Viv Hunter Turner, Groom principal and Diversity & Inclusion Committee co-chair, shared with us what inspires her most at work and at home, the excellent advice she provides to her teams and mentees, and what has guided her most throughout her career.
What is the best piece of advice that you have received?
I don’t think there is just one best piece of advice that I received, but the best model for how I want to live my life was my mother. She had me young and raised me alone. We didn’t have much growing up and she often worked two jobs to make ends meet. I was offered a full ride to college, but she let me choose the school that I wanted to attend. I turned down the full ride to go to Georgetown University and she worked three jobs to help pay my way through college. It’s not her work ethic, which is humbling, or her commitment to letting me chart my own course, which is also amazing, that I learned from her. It’s her unconditional love for me. I know it may sound corny, but I try to approach my life with that type of love. I loved going to Georgetown undergrad and loved the law school even more. I love where I work and I am fortunate to work with colleagues that I genuinely love and care for. I know people say do what you love and you will never work a day in your life. But for me, I think the key part is to lead with love. I love reading and writing so I found a career where I pretty much read and write all day long. I think the advice that I learned from the way my mother raised me is to let love guide the way.
In your career, where do you draw inspiration from?
Where don’t I draw inspiration from! My family, my friends, my colleagues, books, television shows (embarrassing to admit – but oh so true), my yoga teacher – they all inspire me every single day. My mother is writing her first book at 65 – I’m beyond inspired. My daughter is learning how to play volleyball on a travel team – I’m inspired at every game when she goes for the ball, whether she hits it or misses it. My husband is expanding his career and taking on a new role that is outside his comfort zone – I’m inspired by him every single day. My seven-year-old will be at three schools in three years and hasn’t complained yet – I’m inspired by his spirit and his refusal to believe that life is anything but wonderful and beautiful. My Executive Principal is the first woman to hold the position in my firm’s history – I’m inspired by her vision and her bravery. I feel like the luckiest person on earth to be surrounded by people who are pushing boundaries, challenging themselves, and just living their lives through hardship, success, good days and bad.
What do you think, or hope, your team learns from you?
Make the next play. Mistakes will happen, but the critical part is how you learn and respond to them. It’s so easy to beat yourself up for making the mistake, but if you can ask yourself what went wrong and figure out how you can learn from it you will learn and grow. Wrap your mind around how you’ve learned from your mistake and how you will do things differently in the future. Focus on making the next play.