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June 20, 2019

What Does The Toronto Raptors First NBA Championship Have To Do With Immigration Law?

Posted by Mario Bellissimo - Bellissimo Law Group PC

What a glorious run to Toronto’s first ever National Basketball Association Championship.  It captured the interests of nations and millions of people who experienced the heart stopping moments enroute to ultimate “over the moon” satisfying victory.  The team was stoic, humble, determined and so, so talented.  I mean the resolve and athleticism this team demonstrated night in and night out was jaw dropping.  But why am I writing about the Toronto Raptors in a Canadian immigration blog?

Well two primary reasons:

First, the high-level functioning of this team was a stellar example of individuals from many different backgrounds, cultures and races coming together at the highest levels.  It is a fine example of how what brings us together rather than what is perceived to divide us can mesh almost seamlessly without notice in a beautiful tapestry of team work above any individual ambition or deviation.

It is a reflection of the multicultural mosaic of Canada that enriches and strengthens us every day as a society of immigrants.  How enjoyable was it watching   Pascal Siakam move effortlessly between English and French when speaking to the media?  In all, for someone who spends his life in the world of immigration law and sees the daily struggles, separation and tragedy in a world fraught with so many challenges it was an exquisite brief reprieve and a small example of a team working together to the joy and pride of millions across the world.

The second reason I am writing about the Toronto Raptors is because they were an incredible example of how important it is to have a strong, committed and dedicated team to accomplish any goal of significance.  The experience led me to think of our team at Bellissimo Law Group PC and the important work we do everyday in many cases going above and beyond.

I also thought about the hallmarks of a good team and what I enjoy each day surrounded by our strong team and how fortunate I am to have the team we do.  Here are ten features of a good team which are by no means an exhaustive list but what comes to mind.    

  1. A positive conversation brings positive results.  It can empower everyone around you especially during difficult times.
  2. Exude a sense of urgency in what you do especially where time is a factor which in many cases is the reality of working in immigration law.
  3. Find solutions- take the logical and reasonable steps to get done what was asked of you.
  4. Pay attention to details – realize the small things are important.
  5. Set clear goals for your team and your immigration clients. It is in the end, a team effort.
  6. Show Appreciation – It is so important to say thank you and please and appreciate the efforts of the hardworking people around you.
  7. Listen to the clients, they know their lives and are an invaluable resource to finding where possible a successful outcome.
  8. Enjoy what you do. Passion fuels the best in all of us.  Without passion what we do is just a job and a job is not good enough for the standards we must meet in immigration law.
  9. Everyone takes away something different from shared experiences. It is important to circle back frequently to continue to learn and grow the collective understanding and experience.
  10. Always find ways to be better in your work and to the people around you. In my view this is a life long exercise.

These guiding principles are helpful for me to think about.  There are many layers and nuances to everything listed but it is a start to think about some of these goals or best practices.  They are not always achievable on a daily basis so all we can try to do is focus on what is working, taking breaks when we need to recharge and respect yourself and the contribution you are trying to make.

In the field of immigration law, we are tested daily and work with many individuals who are facing what will likely be amongst the greatest changes and sometimes difficulties to and in their lives.  So, thank you to the 2019 Toronto Raptors Championship Team for the joy you have brought, the reflection that ensued for me and ultimately, we can only hope to strive to work as effectively together as the magical “Dinos”.

Thank you for reading.