- On June 8, 2018
I was honored to be part of the GC Readiness Event hosted by ACC and Baker & McKenzie last week in Palo Alto. If you weren’t able to make the event (attendance was capped at 100!), here are the top take-aways:
- Develop your executive presence. The onus is on you to know your client’s business and build relationships. Take them to lunch, and understand their pain points. If you don’t do all this, they will avoid you, and you will have no one to blame but yourself.
- When assessing a team to join, talk to people who worked with them. Are they respected? How is their track record? It’s ok to ask hard questions so they respect you.
- To be a good leader, be kind, and take time to listen to everyone. Kindness encourages people to speak up, and great ideas can come from unexpected places.
- Things GCs wished they knew before they started include: learn how to talk differently to different people (e.g., the Board, your execs, your direct reports, etc.), and know your budget and resources before you join (e.g., if you are expected to scale, will you have the money to do that?).
- When do you know your’re ready to be GC? When your clients call you their GC (even though that’s not your title), or when you close a crazy deal/handle a complex matter that would be trying to anyone — on your own.