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Behind the Scenes: Empowering Women GCs: Essential Resources from Ready Set GC’s Advisory Board (Part 2)

Welcome back to Behind the Scenes at Ready Set GC. After an overwhelming response to our last share on empowering resources, today we're exploring more key topics as recommended by our esteemed Advisory Board.

1.     Team Building and Talent Development: It takes a village, and no matter the size of the team that you manage or a team that you are a part of (Executive Leadership Team), understanding how teams function and how decisions are made are probably two of the most important skills for a successful GC. To be able to think through how to accomplish your goals and support your business requires that you effectively navigate the unwritten culture and rules of your organization.  To level up here, we recommend almost anything by Patrick Lencioni, but especially Five Dysfunctions of a Team and The Advantage. His books explore the core challenges teams face, and focus on frameworks to foster collaboration and organizational health. Another resource we recommend is using assessments to help your team work together. There are a lot to choose from but here are a few that we have used successfully: StrengthsFinder, MBTI, and DiSC. These types of assessments are a great way to improve communications and feedback, identify team strengths, and areas of opportunity. 

2.     Financial Acumen & Literacy: We cannot stress this enough – and thus it is one of the four pillars of the Ready Set GC curriculum - understanding finance and its impact on legal and strategic business decisions is critical. We enter the GC role at different points on our financial literacy journey and thus resources will vary depending on where you are.  It is critical to understand your company’s financial documents, the economics of your industry, and the world pressures that are at play for your business. Find yourself a book or a course on financials for non-financial managers. Another great resource is content from The Conference Board. This week we had the privilege of working with its Chief Economist, Dana Peterson, who spoke at our New York program. We also highly recommend their podcast C-Suite Perspectives


3.     Risk Management & Crisis Management: No good crisis should go to waste, and a GC must be prepared to help steer an organization through myriad types of crises with clarity and balance, ensuring that the legal brain does not overshadow the business aspect of the crisis.  We recommend Steven Fink’s Crisis Management or Crisis Communication, each of which provides insightful and proactive guidance on how to manage a crisis from both organizational and communication vantage points. Another great resource is Reputation Rules by Daniel Diermeir which focuses on how to manage reputation risk generally, and during a crisis.

4.     Productivity and Efficiency: We hear it all the time, work smarter, not harder – and if only I had another hour in the day.  Find what works for you – no two productivity routines are the same. Some great resources include Uptime: A Practical Guide to Personal Productivity and Wellbeing, a recent entry by Google’s Executive Productivity Advisory Laura Mae Martin. Another mainstay is Getting Things Done by David Allen. Both books can help you create order out of chaos and help you find, and stick with, a system that works for you.

5.     Negotiation and Conflict Resolution: GCs negotiate all the team, whether it be in litigation, contract, or transaction negotiation, or particularly when working with your business partners to get to a balanced outcome on a difficult project.  Some great resources to hone these skills include Difficult Conversations by Daniel Stone; Radical Candor, by Kim Scott.

We hope these additional resources are helpful towards becoming a more empowered and effective General Counsel. Each step you take in enhancing your skills contributes to not only your success but also the success of the organizations you lead.



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