Michael Loconto, “In Brief” - #CuesandViews from The Principal Post
Home: Boston, MA. Birthplace: Hollywood, Florida. Profession: Arbitrator and attorney. Organization: Loconto ADR and Fenway Law.
Current project: On-demand general counsel for tech startups and emerging businesses; arbitrator and mediator for workers, unions and employers. Recent professional development: Currently apprenticing with two distinguished arbitrators in the field of labor relations after training with the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. Excited to transition from my two decades as an advocate to the role of a neutral to serve unions and employers in resolving workplace issues. Latest accomplishment: Drove change in breaking down barriers to selective school admissions for historically marginalized communities in Boston. Latest contribution to others: Raised nearly $2,000 to provide mental health support for soldiers and their families in the Run to Home Base 9K at Fenway Park. Hobbies: Running and golfing, though thoroughly mediocre at both! Favorite book: Thirteen Days in September, by Lawrence Wright. The story of the Camp David Accords for peace in the Middle East and the unique character studies of President Jimmy Carter, Egypt’s Anwar Sadat, and Israel’s Menachem Begin. A must-read for anyone interested in solving seemingly intractable problems, with a recipe of equal parts skill, perseverance, and luck.
What is at the top of your bucket list? Hiking an alpine hut circuit with my wife and kids around the glaciers and fjords of Scandinavia. What ingredient is essential to your perfect vacation? New perspectives. What is your go-to workout? A long run is where I clear my mind, relieve stress, and often do my best thinking.
What’s featured prominently on your office wall? Maps. Knowing where I am, where I have been, and where I am going are critical in order to provide a sense of place, to center my focus, and to ground my vision for the future. What movie have you repeatedly watched? Spies Like Us. What can I say? I’m a sucker for Dan Akroyd and Chevy Chase, and a Cold War kid. Who has had the greatest influence on your life? My father. He’s my moral compass and I’ve never met another person with his sense of calm and resiliency. What is the best advice you received growing up? “Let your conscience be your guide.” Thank you, Carol LaMont and Father John Thompson, my religion teachers at Chaminade-Madonna College Preparatory. What is the best advice you received in your career? The Golden Rule has served me well.
What change would you like to see in the world? More collaboration, less division. What mega-trend most concerns you? The decline of civic institutions. The cure for the modern era’s hyper-partisanship is the opportunity to connect with others on a social level. Robert Putnam’s “Bowling Alone” — written over 20 years ago — was prescient in examining the erosion of clubs, leagues, and unions. To know another man is to break bread with him. I hope we can get back to more of that and less of the labeling that prevents the opportunity to talk to one another.
What actor would you choose to play youin the movie about your life? Colin Jost! If only because I’ve been told we bear a passing resemblance (that is, if he were my better looking younger brother). Who would you like to spend an evening with, in Heaven? Dorothy Day. As a kid, what did you first want to be when you grew up? A diplomat (seriously). The allure of an exotic existence in some far-off embassy was the object of many daydreams in my solidly middle class, suburban youth. What advice would you give your younger self? Buy stock in Google.
Personal mission: To leave the world a better place for my children. Favorite quote: From Ted Kennedy’s June 8, 1968 eulogy for his brother Bobby: “My brother need not be idealized or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life. He should be remembered as a good and decent man who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it.” I’ve carried a clipping with this quote in my wallet for nearly thirty years as a source of inspiration. We should all have such simplicity of conscience for the community around us.
This interview was originally published on December 15, 2021 at https://www.principalpost.com, an “In Brief” profile. Search #CuesandViews on social media for insights on other professionals.