Legal consultant Erin Brockovich came across something, and famously. The $300 million contaminated water judgment she won for the
Southern California town of Hinkley became well-known through the movie
starring Julia Roberts, but the real Erin may be even a little feistier.
"My heart always races when I watch some of that movie,”
said Brockovich (pictured below) at today's closing keynote speech. She noted that the film is accurate, and the people are real.
Brockovich had to find a way to believe in herself and trust
her decisions, but there were others who believed in her from the beginning.
Her mother instilled in her the importance of "stick-to-it-iveness” while a
teacher guided her through dyslexia from failing grades to straight A’s.
Her father also instilled in her a legacy, that of honesty.
His integrity gave her the capacity to recognize the need for truth, a need
that led her to value such battles as the one for Hinkley, and many others. She
shared with the audience a letter he had written to her, during her teen years,
after she’d lied about playing hooky from school. His eloquence paid honor to
the values of truth and openness, in a letter she continues to read everywhere
How can we leave a legacy, of overcoming obstacles? Erin has
a dependable formula, which she calls RAM + the 4 L’s:
the epiphany that everything begins with you, and embracing the belief in your
own power. "Don’t be afraid to be your own hero. As a leader, stand on your own two feet.
Make decisions for yourself.”
ASSESSMENT – Taking stock not in what you have but who you
are. Don’t be afraid to give yourself an appraisal. Look for better ways to run
or start your business. Be willing to adapt to new realities, and don’t fear
the change. "Once you reassess, you will find confidence to move forward
to your success,” says Brockovich.
MOTIVATION – Maintaining the fuel that keeps you moving, find
a moment of self-renewal. "This is your moment,” said Brockovich of the Forum ,
"being here today.” Motivation requires positive thinking, which is easy to
lose. Find a way to fit inspiration into your life. Smell the roses, be in the
LOGIC – "A big made-up word for common sense,” said the no-nonsense leader.
LEVERAGE – "Don’t be afraid to get or give help,” she urged. "In the principle
of leverage, one plus one equals a hundred or more. Together we can build an
LOYALTY – Respect for yourself, for others, your family, your
business. Be loyal to your own stick-to-it-iveness. Don’t give up when going
LOVE – Brockovich asked the crowd to consider: What if there
was no money or material positions to chase? The "why” of our lives is born of
love, in every aspect of our lives. Love of ourselves, family, children,
country, passion, humanity, and of course, the love of happiness.
In closing, Erin expressed her hopes for everyone in the
"When life throws you a curveball, so what if you stumble
and fall? Get back up and get back in the game. You don’t have to go it alone.
Muster up your courage, find your stick-to-it-iveness. If motivation escapes
you, stop, breathe, recognize who you are and why you do it in the first
place,” she said, encouraging everyone to carry this message back to their
families, neighbors and team members.
She finished with a favorite quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson:
lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny
matters compared to what lies within us.”