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Let the lawyers who report to you deliver good news; you deliver bad news

A speaker at the recent InsideCounsel SuperConference offered a good suggestion for general counsel – indeed, for all lawyers who manage others – who want to develop and energize the lawyers beneath them.  Ed Ryan, the veteran general counsel of Marriott International, urged people to let someone else in the law department deliver good news.


The general counsel or senior lawyer in the reporting chain can deliver bad news, and wear more armor to take the flak.  Junior lawyers should be given the opportunity to tell the executive team about a successful case or transaction. It creates exposure both ways, it shows the depth of the law department’s talent pool, it spreads glory away from the general counsel, and it is great for morale.

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