FOCUS sat down with successful Coffs Coast businesswoman, Lisa Flynn from Shine Lawyers, to find out her secrets of success.
What is the most satisfying aspect of your role?
The most satisfying part of my role is the feeling that I am really helping someone trying to get their life back on track after it has been derailed. I am currently representing a number of people who have suffered childhood abuse and although the work is challenging, it is extremely rewarding to be able to stand beside these courageous clients who are taking a stand against what has happened to them. I really feel it is a privilege to have the opportunity to change their lives for the better.
What background experience do you bring to your current role?
I have been working at Shine Lawyers since 1999, when I commenced as an Articled Clerk. I have been admitted as a Solicitor for 14 years. For the past 10 years I have been in a management position, leading teams of lawyers and support staff to deliver results for our clients.
How do you encourage a positive working environment?
I think it is important to have rituals within the workplace that encourage positive interactions. For example, we have a weekly morning tea, where we all down tools for half an hour to share food together and get to know whom we are working with through the sharing of stories. We also have daily “huddles” at the start of each working day, which are short, sharp meetings designed to ensure that we all know what each other are working on, where people may be stuck and need some assistance. I try to foster a real “team” approach in any workplace that I am in.
Best advice for someone starting out in your industry?
I often say to people who are studying law, to try to get some experience in a law firm so that they know what law is like “in practice”. I think it is great if people studying law get some work as an Administration Assistant or Paralegal, so that they can see how a real life law firm functions. Alternatively – do some work experience in a law firm or with a barrister. This is a great way to not only see what it is like, but also ensures that you are starting to build your “contact” list – you have access to people in the legal profession to ask questions of. Relationships are important in this industry, as is the case in a lot of industries!
What’s your best tip for staying on task and organised?
I am a “lists person” – I make lists of things that I need to get done each day and take great delight in crossing things off the list as they are done. I also ensure that I focus on the “big rocks” first. I know that I am at my best in the mornings, so I do the big, important jobs first and then leave the afternoon for the smaller jobs that don’t require as much brain energy. Often things happen in a day that are not planned and expected, so as long as I get the “big rocks” done – I can feel pretty satisfied that things are on track and organised.
How do you stay motivated?
I don’t find that motivation is very hard, as I really love what I do. I have three young children whom I love and adore and if I didn’t love my job, I don’t think I could bear to leave in the morning.
I think a big part of motivation is finding work that has a purpose that is connected with my values. I am at my best when I fully believe that the work I am doing is making a difference and is channelled towards the purpose I have bought in to.
What is the point of difference between you and your competitors?
I believe that the values and the purpose of Shine is front and centre which drives everything that we do. We don’t just have values that sit up on the wall. Everyone believes in our values and shares the same ones themselves. I think this is our main point of difference.
Most rewarding part of your job?
Helping people and making a positive difference to their lives.
What’s the best part of working and living in the Coffs region?
Apart from the most awesome beaches and working in the best main street ever (First Ave, Sawtell) I think what makes life on the Coffs Coast so great is the sense of community that exists. I love raising my children in a small, coastal community where they are active, can appreciate their beautiful, natural environment and have people all around them who know them and care for them.
What is the best advice you could give other women looking to succeed in their chosen field?
I think a good mind frame is to always do your very best at whatever job you are doing. There is always somebody watching the work you do, the hours you put in and your commitment to achieving. I also believe that your reputation is really important. People want to be around and follow people who work hard and are good at what they do. I think it is also important to have a good attitude, especially if you are a leader – leaders can’t afford to have a bad day, as they are being watched all of the time.
What do you enjoy most about what you do?
Working with people. I get my energy from working with clients and also the great people in my team and the broader firm.