Bruce Macmillan, Founder Director of The Centre for Legal Leadership, answers questions on the personal development of in-house lawyers.
I’ve recently accepted the role of GC in a medium-sized legal team which I’m due to start in May. What steps should I be taking now to ensure that I am up to speed when I start my new role?
From the moment you accept the offer of a senior in-house role, it’s a good idea to plan your first 100 days before you start so that you can hit the ground running. The initial months in the role are crucial because how you conduct yourself in this period will influence the way senior management, business unit heads, your team and other colleagues view you, and will affect how they engage with you throughout your time in the organisation. The first three months also provide you with a unique opportunity to assess what your new role will entail, and how you’ll need to shape your department and the services you offer. For further information, see Article, Moving role: the first 100 days.
In your first 100 days in a new in-house role, you may feel overloaded with information, even overwhelmed. Article, Your new in-house role: the next 100 days will help you to navigate the critical period following those first few months. It looks at the importance of developing key relationships, setting meaningful objectives and measuring performance prior to your first appraisal. Working at the top feels lonely (and is) but others have been there before, so use their guidance and your peer network to calibrate and reassure yourself and to get ideas.