday."
         —Paris Hilton