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:
1. She should be broad-gauged, intellectual, take-charge, organized, preventive, resourceful--and War-like at heart.
2. Hates war as expensive--but likes and even revels in a fight.
3. 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.
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
Thought you surely would have very insightful post on the GM filing, today. Am really disappointed.
I find it absolutely unbelieveable that Moe's PC (professional corporation) outlasted GM. The Vegas odds on that had to be a triple bizzilion to one. I iam sure that thousands of other small firms and businesses are saying the same thing to themselves.
Seems to me that going forward June 1 2009 ought to be some sort of national or international day, but of what?
Posted by: Moe Levine at June 1, 2009 05:50 PM