Congratulations! You just landed your new job as a general counsel, a role very different from and much more than being a great lawyer or even being a great in-house lawyer. Effective general counsel must develop strong relationships with the C-Suite and among leadership, but just as important, with the members of the legal team. Without strong relationships to support your development and success, you will be seen as uninformed or out of touch with the issues facing the business, and it will be difficult for you to ever earn the confidence and respect of your peers and team.

Some critical members of the team you’ve inherited have been in the trenches in this business for years. They have institutional memory and relationships that can help you get up to speed quickly and avoid political pitfalls. You need to develop open and effective communication with them and earn their trust so that they will proactively share with you what you may not even know to ask.

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