Over this Oscar season, I will be considering the leadership lessons from Best Picture winning movies. Today, I want to consider the movie The King’s Speech, which is the story of King George VI, known as ‘Bertie’ in the royal family. The movie was a historical drama film directed by Tom Hooper and written by David Seidler. Colin Firth plays the future King George VI who, to overcome a stammer, seeks assistance from Lionel Logue, an Australian speech and language therapist played by Geoffrey Rush. The men become friends as they work together, and after his brother abdicates the throne, the new king relies on Logue to help him make his first wartime radio broadcast on Britain’s declaration of war on Germany in 1939.

Prior to his ascension to the throne where he became George VI, Bertie was Albert, Duke of York. He became King of England after the abdication of his brother, Edward VII for the woman he loved, America divorcee Wallis Simpson. Bertie was not in line to become the King but only did so due to the unique circumstances of Edward’s abdication. This meant he had never trained to be King and was not even given any rudimentary lessons on being the monarch. Worst of all was a debilitating speech impediment which caused him to stammer for long periods of time when asked to speak in public.

I want to consider the leadership lesson for a Chief Compliance Officer (CCO) through an exploration of its two protagonists, King George VI and his speech therapist, Lionel Logue.

King George VII

Dennis Reina, Ph.D. and Michelle Reina, Ph.D., in an article entitled “A Leadership Lesson from The King’s Speech, consider leadership from the perspective of King George. They developed four key points on leadership from the manner in which he carried himself and tackled his speech impediment head on.

  1. A leader can accept help. The King was able to accept help. Not only can focused help assist you in a tactical manner but it can also expand your overall leadership authority. The authors noted, “Your people want and need you to lead. So, if asking for and accepting help will enable you to be a better leader, it’d be a smart move on your part to do it. What’s more, by example, you’d be letting others in the organization know it’s okay to ask for help—to acknowledge their “human-ness” and accept assistance. As a result, relationships would deepen, trust and respect would grow, and people would be better able to give their very best to the business.”
  2. If you accept help you are vulnerable. The more you can understand yourself as a leader, including your vulnerabilities, the better a leader you will become. If you hide your faults, you are not fooling anyone, and they will have to build processes and procedures to overcome them. In short, you will be seen as more human.
  3. A leader must trust those around him. You cannot lead alone or in a vacuum, you must have trusted advisors. The authors believe that “Feeling uncertain about whom you can really trust and depend on is normal, even legitimate. So, at first, select just one or two people and start slowly with small, safe steps. Set clear expectations. Lay out the ground rules. And make specific agreements to help you stay on track. Give people a chance to earn your trust and, odds are, you’ll reap valuable rewards.”
  4. Your personal life informs your professional life. Put another way, if you are a wife-beater in private, you will be volatile in your professional life. This is because, “You’re a whole person, and your success comes from the sum of all your experiences. Additionally, as a leader, your ability to build and rebuild trust with others has a lot to do with how you’ve dealt with situations of broken trust in your own life. If you don’t want to “go there” with people within your organization, look for someone on the outside—your own Lionel Logue.”

Lionel Logue

Finally, are the leadership lessons from the other protagonist, Lionel Logue. The first thing to note is that he was not a medical doctor or even a licensed speech therapist. Elizabeth Larson, in an article entitled “Lessons from The King’s Speech – How to Influence Without Authority, noted the relationship between the two key characters began when the future King was still the Duke of York, Albert. “At first the relationship is a rocky one. Although he eventually becomes the king’s trusted advisor, Mr. Logue doesn’t begin the relationship as such. He has little to recommend him, since neither his credentials nor his social status grant him instant credibility. The disparity in their births, culture (Logue was Australian), and breeding is daunting.” Larson posed the interesting question of how was this commoner “able to help the monarch and become his life-long friend?” It was because Logue was a master at influencing with absolutely no authority. Larson gave three examples which ever leader should consider.

Lesson #1. Establish trust.

Logue was able to establish trust through two key components, courage and competence. Larson said, “Logue has to demonstrate his courage and prove his competency by getting results.” Logue demands a level of intimacy not usually seen between a commoner and a royal. It included using first names and therapy sessions at Logue’s home and office but not royal palaces.

Larson believes courage is a key component of leadership. She said, “Our projects require us to be courageous. In some organizations it takes a great deal of courage to be the bearer of bad news, as when we need to provide accurate project status or when we point out risks. It takes courage to recommend the right thing for the organization, like a new direction, a new process, or a long-range solution when the organization wants short-term fixes. What gives us courage, of course, is knowing what we’re talking about. It’s having the facts and the statistic to back up our recommendations. It’s being prepared. It’s also the ability to articulate and sell our recommendations. When our recommendations turn out to help our organizations, we gain credibility and build trust.”

Lesson #2. Promote the organization’s goals, not your own goals. Even though Logue is the therapist, it is always the King’s decision on continuing the sessions. Moreover, Logue’s advice is not given for Logue’s personal gain but always in the interest of the monarch and by default the country. As an influencer, you should provide guidance without promoting your own goal. This will help the organization to achieve its overall goals.

Lesson #3. Empathy and Respect in Relationship.

Logue treats the King and his disability with both empathy and concern. He does not embarrass or condescend to the King. He patiently works with him through practice, exercises and work-arounds to overcome his speech impediment.

Larson concludes by stating, “In our organizations we have a greater chance of influencing when our approach is respectful, authentic, and empathetic. Expertise alone does not create competency. Most people do not relate well to “know-it-alls,” and trying to showcase our expertise rarely builds credibility. We are most successful when we use our expertise to support the organization, rather than for personal gain or visibility.”

In addition to a great historical piece and a great movie, there are several key lessons for every leader in The King’s Speech. I hope you will take the time to visit or revisit the movie and learn some of them from both King George VI and Lionel Logue.

Richard Lummis and myself took a deep dive into this movie on my leadership podcast 12 O’Clock High-Episode 78.  You can check it out by clicking here.

 

 

This publication contains general information only and is based on the experiences and research of the author. The author is not, by means of this publication, rendering business, legal advice, or other professional advice or services. This publication is not a substitute for such legal advice or services, nor should it be used as a basis for any decision or action that may affect your business. Before making any decision or taking any action that may affect your business, you should consult a qualified legal advisor. The author, his affiliates, and related entities shall not be responsible for any loss sustained by any person or entity that relies on this publication. The Author gives his permission to link, post, distribute, or reference this article for any lawful purpose, provided attribution is made to the author. The author can be reached at tfox@tfoxlaw.com.

© Thomas R. Fox, 2018

On of the traditions of this podcast is each February, Richard Lummis and I rewatch Oscar winning movies with an eye towards the leadership lessons that might be drawn from them. It is a great way to honor the Oscars, rewatch some great old movies and garner some interesting perspectives on leadership. We continue that tradition this month as we are back with more leadership lessons from Oscar-winning Best Picture movies and today’s offering is the 1981 film Chariots of Fire 1981.

It relates the based-on fact story of two athletes in the 1924 Olympics: Eric Liddell, a devout Scottish Christian who runs for the glory of God, and Harold Abrahams, an English Jew who runs to overcome prejudice. The film was directed by Hugh Hudson. It was nominated for seven Academy Awards and won four, including Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay. The film is also notable for its memorable electronic theme tune by Vangelis, who won the Academy Award for Best Original Score. Its principal stars were Ben Cross and Ian Charleson starred as Abrahams and Liddell, alongside with Ian Holm as Sam Mussabini, Abrahams coach. We will consider leadership lessons for these three characters.

Over on my leadership podcast, 12 O’Clock High, a podcast on business leadership, Richard Lummis and I are back with more leadership lessons from Oscar-winning Best Picture movies. For our first offering this year, we considered the leadership lessons from the Best Picture of 1981 film Chariots of Fire, directed by Hugh Hudson. According to imdb.com, the film is about “Two British track athletes, one a determined Jew, and the other a devout Christian, compete in the 1924 Olympics.” It was nominated for seven Academy Awards and won four, including Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay. The film is also notable for its memorable electronic theme tune by Vangelis, who won the Academy Award for Best Original Score. Its principal stars were Ben Cross as Englishman Harold Abrahams, Ian Charleson as Scotsman Eric Liddell and Ian Holm as Sam Mussabini, Abrahams’ coach. We will consider leadership lessons for these three characters.

Eric Liddell – Charismatic Leadership 

One essayist noted, “Eric Liddell is a fully talented person, led by efforts for excellence in studies and sport. Being an academic, he belongs to one of the best schools of Scotland Eton College, Edinburgh University. he is also extremely talented in sports. He is initially very good at rugby but gives up with it in order to completely dedicate himself to running for the 1924 Olympic Games. He is called the “flying Scotsman”.”

Liddell has the natural talent to attract people around him without exercising top down authority. He gets his strength internally from and does not need any kind of moral support or even event coaching. He has both the skills and drive innately, which makes him appear to be endowed with special qualities. He takes risks by involving himself in religious purposes.

This increases his leadership towards others as well as his charisma those around him sense. He feels he is driven by a divine mission to uphold God through his behavior in sports. He takes every opportunity to preach. This includes formal church services, after athletic events and even in the pouring rain of his native Scotland. It is not clear if his skill in public speaking derives from his missionary family, but the film makes clear that he uses this talent very well.

Moreover, he is an authority for those around him. He is passionate and demonstrates his determination in convincing others. At the end of a race, he does not hesitate to gather the crowd around him and speak about God. Under the rain, he is able to sway a large group of people. He speaks their language, talks about their problems. His listeners are highly receptive, some captivated. He is open to others and able to mix with very different social classes. He is as well at ease with people from his high-level College and people from the street who watch him sprint. His modesty is entirely genuine and unaffected.

Liddell had strong emotional intelligence, is quite self-aware; is good at understanding what motivates him and how his actions or words affect others. He articulates to his sister Jennie, who is worried about his attitude towards sport, the right argument and gains her support: he will pursue the mission to China when the games are finished.

Harold Abrahams – Visionary Leadership

Harold Abrahams is depicted as a strong but tormented personality. Today, we might say he is wound very tightly. He descends from a family of Lithuanian Jews and his family’s origins follow him everywhere, not only in his perception, but also in the attitude of others towards him. His determination and his desire to be appreciated for what he really is as a person, and not simply to be judged upon his accomplishments.

After losing a race to Liddell, Abrahams is almost inconsolable. He claims he only runs to win and if he cannot win, he will not run. This may sound like a very childish attitude but in his despair he realizes he needs professional help in the way of a coach, something almost revolutionary for his time. He approaches a professional coach, Sam Mussabini, who is initially reluctant to this demand, because it’s usually him who makes the proposition. Nevertheless, Harold’s argument convinces him to observe and then acknowledge his talent: “I can run fast. With your help, I think I can run even faster. Perhaps faster than any man ever ran. I want that Olympic medal. Now, I can see it there. It’s waiting for me. But I can’t get it on my own.”

It is this use of a professional coach, who brings rigor, structure and technology into Abrahams’ training which makes Abrahams visionary. He clearly sees that the ideal of the pure amateur, if it ever existed, is quickly moving away. He is committed to achieving his goal of Olympic success and will not be detoured. Abrahams is confronted by Cambridge College Dons, who accuse him of not focusing on God-given talent but on training and responds, “I believe in the pursuit of excellence and I’ll carry the future with me”.

Most interestingly, one commentator has noted, Abrahams “is not a leader in the true sense of the word. He does, however, manifest some kind of auto-leadership. He manages himself, he determines his objectives and he identifies his resources. He is extremely self-aware, realistic and down to earth. The fact that he acknowledges the fact that he needs a coach is essential. In a way, we would say that he seeks a leader, a mentor and a motivator. And he convinces Mussabini, the best in his field, to be that leader for him. If we had to integrate their relationship in a leadership model, it would be the cognitive resources theory and the transactional leadership. Mussabini’s intelligence and experience are the resources that lead to performance. His directivity is exactly what Harold needs; he requires guidance.” Abrahams recognized that he needed coaching, sought out the best coach around, accepted his inputs and used it all to achieve his goal of Olympic Gold.

Sam Mussabini – Directive Coach

When Abrahams initially asks Mussabini to coach him, Mussabini demurs saying it should be the coach who approaches the student and not the other way around. Times have certainly changed on that point. He is half-Italian, half-Arab in a very Anglo English world, who is just as much outside it as is Abrahams. This status enables him to understand Abrahams and provide him skills beyond simply better running technique and more intensive training regimens. As a coach, he understands the psychology of Abrahams and what drives him, saying, “a short sprint is run on nerves. It’s tailor made for neurotics”. He realizes that Harold is a good sprinter and that he is pushed by his nerves. He says that he will “hone his nerves” and this leads to the Olympic Games.

Mussabini is a directive coach; one who gives instructions, organizes strict training with innovatory exercises and has a global point of view on Abrahams’s way of running; he analyzes all his gestures, his whole body, every position. The prime lesson which Mussabini provides Abrahams is confidence. “He believes in him, encourages him, coaches him exclusively and is completely involved. He treats him like a champion and shares his vision of winning.”

The student follows his advice to the letter. He turns Abrahams tightly wound nature into a positive. Mussabini demonstrates that a leader can invoke the cognitive resources theory to characterize his leadership, yet between he and Abraham, there is a deep consideration based on an honest exchange to reach the goal, their motivation comes from within, not simply from the reward.

Chariots of Fire is a fabulous movie, well deserving of its Best Picture award. In addition to the great screenplay, the score and photography are well worth another look. The leadership lessons provided by the three main characters provides an interesting contrast in style and allows every business leader guideposts on tools they can use to lead or, in some cases, provide coaching to them. Head on over to 12 O’Clock High and check out the commentary by Richard and myself.

Check out the opening sequence, with Vangelis haunting opening theme music, of Chariots of Fire on YouTube.

This publication contains general information only and is based on the experiences and research of the author. The author is not, by means of this publication, rendering business, legal advice, or other professional advice or services. This publication is not a substitute for such legal advice or services, nor should it be used as a basis for any decision or action that may affect your business. Before making any decision or taking any action that may affect your business, you should consult a qualified legal advisor. The author, his affiliates, and related entities shall not be responsible for any loss sustained by any person or entity that relies on this publication. The Author gives his permission to link, post, distribute, or reference this article for any lawful purpose, provided attribution is made to the author. The author can be reached at tfox@tfoxlaw.com.

© Thomas R. Fox, 2018

This week I have been exploring how to change the culture in an organization based upon a series of articles in the most recent edition of the Harvard Business Review (HBR) by Boris Groysberg, Jeremiah Lee, Jesse Price and J. Yo-Jud Cheng. We previously considered their lead article “The Leader’s Guide to Corporate Culture”. We next considered how you might move the needle forward on culture, in an article entitled “What’s Your Organization’s Cultural Profile”. Today I want to consider their final piece in the HBR series entitled “Context, Conditions, and Culture and ponder some more challenging leadership variables which a Chief Compliance Officer (CCO) might face in this effort. This is because “Context matters when assessing a culture’s strategic effectiveness. Leaders must simultaneously consider culture styles and key organizational and market conditions if they want their culture to help drive performance.”

The areas the authors focus on are: region, industry, strategy, leadership and organizational design. Yet I was interested in the area of leadership. Obviously tone at the top is important as both the character and behavior can greatly affect culture. I considered this when about Paula Kerger, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Public Broadcasting System (PBS). She was profiled by Adam Bryan, in a New York Times (NYT) piece entitled “Find the Courage to Take a Scary Leap”. Kerger identified cultural change as the “biggest challenge for leaders, and it’s also the thing that will kill you if you can’t figure out how to manage what is clearly a shifting landscape, and get people moving along that path and not be stuck.”

Kerger said that PBS has gone through such a change, by noting “We’re going through a big rebuild of our whole infrastructure of how we distribute our content. When you get your head around it, it’s such an extraordinary time, and it’s not one for the faint of heart.” Many companies who have gone through a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) investigation or enforcement action have been required to make such a change in the culture of how they do business. If your senior management is not committed to such change, the message will not make its way down to the troops in the field.

I thought that Kerger captured it well when she said, “Life is often about those moments — you have to be willing, every once in a while, to jump, and it’s absolutely terrifying. Our nature as humans is to not change. We get comfortable, and we don’t want to be pushed outside that comfort zone, whether it’s moving from a job that you know is not the right one or because it always feels so much easier to keep doing the same thing, even if it’s painful, rather than taking that leap.”

Kerger described her tools for making and then implementing, a culture shift. She begins with having a diverse leadership team. She said, “With the teams we build, we look for different skill sets and we look for people who bring different voices to the table. I know that’s now become very popular in theory, but that’s something I’ve always done. I always believe that the best projects are managed not by people who all think alike but who are all contributing something different.”

To effect this strategy, she also provided insights into how she has accomplished culture shifts. She has done so by pulling “teams together that have representation from every facet of the organization. So you’re aligning people together around shared projects and shared outcomes, and people get to know each other so then it’s not about us versus them. I think it’s good to have a blend of people that have been there for a while as well as new talent. I think tipping too far one way or another is always a problem.”

Another key leadership point is about communications. Of course listening to your team members is critical but Kerger took it to a broader context when she said, “Sharing information is also really important. In some organizations, leaders can go into their bunkers, and if people don’t get enough information, then they start making it up. I try not to shield people when the news isn’t always good, because they just need to know.”

Yet, at some point, leaders have to make a decision. Whether you are the CEO or the CCO, you will eventually be called upon to make a decision. Kerger said, “I like to get a lot of information before I make a decision, but I’m not afraid to make decisions. That comes back to the whole thing about being the C.E.O. You have to be able to move. People who always want all the information before they make a decision are disastrous C.E.O.s. You’re never going to have all the information.”

Kerger also had some interesting thoughts on hiring which can certainly be useful to the CCO. First is that she looks for people who are intellectually curious, in addition to a passion about the work of PBS. She wants people to have a “fire” for working in the public media. How many CCO’s consider the passion of those working in the compliance function? Many compliance professionals are passionate about doing the work of anti-corruption compliance because it is such a worthwhile endeavor, particularly in the business context. I often say that compliance programs are business solutions to the legal problem of bribery and corruption. If you can tap into a person who has this passion, they can help bring a level of enthusiasm to your company that may not normally be seen.

Echoing the emphasis Kerger puts on disparate team members, she also looks “for people who are going to bring something to the table and who will work well collaboratively, but I don’t want a group of people that just tell me what I want to hear. I just want them to tell me what I need to hear. And so I want people that are going to be comfortable doing that.” Finally, she wants someone who can be the “devil’s advocate, ensuring that “you don’t come up with consensus too fast.”” She ended with the following, “Even if you end up at the same outcome, you don’t want people walking out of the room saying, “Well, I wonder why we didn’t think of… ?””

I hope you have enjoyed and can use some of the concepts that Groysberg, Lee, Price and Cheng put forth. As a CCO, you can use some of the specific tactics of Kerger as well as the theoretical underpinnings of the authors of the HBR pieces.

 

This publication contains general information only and is based on the experiences and research of the author. The author is not, by means of this publication, rendering business, legal advice, or other professional advice or services. This publication is not a substitute for such legal advice or services, nor should it be used as a basis for any decision or action that may affect your business. Before making any decision or taking any action that may affect your business, you should consult a qualified legal advisor. The author, his affiliates, and related entities shall not be responsible for any loss sustained by any person or entity that relies on this publication. The Author gives his permission to link, post, distribute, or reference this article for any lawful purpose, provided attribution is made to the author. The author can be reached at tfox@tfoxlaw.com.

© Thomas R. Fox, 2018

I often wondered where the concept of an alter-ego band in the seminal album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was derived. It turns out that Paul McCartney came up with the idea while on sojourn in France. As Jordan Runtagh related in his article for Rolling Stone, the trip reminded “McCartney what he missed about his extraordinary daily life. “I remembered what it was like to not be famous and it wasn’t necessarily any better than being famous.  It made me remember why we all wanted to get famous; to get that thing. Of course, those of us in the Beatles have often thought that, because we wished for this great fame, and then it comes true but it brings with it all these great business pressures or the problems of fame, the problems of money, etc. And I just had to check whether I wanted to go back, and I ended up thinking, ‘No, all in all, I’m quite happy with this lot.’”

I thought that was a good way to introduce today’s blog post of a podcast interview I did of Andrea (Andi) Simon, the Principal of Simon Associates Management Consultants (SAMC) and author of the new book On the Brink: A Fresh Lens to Take Your Business to New Heights. Simon is a corporate anthropologist and works with corporations to improve culture and effect change. In the interview we discuss how Simon’s background gives her a unique insight into corporate culture and how that insight informs the work of SAMC. She discusses why she wrote On the Brink and how leaders can use it to effect cultural change, bring businesses greater success and drive profits. Simon has developed a six-step protocol for changing culture in an organization. Being a process guy, I was very intrigued by her approach and went into some detail on it with her.

Simon noted, “In a corporate setting, leaders espouse values, beliefs and expectations so people know what to do and how to get it done. Everything is fine until something begins to change and that culture must change, too.” Simon suggests any business facing the need for a culture change should try these six steps:

Step 1: What your culture is today? You should consider what you value in terms of six key areas: dominant characteristics; organizational leadership; management of employees; the glue that holds the organization together; strategic emphases; and criteria of success. Simon evaluates companies using the Organizational Cultural Assessment. From this starting point, she can help determine what your culture is today.

Such traits as whether your organization is entrepreneurial, innovating or more nurturing through leadership mentoring its employees are key starting points. You need to understand whether it is teamwork you value or are things more free and unique. Simon said a glue that holds companies together is loyalty and trust. Yet it can also be a smoothly run, efficient operation.

Step 2: What should your culture be tomorrow? Consider what you want your culture to become. Should it be less controlling and more empowering? More results oriented or more collegial? Do rules “rule” or are you open for new ideas and empowered staff members?

Understanding where you are allows you to focus on where you want to go. If your culture is very top-down, you may want to move to a more open culture. Conversely an entrepreneurial culture may want or need more structure, more focus on a controlling person to balance all the ideas that come from the founder and to provide a more structured approach to the management of the employees.

Step 3: Tell a story. With your staff, tell a story about what the culture is today. Simon believes it is important to “Let them all create a visualization of how you get things done now by creating the ‘The Story of How’.”  Simon relates, “As you begin to think about this you begin to need a vision a visualization of what it could be come if in fact you could change.” She discussed one of her current clients which is “ a consolidation of foundations and they want to bring them together so that they can all do better and they think they can double or triple the amount of money they can bring in if only they work better together.” The key test is going to be a driver of trying to pull the combined organization together because “nobody is voluntarily giving up anything in order to build something that they don’t trust would actually deliver better results”. Here the combined company must tell the story of where they want to go and how they will achieve it.

Step 4: Visualize tomorrow. What will tomorrow’s culture feel like? How will you get things done? Will people be enabled to make decisions and risk making mistakes? “Frame this with stories,” Simon says.

Simon relates back to step 3 when she notes, “without that visualization the brain does not know how to organize what it is doing. The neurosciences are teaching us that we take data and turn it into a story in our brain. From there, we begin to see reality through the eyes of the lens of that story. Next, we sort of all the things going on to just conform to it.” Yet you want to change that story (or perhaps The Music in Your Eyes) so that it’s a habit, as habits drive our daily life to comfortable efficient. Simon concludes by stating “For once we have visualized tomorrow then we’ve got to figure out how is it going to feel what will we do more of or less of the task in place.”

Step 5: Create pilot experiments. Through these experiments you can get people to see how the new culture is actually going to feel when they live it. “Set up some small win situations for your folks to test it out,” Simon says. “Think of this as if it is improvisation with good rehearsal time. You are asking people to change what they value, their beliefs and their behaviors. That’s not easy and it’s full of risk.”

Simon has developed tools that allow her to bring this visualized expression to reality for testing. If things are going to be more entrepreneurial and more result oriented and less controlling, she espouses engaging in team building to not only test this but to pilot it as well. She says it is important for the ‘listeners’ in your company to have some small wins but the key is to practice these pilot efforts and not simply give up the first time something does not go according to script.

Step 6: Celebrate. People need symbols and they need to celebrate and share experiences. “You need to seriously think about which rituals you will no longer do and which new ones you will introduce,” Simon says. “Be careful, though. Things that didn’t seem important can be very sacred to people when you are taking them away.”

Here Simon makes clear that celebrations are critical to help make the new behavior a habit on the road to cultural change, every time it is done we measure it and celebrate it. If something is not done well, a coach is there to redirect them.

Simon concludes by noting, “Culture is not something you wear to work, it becomes who you are.” The process she has laid out gives you a way to think about how to effect an elemental change in your organization. Of course, there must be not only buy-in but also leadership as well from senior management but if such will is present, a company can make the change.

 

This publication contains general information only and is based on the experiences and research of the author. The author is not, by means of this publication, rendering business, legal advice, or other professional advice or services. This publication is not a substitute for such legal advice or services, nor should it be used as a basis for any decision or action that may affect your business. Before making any decision or taking any action that may affect your business, you should consult a qualified legal advisor. The author, his affiliates, and related entities shall not be responsible for any loss sustained by any person or entity that relies on this publication. The Author gives his permission to link, post, distribute, or reference this article for any lawful purpose, provided attribution is made to the author. The author can be reached at tfox@tfoxlaw.com.

© Thomas R. Fox, 2018