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Behind the Scenes: Navigating Your New Role as General Counsel – Insights from the RSGC Advisory Board

Headshots of all seven Ready Set GC Advisory Board members.
Behind the Scenes: Navigating Your New Role as General Counsel - Insights from the RSGC Advisory Board

Embarking on your journey as a General Counsel (GC) is both thrilling and challenging. Recent studies underscore the significant evolution of the GC role over the past decade, emphasizing the increasing importance of effective leadership. As you step into this multifaceted position, you'll encounter diverse and demanding responsibilities that call for a balance of legal expertise, strategic thinking, and business leadership. The question arises: Where does a new GC even begin?

To provide valuable guidance to those venturing into the GC role, we reached out to our esteemed Ready Set GC Advisory Board. Comprised of seasoned professionals who have successfully navigated similar paths, they each graciously shared one piece of practical advice to ease your transition. Here's a compilation of their words of wisdom, to inspire you and provide valuable insights. 

Watch and learn. Present your expertise and judgments in ways that speak to others in your organization and in ways that they are able to take in.

Vicki Donati, SVP, GC, Crate & Barrel Holdings


Go on a listening tour.  Reach out across the organization to acquire a deep understanding of what drives your business.  Seize the opportunity to pose the fundamental and nuanced questions.

Julie Kinch, former SVP, CLO of Heineken USA and Founder JK Leadership Advisors


Understand the ‘heartbeat’ of the company.  And what makes its culture thrive - what are the values, behaviors, attitudes and ways of working that differentiate your company?

Sandra Hall Mulrain, EVP & GC, Reliance Worldwide Corp.


Build relationships from day one. Start to build relationships with colleagues outside the legal department – and even outside of the C-Suite. It’s important to gain the trust and confidence of colleagues across the business.

Cara Peterman, Partner, Alston & Bird LLP


Communicate. Utilize your ability to communicate clearly, transparently, frequently and effectively.  If you do this you will build trust within your organization quickly.

Amanda Rigby, VP, Charles River Associates


Be intellectually curious. Develop yourself as a trend seeker and watcher. Attending legal conferences alone is insufficient - seek out economic forums and key industry conferences.

Susan Sneider, former GC, Founder of New Vistas Consulting


We would love to hear from other experienced GC’s, or those who work with them – what would you add to the list?

Look for the next edition of “Behind the Scenes” coming soon!  Bringing you insights and perspectives from our Advisory Board Members.




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