Lord Acton’s famous saying haunts general counsel, “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Bullying and unpleasant behavior can afflict leaders of the legal pack (See my posts of Aug. 4, 2007 about “jerk” behavior; and Dec. 31, 2006 on the “imperial” general counsel; June 28, 2005 on Gallup’s findings about disengagement; and Jan. 17, 2006 on passive-aggressive behavior.).
Worse, general counsel are not immune to alcoholism, drug dependency, depression, or paranoia. Any such affliction hurts them personally as well as members of their department (See my post of Jan. 13, 2006 on a trio of consequences of managerial incompetence; and March 18, 2007 on general counsel who are bad managers.).
To reduce the likelihood and consequences of personality or psychological disorders, some general counsel would benefit from a personal coach (See my post of April 14, 2005 on coaches for top lawyers; Sept. 25, 2006 on coaching compared to other forms of assistance; and July 9, 2007 and references cited.). More severely troubled ones may need therapy or medical intervention.