General Counsel - The C-Suite's Swiss Army Knife
Jeffery Tan, Group General Counsel, Jardine Cycle & Carriage Limited, Singapore
The role of the General Counsel (GC) continues to evolve in a corporation. The requirement for a GC to be a highly skilled legal practitioner is only the entry level requirement. To be successful in this role, one is expected to be financially literate, business savvy and strategically minded.
The position requires the individual to possess almost diametrically opposite attributes: Being 'hard as nails' and yet 'humble and approachable'. Fully knowledgeable of one's legal rights and ready to enforce them to the hilt; and yet pragmatic and conciliatory when required. Quietly receptive as a confidant and yet highly vocal as a lobbyist and passionate advocate.
It requires one to be mentally agile and intellectually curious. Always learning from both internal and external stakeholders and audiences. To succeed, one needs to have the social skills and the EQ to connect with different and at times difficult personalities; and yet excelling at being a diplomat, politician, gladiator, mediator, facilitator and healer all rolled into one package.
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