Settling-In to an In-House Position - Sarah Dodds-Brown

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2 min readJun 13, 2023

Part 3

Sun-Tzu said that “Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy are the noise before defeat.”

Here are the strategic tactics that will enable you to comfortably settle into your new in-house position.

Be clear and consistent about building your personal brand — how you want to be known — across all constituencies. Identify and address any gaps in the ways others see you.

Peer dynamics and your reputation are King (or Queen)! When you are helpful to your peers, they are more likely to want to work with you. They can also become your strongest advocates.

Find your voice. As you are learning new ideas and ways of doing things, think about what matters. Keep an eye on what your competitors are doing. Which ones are succeeding? Which are in trouble and why? Provide feedback that can help your company do better.

Be more than just the lawyer. You are also a smart consumer (customer) and can use that perspective. Determine how best to incorporate your perspective into the advice you give being clear about what is legal advice and what is your opinion.

Pay attention to successful leadership styles at the company and start to develop your own. Learn how to engage diverse perspectives. Be open to trying out different engagement models in order to to achieve good outcomes.

Should you find yourself in the middle of an energy battle with others, don’t be afraid to ‘Drop the Rope’ as long as what is at stake is only your pride. The best ideas often are the result of challenge and adaptation and contributions from a range of perspectives. Be flexible and open when possible and carefully choose only those battles you absolutely need to fight.

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