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A major key to a rewarding career is to be in a position to make a positive impact. Longevity, job satisfaction, and success depend on it. If you find yourself unable to make a positive impact in your current legal department role, then it’s possible that you haven’t found your niche yet. Here are some tips to help you determine whether or not you are in the best role to make an impact.

Finding the Sweet Spot

Jim Collins, best-selling author of the management book Good to Great, writes extensively about what’s called the Hedgehog Concept. The concept includes a Venn diagram you can use to find your sweet spot. The sweet spot is found at the intersection of these three questions:

  • “What are you deeply passionate about?”
  • “What can you be best in the world at?”
  • “What drives your economic engine?”

Your Passion

The first circle of the Hedgehog Concept is discovering what are you deeply passionate about. Here are some questions to ask yourself to help determine where your passion in legal lies.

  • What makes you feel most engaged?
  • Is there something that makes you feel more fulfilled?
  • What are your short and long-term individual goals?
  • Are there ample opportunities to grow your career?
  • How are you giving back?

It will be challenging to make any sort of an impact if you are not dedicated to the work you are doing. The answers that you provide to these questions should help you learn if you are in the best role for maximal success and growth.

Your Contribution

The second circle is learning what can you be best in the world at. Brainstorm about what you can contribute overall to improve a company. This should work to not only build your value within the legal department and the company, but also make you marketable and in high demand as a candidate.

  • What can you be the best in the world at?
  • Are you in the ideal role to make that impact?
  • Will your company allow you to work in your sweet spot?

If the company you’re with is not supportive of you working in your “sweet spot,” consider making a change. If you’re not currently working in your “sweet spot” but the company is open to it, strive to do that internally first before making a move.

Your Goals: The Economic Engine

The third circle is finding what best drives your economic or resource engine. It’s important to have clear and compelling goals. Here are some questions to consider:

  • Are you and the CEO pushing for the same mission?
  • Are you empowered to achieve those big goals?
  • Are you enabling your team to achieve these goals?
  • Do you have an action plan?
  • Does the company have “Big Hairy Audacious Goals” (BHAG)?

Finding satisfaction in your legal work is often dependent on your ability to make a strong impact. The Hedgehog Concept (link) by Jim Collins is an effective tool for finding the “sweet spot” where you can make the best impact in your work. If you’re not in the best role, you may not feel empowered or enabled to achieve those big goals.

Is your company utilizing your talent?

If you’re providing a lot of value, and your company isn’t able to utilize your talent and skills – is it time for you to consider a new opportunity? At Quaero Group we work with top companies nationwide, and we can be a resource to help you to find interesting, lucrative, and meaningful work in an in-house counsel position. Contact us to talk about your options.


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