Shake Off the Legal Cape: A Taylor Swift-Inspired Approach

July 11, 2024

Just like Taylor Swift shakes off the haters, you can shake off the perception of being just a transactional legal resource. Here’s how to "Shake It Off" and show your CEO the strategic value you bring to the table:

1.     Understand the business strategy:

·      Deep dive into business goals: understand your company’s short-term and long-term goals,        key performance indicators (KPIs), and strategic initiatives.

·      Align legal with business objectives: identify how legal initiatives and your work align with        and support these business goals.

2.     Proactive engagement: “I go on too many dates, but I can't make 'em stay” (if you want a        date to go well, you have to be ‘there’!)

·      Attend strategic meetings: be present in high-level meetings where business strategies are       discussed.

·      Collaborate cross-functionally: work closely with other departments to understand their        challenges and offer strategic legal advice.

·      Initiate strategic projects: lead or participate in projects that have significant business        impact, such as mergers and acquisitions or risk management initiatives.

3.    Communicate your value: “and the players gonna play, play, play, play, play” (sometimes you       have to help people understand the rules of the game: training and reporting are key ways to       do this)

·      Regular reporting: create regular reports or presentations that highlight your strategic        contributions.

·      Success stories: share case studies or success stories where your legal input led to        significant business outcomes.

·      Educate and inform: conduct workshops or briefings for the executive team on emerging        legal trends and opportunities.

4.     Develop a strategic mindset: “baby, I'm just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake” (we         don’t recommend shaking as a strategy…)

·      Stay informed: keep up to date with industry trends, market conditions, and legal        developments.

·      Think like a business leader: approach problems and opportunities from a business        perspective.

5.    Build strong relationships:

·      Regular check-ins: schedule regular one-on-one meetings with your CEO and senior leaders.

·      Be a trusted advisor: position yourself as a reliable and trusted advisor.

6.     Professional development: “heartbreakers gonna break, break, break, break, break” (don’t be         a heartbreaker, leverage your soft skills)

·      Leadership training: participate in leadership or business strategy courses.

·      Mentorship: seek mentorship from business leaders to gain insights into effective strategic        thinking.

Execution plan: “shake it off, shake it off

1.     Initial assessment

·      Review the company’s strategic plan and identify key areas for legal to add value.

·      Schedule a meeting with the CEO to discuss aligning legal with business strategy.

2.    Engage and align

·      Attend strategic planning sessions and actively contribute.

·      Collaborate with department heads to understand their goals and challenges.

3.    Communicate and educate

·      Develop and present a quarterly report highlighting strategic contributions.

·      Organize briefings on how legal trends and risks impact the business.

4.    Demonstrate value

·      Lead a high-impact strategic project and document the outcomes.

·      Share success stories in internal communications and meetings.

5.    Continuous improvement

·      Regularly seek feedback from the CEO and other leaders.

·      Continuously improve your approach based on this feedback.

The Shake It Off Mindset

Embrace Change: Like Taylor Swift, don’t be afraid to evolve and adapt.

Stay Positive: Keep a positive attitude even when faced with challenges.

Be Resilient: Shake off setbacks and keep pushing forward.

By following this "Shake It Off" (Taylor’s Version) approach, you can show your CEO that you’re not just here for the transactional day-to-day stuff but are a strategic partner contributing significantly to the company’s success.

Receive our insights directly to your inbox by signing up to our newsletter

Recommended content