A Conversation With: One Of The Best Lawyers In Dallas, Chad West

Chad was selected as one of the Best Lawyers in Dallas by D Magazine in 2014 and has been repeatedly selected as “Rising Star” by Texas Monthly (Thomson Reuters) in 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014.

AE: What drew you to working in the legal field?

CW: Working in the legal field peaked my interest while serving my country by serving in the military. The importance of helping those that cannot help them-selves was very important to me.

AE: You have had your own law firm since 2011, what are the significant differences being an owner of a law firm versus working as an attorney for one?

CW: Owning my own law firm requires a great deal of time and energy to make sure everything runs smoothly and the bills get paid. However, the personal reward is much greater. Being in a small law firm in such a community based part out of Dallas give me the ability to connect with each client to make sure we are getting them the best results possible.

AE: Prior to becoming an attorney you served in the military and had a very distinguished career going, what made you decide to leave military service?

CW: I wouldn’t trade my time in the U.S. Army for anything. It was a time of my life that really shaped who I am as a man and as a leader. I left because I wanted to start my own business that focuses on helping people, and I saw the legal field as a way to do so.

AE: How did your time in the military prepare you for running your own law firm?

CW: The military prepared me for running my own law firm by instilling dedication to a greater good, defending freedoms, and working hard.

AE: You are a member of a number of organizations, do you think leaders and business owners have an obligation to get involved and give back to the community?

CW: Without giving back to your community, you should not expect to receive much from it. As a small business in the Oak Cliff part of Dallas, it is a privilege to be able to give back to such a vibrant and evolving area.

AE: The workplace has changed drastically over the last 20 years, do you think what motivates leaders and their teams have changed?

CW: Absolutely. The millennials are swarming the workplace, and the motivations and personalities are completely different than my generations (Gen X’s) motivations.

AE: How do you empower, inspire or motivate others in the workplace?

CW: I hire the best people and do my very best to give them everything they need to succeed. I avoid micromanaging whenever possible.

AE: What is one characteristic that you believe every leader should possess?

CW: The ability to recognize your own weaknesses and needs to put a team together to turn one’s weaknesses into strengths.

AE: What are you doing to ensure you continue to grow and develop as a leader?

CW: To continue to grow and develop as a leader I look for new ways to challenge myself both professionally and personally. Finding new challenges to take on is a good way to remind ourselves to remain humble.

AE: Have there been any role models for you?

CW: Both of my parents, for very different reasons. My mother taught me compassion and the love for learning. My father showed me the benefits of owning my own business. Both taught me the value of hard work.

AE: What do you attribute your success to?

CW: Success would not be possible without a good support system. My family and friends are my biggest supporters.

AE: If you could give one piece of leadership advice to your employees what would that be?

CW: Work on your most brain-intensive projects first thing in the morning, as you are at your best when you first get to work.

AE: What advice would you give someone going into a leadership position for the first time?

CW: Roll up your sleeves and get ready to work hard. Don’t sweat the small stuff and never lower your standards.

AE: What has been your greatest professional accomplishment so far as a leader?

CW: Starting my own business. Nothing beats it!

AE: What is something people don’t generally know about you as a leader?

CW: I absolutely hate public speaking, but I work hard to overcome it.

AE: If you could have a conversation with one leader alive or dear who would that be?

CW: Thomas Jefferson.

AE: What would you want to ask them?

CW: He was a multiple-business owner and brilliant politician and was ahead of his time in many ways. I would want to know what motivated him and how he became the leader he portrayed to the world.

AE: They say anyone can become a leader, in your opinion do you believe that?

CW: Absolutely!

AE: What do you want your leadership legacy to be?

CW: I want to leave a legacy of achieving high quality results and making a difference in the lives of others. Helping to start a charity 5k, Dash for the Beads, was a great way for me to give back and help a large number of people while focusing on healthy ways of life.

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