It seems inevitable that among the direct reports to a general counsel will be one or two who are jockeying for their leader’s position. It’s human nature to strive for the next rung up, even when it descends to sabotage, passive-aggressiveness, and other deleterious, competitive efforts.
A general counsel needs to be alert for struggles between two reports that go beyond the norm of healthy striving. The gladiators also ought to be told about their struggles being visible and that it will not advance their cause to be seen as overtly clambering over the other person. (See my posts of March 26, 2005 about promoting from within or hiring outside, and July 31, 2005 about handling succession planning – linking to a recent article.)