James Rodgers: Changing the Diversity Conversation

In this episode, Steve Fretzin and James Rodgers discuss:

  • Controlling our natural, human tendencies that create barriers to productive relationships.
  • Diversity is not just about the differences, but also about our similarities.
  • Changing the conversation around diversity.
  • Creating and executing a leadership strategy.

Key Takeaways:

  • The management role is about supporting, developing, and encouraging people. It is not about knowing their job or being able to replace them, but being in a support role.
  • Diversity is about each individual, not about one side or the other.
  • If you are looking for differences, that is what you are going to find. If you look for the similarities, even through language or other barriers, you will find something with everyone.
  • Part of leadership is about what is coming, not what is happening today.

“It’s not about saying why black people deserve a shot. It’s not about saying why women need equal representation in the boardroom. It is about simply one person, having to work with another person, having the skills and the equipment to comfortably and productively work with that other person.” —  James Rodgers

Connect with James Rodgers:  

Website: https://thediversitycoach.com/ & https://jamesorodgers.com/

Phone: 770-331-3246

Book: https://thediversitycoach.com/publications/

Show: https://jamesorodgers.com/podcasts/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/coachandstrategist/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/jdiversitycoach

Connect with Steve Fretzin:

LinkedIn: Steve Fretzin

Twitter: @stevefretzin

Facebook: Fretzin, Inc.

Website: Fretzin.com

Email: Steve@Fretzin.com

Book: The Ambitious Attorney: Your Guide to Doubling or Even Tripling Your Book of Business and more!

YouTube: Steve Fretzin

Call Steve directly at 847-602-6911

Show notes by Podcastologist Chelsea Taylor-Sturkie

Audio production by Turnkey Podcast Productions. You’re the expert. Your podcast will prove it.

FULL TRANSCRIPT

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

people, lawyer, diversity, law firms, business, differences, firm, dei, strategy, talking, relationship, friends, conversation, world, partners, atlanta, rainmaker, steve, barriers, jim

SPEAKERS

James Rodgers, Narrator, Steve Fretzin

 

James Rodgers  [00:00]

It’s not about saying why black people deserve a shot. It’s not about saying why women need equal representation in the boardroom. It is about simply one person having to work with another person, having the skills and the equipment to comfortably and productively work with that other person.

 

Narrator  [00:26]

You’re listening to be that lawyer, life changing strategies and resources for growing a successful law practice. Each episode, your host, author and lawyer coach, Steve Fretzin, will take a deeper dive, helping you grow your law practice in less time with greater results. Now, here’s your host, Steve Fretzin.

 

Steve Fretzin  [00:50]

Hey, everybody, welcome to be that lawyer. I am Steve Fretzin. As you know, because you’re listening to my podcast, right? Don’t be a dummy. Listen, this show has been going on for a while now, about a year and a half. I think we’re at about 130 Plus episodes. And I always try to come up with guests that I think you’ll appreciate for a number of reasons. One is their expertise in their area. It’s relevant to be that lawyer helping you become more confident organized to skilled Rainmaker. And again, if it’s going to do something to give you an incentive, a inspire you to build that book of business, in whatever role you’re in solo, big, firm doesn’t matter, then that’s what this show is all about. And today is no different. I met just the most interesting guy, honestly, a few weeks ago, and he agreed to be on my show. And I was just like, super excited about it. It’s James Rogers. Jim. Right. We’re calling you, Jim. Yes, sir. Okay, and he is the diversity coach. How’s it going? Jim?

 

James Rodgers  [01:50]

Life is good. It’s good to be me, Steve.

 

Steve Fretzin  [01:52]

It’s good to be you. And it’s good to be me. And why is it so good to be us?

 

James Rodgers  [01:57]

I don’t know if we get to do what we are called to do. The Universe put us here for this. For this reason, we get to do that every day. And as I told you before, every once in a while someone actually pays me to do that.

 

Steve Fretzin  [02:11]

So you know, there’s kind of a sucker punch of him now, right?

 

James Rodgers  [02:16]

Now, I think we have, I think we have tremendous value to the people that we encounter. So that’s, that’s how you should get paid is when you add value.

 

Steve Fretzin  [02:24]

Yeah, and lawyers, they’re in a noble profession. And I think we’re in just a noble profession, because we’re helping people to get where they want to go to bring out the best you know them, you know them that they can be. And it’s not easy being us, but it’s fun. And we get to do what we love. And we get to do what we love for others. And that’s really the key. So take us back and give us your background and how you became the diversity coach.

 

James Rodgers  [02:50]

So I’m an engineer by training. I also have an MBA and a PhD in management. But I started my career in the telecom industry as a fast track executive. One of the things that I got to be known for was being an outstanding manager, frontline manager of people. Everyone who worked for me always said, I did my best work while I’m working for you. And I think the reason for that is I understood fundamentally, that the management role is about supporting developing and encouraging people. It is not about knowing their job or being able to replace them. But being in a court road, so that they had the opportunity to do their best work. I left corporate America and started my own consulting firm back in the late 80s. And started off doing total quality management like a good engineer should and and there’s some work in management skills and career development. And then our senior executive who actually wound up being vice chairman of a corporation that she and I worked for, told me about this field called diversity management. And she said your business savvy would would would add some value to that your think about it. I really didn’t have a lot of interest in it at first. But I eventually found Dr. Roosevelt, Thomas, he happened to live in my neighborhood. He and I became friends. He is considered the father of diversity. And I began to explore it. And I found my voice in it, I found my unique place in it. And since then, I’ve been kind of helping organizations to take a more sophisticated, realistic view. This whole area of diversity and inclusion. And the work that I do is primarily focused on enterprise performance. How do we use this fact of life cow diversity, to continue to get world class results for the enterprise that you’re running? So that’s, that’s what brings me to the to the party. Probably is two books and as you know, have a third one that’s in editorial review right now. And hopefully we’ll get the word out and more people will get on board.

 

Steve Fretzin  [05:11]

And I think that diversity, equity inclusion is for some people confusing. Is there a definition that you provide or some explanation of what it all really means or how it breaks down so that people can really understand what it’s all about?

 

James Rodgers  [05:28]

Yeah, I’ve been focusing on that for 25 years, how do we simplify it and make it easy so that we can achieve this tipping point where it becomes natural for everybody to to embrace it? What I’ve come up with is diversity. And inclusion is basically a relationship discipline. I was just listening to a program just before we came on one of my good friends, Marshall Goldsmith has a regular season series. And basically, one of the the panelists there was saying, it’s all about relationships. It’s all about how do you get people to work together more comfortably, and more productively? And then she asked the question, you have to consider what gets in the way of that? Well, in the diversity arena, what gets in the way of that is we have these natural tendencies towards bias, prejudice, stereotypes, and reacting to differences. Those are natural human tendencies. But guess what they can be controlled and managed. And I think that’s what dei work ought to be about, is equipping people to manage the natural human reactions, that creates barriers to productive relationships that we all need, in order to be at our best at work and in society. Anything else really just overly complicated, it may have been induced induced, introduces unnecessary complexity to the conversation. And I’m afraid that’s kind of where we found ourselves as the reason we got so much further about it. Because we don’t really understand what it is it is a simple relationship discipline. When we see someone who doesn’t look like my tribe, my natural reaction is who I’m reacting to differences. We always, Steve, we’ve always defined, and I’ve been in the field for over 30 years, we’ve always defined diversity as the collective mix of differences and similarities. We were very deliberate about that. Because we know human nature differences has a tendency to separate us. But the minute I spent 10 minutes with you, and found out what we have in common, those differences don’t matter so much. So it’s a simple formula. It’s a simple definition. It’s a simple discipline. But unfortunately, we’ve overcomplicated it. And now that’s what we’re dealing with today is how to bring people back to a more realistic and sophisticated look at the work.

 

Steve Fretzin  [08:03]

So and again, you know, I’ll make the obvious, you know, comment that I’m a white guy. And so I think that, you know, it’s, it’s, we found it difficult to have this conversation and to find the similarities, because it’s so much about how different we are or how, you know, the past has, has exposed all of the hatred and the racism and all of that. And, you know, while I don’t feel that I have that in me, and I don’t feel like that’s a part of my day, and I treat everybody fairly and honestly, you know, we’re all dealing with these internal kind of monologues dialogues and stuff that are that are I think, maybe keeping us apart is that is that kind of part of the problem, then?

 

James Rodgers  [08:42]

It is. And what I want to say about that is that diversity is as much about you as it is about me a brown skinned man. So we’ve over the last, when we first started this movement, by the way, the leading voices, in addition to Dr. Thomas, some of the leading voices in the field, were white men. And they were there because they saw the logic of this, they saw the logic that says, if we don’t manage our team so that we’re getting the best from everybody, if we don’t recognize that, that everybody is going to include more non white, heterosexual males, if we don’t recognize that, that x is going to trip us up, if we’re not careful, then we’re going down the drain. And so unfortunately, a lot of diversity practitioners have made a point of emphasizing the differences and most important, most egregious is emphasizing their differences, and not focusing that much on other people’s differences. One of the things we’ve discovered is as human beings we all have problems. We all have stuff we all have challenges in our life. And if I want you to listen to man and to understand that there are some times that in my brown skin the world challenges me treats me not the best. I’ve got to be willing to listen to you and say, you’re saying here, every once in a while, and regardless of how I’m packaged, the world doesn’t treat me quite well. Let’s listen to each other. And let’s focus on this one thing. How then do you and I establish a comfortable and productive relationships so that your white skin and my brown skin doesn’t serve as a barrier to our effective relationship? That’s the essence of the work.

 

Steve Fretzin  [10:30]

Yeah, and I love that I love that it’s, it’s about the relationship and about having that, that you know, connection, and we all have problems. And so let’s let’s try to find where the common ground is not where the barriers are. Yeah, and talking about that. So what’s the high level then goal of dei and the efforts that are being made right now, whether it’s the legal space or in general, what what’s sort of the the benefits, the end goal, or just the goal that you’re trying to accomplish?

 

James Rodgers  [10:59]

Well, let me tell you what the end goal is, and then I’ll tell you what it is. A lot of people are prospering off of the word diversity. So one of the people I interviewed recently, he says, just using the word diversity gives you legitimacy or credibility in a conversation. So what it is not is instruction, about past hills, the history of black folks in America, anti racism, all of these different topics that are interesting to us academics, you know, I am a, I am an academic researcher, as well as, as a writer, so interesting to us, but to the average worker out there, you’re forcing that information on me, if I really want you to know about it, I’d find it on the web or not read about it. But we’ve got all of these training programs out there that are kind of forcing people to be introduced and instructed on stuff that they’re not necessarily interested in. So it’s not about those things. It’s not about saying why black people deserve a shot. It’s not about saying why women need equal representation in the boardroom. It is about simply one person having to work with another person, having the skills and the equipment, to comfortably and productively work with that other person. And I’ll not allow these artificial, and I call them artificial barriers to our relationship. Now, it takes some, it takes some undoing to do that, I mean, let’s face it, just human beings, if you and I would, were to meet on the street and had not had an earlier conversation, there might be a natural tendency for me to be a little suspicious of you, and you to be a little suspicious of me, you wouldn’t want to come up to me and say, you know, some of my best friends are black. Now, you can say that to me now, because we know each other and I know your heart. But you wouldn’t want to come up to me on the street and say that because you’re a little suspicious as to how I would respond to it. And there are some things that I would I would withhold from us just simply because I’m not sure how you would respond to it. That’s the trap that are visible differences placed in front of us. But with just the 10 minute conversation, we can overcome that. And I think we need to change the conversation around the, to having a more productive conversation rather than, Oh, let me educate myself about all the challenges that you have. Because you know, you’re in the packets that you’re in, to tell me about yourself. Where do you come from? And as an old New Orleans phrase, I used to say who your mom and dad, you know who your Yeah. Who your people. Tell me what we came up? What are some of the challenges like, possessed to you? And how have you overcome them? All right, me too. So now we found out what we have in common. And guess what those differences don’t mean a thing.

 

Steve Fretzin  [13:57]

Well, if you don’t mind me bringing up a funny story, half my family’s down in New Orleans. And it’s just a different world down there. My mother was born there and raised there. And I remember sitting at a gas station waiting for my cousin’s to fill up a tank and I’m waiting and I’m waiting. And finally, it’s about 15 minutes, 20 minutes, I’m sitting the back of this car. And I finally got what what’s going on? I get out of the car, I look over there just at someone else’s car talking just some strangers that they had approached and said hello to and they were talking and I’m like, This is not how it’s done. You get your gas and you leave. But that’s not how they roll. Right? They want to talk to everybody. I mean, I spend half an hour in a grocery store. This guy spends an hour and a half because he’s stopping to talk with everybody in the aisles. I go what is going on? But that’s they’re lovely people and they just love interacting and they don’t see the differences so much as they see people.

 

James Rodgers  [14:48]

Right. And that’s, that’s the bottom seeing people because the one thing we all have in common is that we are human beings. And I tell people who challenged me about this idea of finding things we have in common, let’s say, you give me 10 minutes, I will find something in common with any human being on this planet. You give me enough time, even through the barrier of language, we’ll find something in common. You know why? Because I’m looking forward. Now, if you’re not looking for it, you’re not going to find it. If you’re looking to amplify the differences, that’s what you go to amplify, and that’s what you’re going to find. But the simplicity of this work is simply do I need a relationship with this person? And how do I go about establishing is, so that is comfortable and productive that both of us get out of it what we need, and that we also wound up having, you know, friendship, and as a byproduct of it, which is cool.

 

Steve Fretzin  [15:41]

Yeah. And I want to I want to flip the conversation gym a little bit. And obviously, I’m in the business development for lawyers space, right. That’s what I do every day. And I’ve worked with with, you know, women, men, minorities, all different, you know, whatever, everybody’s different people. However, there is a lack of leadership from the minority population, and the minority population is growing a little bit in in the legal space. And it’s really frustrating. And I don’t know, and I’ve talked to some people who said that they’re not advocating for themselves, or they’re not taking, you know, business development seriously. And by the way, like, from my perspective, business development, is one of maybe a number of ways for anyone to get a voice at the table to be heard to have a leadership role. Because the person that brings in the business at any law firm is valuable, right? It doesn’t matter who you are, you bring in business, you’re not going to you know, the things can be bad, you’re not getting fired. That’s, that’s the bottom line. But I’m not seeing any kind of urgency for that advocacy. And I just wanted to get your take on why that might be.

 

James Rodgers  [16:52]

I can honestly tell you that. I don’t know. But at cosi, I’ve had a different experience. I’m here in Atlanta, we have a lot of really high profile, African American lawyers, and they are rainmakers.

 

Steve Fretzin  [17:06]

Okay, okay, so maybe I’m just not I’m not, I’m not saying that they don’t exist, right? I’m not that at all. But I’m just saying like, I’m, I’m shocked by maybe how many aren’t coming to me for help or aren’t in equity partnership. They’re not named partners. They’re not necessarily in equity roles here. And, and I’m focusing on maybe I’m talking specifically about Chicagoland. But you know that it’s frustrating for me, because I don’t really get it.

 

James Rodgers  [17:31]

Yeah. So I’m down here in the south. And one of my best friends in Birmingham, Alabama is a lawyer, he’s a named partner at one of the largest employment law firms in the country. Right here, I go to church with two law partners. One of them is, was the first African American partner at one of the big four law firms here in Atlanta. So my experience may be tilted by the fact that I hang around with people who say that I’m a management consultant. And so the the idea that you just put before is, it doesn’t matter who you are, and what nice person you are, make rain. Bring in those cards and letters. Yeah, unfortunately, there’s a solo consultant that that’s really been my trademark. I have 100 100 different partners around the country who are invited into projects. But I am known as the Rainmaker. I’m the person who goes out and talks to the corporate executive, the CEO, tells them, You got to have us and then they come in and support the projects that I work. So I understand your point is well taken. I suspect that that is probably not as broad as I might be seeing. But there is no reason because guess what, people of all stripes need legal help. Now, the biggest problem that that many people might have is that my, my lawyer friends, bless their heart. They’re the smartest people in the world. If you don’t believe me, just ask them.

 

Steve Fretzin  [19:04]

I’ll tell you, right,

 

James Rodgers  [19:05]

yeah, they’ll tell you in a minute. They’re smartest people in the world, and they are very bright. But here’s one thing, Steve that I discovered years ago, as I was developing my philosophy and my strategy around this, a lot of times people are so busy doing what they do. They can’t remember why they’re doing it. So I think the trap that a lot of people in the legal profession get into is that we have this formula. This is how it works. This is what I do everyday. This is how I roll. And they don’t think about the simple things that you’re not just talking about. When you get to the top of a legal profession, when you get to the top of of partnership at a law firm. Your job primarily is relationships with clients who do repeat business with you. You know, you may be the best courtroom lawyer in the firm. But now that you are the named partner and the managing partner, your role is you maintain relationships with those partners who bring recurring business as Saint because same in my professional in the management consulting professional, any professional services organization, when you get to the top of the heap, that’s, that’s your main role.

 

Steve Fretzin  [20:15]

Gotcha. And so law firms are our fault mean, they’ve developed entire departments for D AI, they understand the importance of it. And maybe that ebbs and flows based on the current environment, which it shouldn’t. But that’s what I think is happening. So what should law firms be considering and thinking about as it relates to growing a diverse, firm growing a diverse population and making that a part of their platform and a part of how they’re going to build a strong culture?

 

James Rodgers  [20:45]

Just like with any decision that you make you begin with why? So what if you were to ask me what the biggest mistake that they’re making is, if the reactionary, they’re not proactive? They’re reacting. Right now, there’s a lot of interest in D, informing the departments and I’ve talked to since you and I’ve talked, I’ve talked to four or five lawyers who are in that DEA space. And my question to them is, so what did you do? What do you do that supports the mission of the firm? What do you do that is going to be tangible value for your law firm? And most of them don’t have an asset. So why did you form your organization? They don’t have an answer. They do it because their social unrest out there. And our clients are big corporate clients are saying that they want us to present a slate of legal advisors that look more like the population that they’re serving, the big corporations are serving. And so they do it, but not with any intentionality. And not with any strategy. And what I would suggest to them, if they want to do it, right, step back and ask the question. Okay, this is the this is the business we’re in here. This is here the essential success criteria. Does DNI does having more brown skinned people are more female lawyers are more people from different immigrant countries on our on our team in significant positions in decision making positions, does that serve us in our purpose in the world? And if it does, let’s get busy about doing it. One thing I love about business people and even law firms, is when they take on something, they get serious about it. They know how to solve the problem, it’s a problem, we’re gonna solve it, and we’ll fix it and we’ll move ahead and we’ll, it will no longer be a problem because we’ve got to fix for it. But it begins with the Why Why am I wanting to do it in the first place?

 

Steve Fretzin  [22:42]

And is that is that part of what you’re sort of your businesses is going in and assisting law firms with the why and making better decisions about how to go about it?

 

James Rodgers  [22:52]

Yeah, of course. People ask me in my always talking about simplicity. So So Jim, what do you do? In essence, I sell I sell perspective. Because people walk into this stuff with the wrong perspective, they think they’re being responsive to a social movement. D is a business strategy and a capability. What do I mean by strategy and a capability? How do I distinguish myself from my competition? Strategy is about positioning. Okay, in this market, our position is that we have the best lawyers, that’s one strategy. We have the best legal services, that’s another strategy, we have the best customer service, that’s another strategy. We pick a strategy, and we pick our lane, and that’s what we’re going to be. And so the is part of a successful organization strategy, we’re going to be the best at attracting, developing, supporting and encouraging, as broad a perspective of legal talent that we possibly can. And broad perspective of legal talent means it’s going to show up whether you like it or not, it’s going to show up in both genders, it’s going to show up in all colors, it’s going to show up in our immigrant statuses. That’s just the world we live in. All you have to do is open up your eyes and look around and say, Okay, who the people that are really graduating near the top of most law schools nowadays? You may know the answer to that. I have a hint, but you may know the answer to that. I was a lot of women coming out of there for me to say, Yeah, this mod but I’m not sure they fit in my phone. It doesn’t, it doesn’t represent wisdom. And that’s the other thing that I see on a sale perspective and wisdom. Success leaves clues. All you have to do is open up your ass long enough and get rid of all the garbage out of your mind long enough to realize if I don’t change. I can remember that there were a lot of firms in the past who didn’t change and they are no longer listed.

 

Steve Fretzin  [24:57]

Yeah, so the and again, there’s some smaller firms or mid you know, mid market smaller firms where, you know, it’s it’s three older white guys. I mean, you look at their websites, right, three old white guys on the cover, and then you look at their list of 10 attorneys and it’s, you know, maybe a couple of women but all, you know, all white. And let me ask you this might be I know this might fall in line with what you just said. But let’s say that they’re not they’re still highly profitable, they’re they’re not really running into barriers, is then not worrying about di and being diverse. Is that their strategy that they don’t have to really worry about

 

James Rodgers  [25:32]

it? If they’re doing okay, then that then they’re okay. Okay. My question is, strategy means strategic thinking. Strategic Thinking means I need to look down the road and around the corner, what’s coming? If it’s not right here now, in this particular location that I happen to be in, I know it exists in every other part of the world. It just doesn’t happen to be right here in my little firm, I’ll tend to all all us, we seem to be doing okay. Well, you know, there’s an old phrase, I’ve been a management consultant for years, there’s an old phrase, to whom the Gods wish failure, they give 20 years of success.

 

Steve Fretzin  [26:11]

I have not heard that before. That’s awesome.

 

James Rodgers  [26:13]

We get we get blinded by what’s right in front of us so that we don’t project leadership leadership is always about having one foot in the future and around the corner, what’s coming? What is likely to occur, not what is showing up to date, today, we got a steady stream of business. But that can that can change at any minute.

 

Steve Fretzin  [26:36]

Yeah, and I think that’s part of what I try to explain to lawyers is because I work with individual lawyers, not firms, and I try to explain them that Yeah, your firm is going great today, you need to build your own brand, your own personal brand, because the firm may get bought, the firm may dissolve the firm may blow up the firm may lose business, you know, what’s the future look like? And they’re not thinking strategically, Jim about that. They’re thinking about what’s going on right now. And I try to get them to see a little bit into the future. And I think you and I are on in line with that. Let’s wrap things up with how lawyers law firms can make dei a discipline make it something that that if it does make sense strategically, then what are like one or two, three things that they should be considering implementing.

 

James Rodgers  [27:24]

First of all, get your senior team, if you’re a solo lawyer, get yourself together with yourself. Well, seriously, I do have to do it for myself, I have to sit down and have to go through a structured process of saying, What am I? What value do I bring to the marketplace? What are the essentials of my being here? What do my clients expect of me who are my customers, and it’s not everybody, who are the people that I’m trying to track, lay out a plan. And as you look at that plan, you have to consider this, I tell people, diversity, as we describe it is just a fact of life, it’s a fact of life, it is a fact of life. And if you look around in your inner circle, and you don’t see any diversity, it’s going to it’s going to come and bite you in the behind we also, you know, accept that is a fact of life. And I have to take that into account in my business planning, just like I do the current interest rate, as I do the current tax rate, as I do the current global warming or any other global issues that every business has to account for, I have to take into account that access to talent and access to customers and clients is going to mean that I’ve got to have some my hand in the in the world of diversity. It’s just a matter of fact. So now that I have understand that fact, I have to do my planning with that in mind. And the beginning of planning is asking why? Why do I want to do this? How does it help me position myself? And what are the what are the keys now in terms of execution? Once you got to strategy becomes down to execution? There are some things that you have to do get clear about why. And the second is you need to educate yourself on you know you got to recondition you we’re human being bias prejudice, stereotypes, and we accept the difference all of us have it no matter who you are, no matter what color you are, no matter what position you are. So I got to think about how do I reposition myself I need some education, some learning to take care of that. And then I need to start developing ways to illustrate the new behavior expectations inside of my business over and over again. So you can’t just send people to training and say okay, now that you know do it, you have to everyday say okay, you know what you learned in that the valuing differences training, I now expect you to treat everybody with that level of respect and I expect you to figure out ways to have relationships on your A team with customers now expect you to treat every one of my employees and every one of my customers with dignity and respect. Now that you know how to do it, and I expect that of it and if you can’t comply, is let me know. We can walk ways as friends.

 

Steve Fretzin  [30:16]

Yeah. Yeah. Jim, this has been an absolute master class in dei and I don’t think anyone listening to this is going to argue that you know, your stuff, the through and through, I’d like to, to spin it a little bit in a weird way with our three best stuff. Now. You’re you’re not in Atlanta, but you’re near Atlanta. Correct?

 

James Rodgers  [30:35]

I am in the eastern suburbs. Okay. Okay. And

 

Steve Fretzin  [30:39]

what’s if I’m coming down to visit you, which I’d love to do some time and you’re going to take me out for a great meal or and I’m going to treat by the way for sure. Where are we? Where are we going?

 

James Rodgers  [30:48]

We restaurant we’re going to marry max so Oh, standard here in Atlanta. This actually in the state of Atlanta, but it’s, you know, on my way into Atlanta, I pass it and if I have a choice is good old down home cooking is you know, Fried, fried okra and all that kind of good stuff. Okay,

 

Steve Fretzin  [31:07]

okay.

 

James Rodgers  [31:08]

Well, we’re gonna we’re going to marry Max,

 

Steve Fretzin  [31:09]

I’m up for it. I’m up for it. And what would be some form of activity that you that we would do or what like I’m coming to visit what what’s what’s a hard thing to do these days?

 

James Rodgers  [31:19]

What I would want you to do is to visit Stone Mountain Park. Yeah, that that may sound a little strange coming from a brown skinned man here in Stone Mountain, Georgia, which used to be whose history was as a as a the headquarters of the Klan in this area, right. And in fact, on stone mountain itself, there is a mural of the Confederate General Stonewall Jackson and all those guys. But the pocket itself is just magnificent. I mean, great. Two great golf courses. My children were raised here. And they they took tennis here that were swimming, they went ice skating over in the park, my son baseball free them with the batting cage there. I mean, it was just the park just provided the foundation for activities for our family. So I wouldn’t say you need to go see stone on pockets. It’s a jewel.

 

Steve Fretzin  [32:14]

Okay, beautiful. And then what are people into these days? Obviously, we’re kind of wrapping up the summer a little bit. But what what what are people doing and enjoying, you know, outside of maybe Stone Mountain Park,

 

James Rodgers  [32:28]

where we all like to go down to the dome, one of my best friends was one of the constructors, or the builders of the Georgia Dome, where the Falcons play. And if you’re not even going there for the game, you still have a great time. It sounds magnificent facility and the services there. I always enjoy it when I go.

 

Steve Fretzin  [32:49]

Very, very cool. Awesome. Well, listen, Jim, this has been amazing. Definitely one of the top interviews I’ve done and I’m just so so thrilled and happy that a that we met and B that we’re able to have this conversation. People want to reach out to you to learn more about what you do, or have you come into their firm and help them out. What what are some of the ways to reach you?

 

James Rodgers  [33:10]

Well, of course, you can start by going to my website at WWW dot the diversity coach.com Or you can find me on LinkedIn, on the James Rogers. And of course, you can always call me at my numbers 770-331-3246

 

Steve Fretzin  [33:33]

Yeah, we’ll be sure to put all that in the in the show notes as well. So just to reiterate, just really amazing having you on the show, and I just appreciate you and what you bring into the table, not only for my listeners, but what you’re doing and enjoying your life, enjoying helping others and doing what you love. So just thanks so much. God bless the thank you so much. All right, awesome. And hey, everybody. Wow, I mean, I don’t know about you guys, I’ve got a page of notes and all types of ideas. I mean, this was this was amazing. And again, just another another thing to think about as you try to be that lawyer someone who’s confident organized in a skilled Rainmaker, whether you’re in a firm running a firm, lots to think about and maybe take action on as it relates to dei and, and and understanding you know how we are similar as opposed to how we are different. So take care everybody, be safe and be well.

 

Narrator  [34:28]

Thanks for listening to be that lawyer, life changing strategies and resources for growing a successful law practice. Visit Steve’s website fretzin.com. For additional information, and to stay up to date on the latest legal business development and marketing trends. For more information and important links about today’s episode, check out today’s show notes