Around twenty seven years ago, I left my law practice in Philadelphia to move to my mom’s homeland, Estonia. WTF! Why? Well, as you may recall, the Soviet Union unexpectedly came crashing down in 1991.
When it did, Estonia and all the other Soviet republics jumped out of that union to start their own independent countries. In the case of Estonia, this was a chance to regain its independence — something that was lost when Estonia was forcibly incorporated into the Soviet Union at the end of the Second World War. I thought having a chance to be part of that adventure was the opportunity of a lifetime.
BTW, my dear sister Kaia is writing a book about events that took place in Estonia during the Second World War, and it is an eye opener. She has completed her initial draft of the book, and will get final editing done this year. Let me know if this interests you and I can put you on a pre-order list.
Back to my story. In 1994, I had the chance to come to Estonia as the American Bar Association Liaison. I was to be the last American lawyer to have that position, and i took that “job”. I was on a one year tenure. As you will see below, while my ABA affiliation ended, that year is apparently not over yet.
Another aside — why was I to be the last liaison? You can thank good old Senator Jesse Helms who in those days was pressuring USAID to pull out of countries. He didn’t like that the US was providing assistance to other countries. He thought trying to help other countries was a waste of money. Anxious to please, Estonia was the first country to agree to the pullout. Here is good old Jesse in his younger years
So there I found myself in my micro cubical office in Tartu (with the fax machine in a neighboring office), and I admit that at that moment I had no clue what to do. But I stuck it out, and towards the end of my ABA tenure, I was asked to help create a new professional legal training center to upgrade the performance of Estonia’s legal community — especially judges. That kept me busy for a number of years, and I learned a tremendous amount about “advocacy”. Since those days, I have been teaching negotiation, conflict management and consulting on change management and advocacy.
That was a very long windup for this pitch. My learning was greatly accelerated by certain books. Books that I read and used day in and day out. I have started to compile a list of those books on “Buzzed Books”. Here is a link to the list.
Check it out! And if you are interested in the subject of change management and/or advocacy, check out one or more of these books. And yes, if you do buy, I will indeed get a microscopic commission. My creditors will thank you! So too will indie bookstores who also get a cut.
I will be adding to that list and to my other lists on bookshop.org. And btw, I love how this platform is helping indie book shops. I hope you will too!