Ernest LaMont Greer
Vice President; Atlanta Managing Shareholder, Greenberg Traurig
BEST CAREER ADVICE
True success requires hard work and dedication, but it also requires passion. Without passion for what you do and strive to be, you will not be happy. Set your sights high and never underestimate your own ability to achieve your goals. And, finally, be yourself—be successful on your terms and always feel comfortable letting those around you know who you are and what you are about. Being unique and being comfortable is entrepreneurially relevant.
I am motivated and driven by my passions in life: family, work and community. I am passionate about my work and enjoy coming into the office every day knowing that I work with great entrepreneurial individuals. Likewise, I am with my wife and two daughters and always enjoy spending time with them. At the same time, I am passionate about community and love to invest time and effort in making the world a better place. Having three passions, all of which are at your fingertips, create challenges to maintaining a balance. It is very difficult and I struggle with that every day.
WHAT INSPIRES ME
Professionally, I am inspired by Atlanta mayor Kasim Reed. A prominent black democratic mayor, Kasim is working alongside a prominent white republican governor to build a strong coalition that can lead Georgia to operate as a unified state.
From a personal standpoint, my parents are my role models. They believed in me, my dreams and my success and invested everything they had to make sure I got an education. They taught me early on that, through hard work, anything is achievable. Their commitment to ensuring I got an education led me to become independent and ultimately provide a happy and secure life for my wife, my children and myself.
Everyone can add value, and I believe that each day presents an opportunity for me to help people understand and communicate that value in their lives. I make a personal effort to ensure that any role I play—whether as a husband, father, business professional or community steward—is focused on motivating others to live their dreams. And more importantly, I do whatever I can to support their dreams.
COMMUNITY AND LEGACY
There are many issues facing the African-American community. Education is an issue. Crime and incarceration are problematic. And poverty and homelessness continue to plague the community. However, the biggest issue, from my perspective, is the continuing loss of the role that important African-American institutions, such as the church, the NAACP and other historically significant black institutions, play in the African-American community.
WHAT I’M READING
The Communicators by Richard S. Levick
J.D., Northwestern University School of Law; A.B., Government from Harvard University