Taylor Root is proud to be supporting International Women’s Day 2017. We have interviewed a series of our female clients asking them how they have been bold for change #BeBoldForChange
Taylor Root interviewed Sophie Moloney, Chief Legal Officer at OSN.
Do you have any secrets to a successful career?
I would not say that the following thoughts are secrets but they are part of the recipe that has worked for me to become Chief Legal Officer at OSN. Four thoughts:
1. Be curious: ask the ‘open’ question – I have often suspected that my desire to understand why we might be wanting to do something as a business – as opposed to immediately assuming what risk it will bring – is why I have intended to be sought out as a lawyer by my business colleagues. By asking the open question (e.g., what are we looking to achieve?), you will be amazed by what you can learn not just about the immediate deal but its wider importance (or not) to the overall business aims. Your business colleagues are smart and do also care about protecting the business: show interest and let them help you find the way forward.
2. Be dependable: always deliver when you say you will or communicate early and clearly, if circumstances have intervened. I live by the simple creed: ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you’. Think about how you feel if you are expecting or even relying upon something to happen that someone else needs to do and that thing is not delivered and you do not know why or could not plan for its non-delivery. Always hit your deadlines or communicate early if it cannot happen: this way you will build trust and dependability with your colleagues.
3. Be honest: if you get it wrong (and you will): own it and either fix it or move on: I have always put up my hand immediately if I make a mistake: if I miss an important pre-approval or simply fail to notify as needed. I recall reading a book many years ago (Title: How Men Think: the Seven Essential Rules for Making it in a Man’s World by Adrienne Mendell) that spoke of the one and a half day rule which is the amount of time a man would worry about a business decision he got wrong. This has stuck with me. You own up and either you can fix the problem or you simply accept that it has happened; learn from it and move on; rehashing a set of facts to try and show you were not in the wrong or not quite as culpable is wasted energy. You will earn more respect by clear thoughts and actions that take you forward – find the solution rather than an excuse.
4. Be a team player (and do not be afraid to share a laugh): I believe in the power of the team both at work and at home – with my husband leading on the home front with our three boys. I have a diverse, talented and fun team at work who all bring different skills, approaches and personalities to the table. Having a sense of humour has also always been a great help: being able to laugh at oneself or a situation without causing offence is a skill. So my final piece of advice: be part of a great team, and do not forget to share a laugh – it is nice to be human after all!