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June 01, 2009

Yes--and your GC should be a "Wartime Consigliere".


The Wrong Stuff: Thomas "Tom" Feargal Hagen (Paramount Pictures)

It's not a Godfather thing, not a macho thing, not a litigation thing. It's just a business fact, especially in changing industries. And especially now. General Counsel at corporations do make a difference. She should be broad-gauged, intellectual, take-charge, organized, preventive, resourceful--and war-like at heart. Hates war as expensive--but likes and even revels in a fight. Tells management what to do--and not a tentative, qualified "what you can do".

At his well-regarded Law Department Management, Rees Morrison, by far one of the smarter, sager and more experienced lawyer-consultants out there, just asked "Does a General Counsel Make All That Much Difference?" Our two cents is in the WAC? post title above. The right GC? Get thee a philosopher-warrior. Be safe and feel safe, friends.

Morrison goes a bit farther, inspired in part by this month's Atlantic piece "Do CEOs Matter?, by Harris Collingwood. See also our short recent post, "Proctor & Gamble's Lafley: Look to the meaningful outside", on CEO A.G. Lafley's recent thoughts about CEO uniqueness in May's Harvard Business Review.

Morrison excerpt:

Other researchers have found that CEO leadership matters relatively less in constrained industries, such as electrical utility industries, than in hotly competitive, fast-changing industries.

A similar conclusion probably applies to general counsel: legal/business calls are tougher and more frequent in roiling industries so the top lawyer has more opportunity to make a difference.


Expert on The Right Stuff: Rees Morrison

Posted by JD Hull at June 1, 2009 12:20 AM


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