- Doing the right thing is as important as doing what is legally allowed. Keep asking the question - 'what is fair and reasonable in the circumstances'?
- Key attributes for leaders and their teams are compassion, flexibility, courage and adaptation.
- Be realistic about the maturity of your organisation's crisis management framework and differentiate between crisis management/tactical response (immediate horizon measured in weeks) versus strategic response (up to 180 days and onwards).
- Be responsive to future opportunities and challenges that will come from change by constantly scanning forward.
- Ask yourself what New Zealand will look like at the end of this time and how consumer behaviour and technology use will change permanently as a result.
- Focus the legal team and ask them how they will use their leadership across the organisation at an individual and team level.
- Ask yourself 'how can you help your lawyers bring their creativity and fierce intelligence to big and novel issues'?
- Ensure that you as general counsel/chief legal officer have a panoramic view across the organisation and are constantly allocating resource and reprioritising work as appropriate.
- Undertake risk analysis to plan how to right-size and right-source the legal function based on potential future footprints for the organisation.
- Put peer review and oversight structures in place especially for less experienced lawyers who may feel overwhelmed giving novel advice at fast pace.
- Put your own seatbelt on first - look after your own wellbeing and your family so you can effectively lead.
- Your team will move through the grief cycle at different rates. Everyone will have bad days and it needs to be safe for them to share this.
- In leading your team, be upfront and communicate clearly. Be understanding and realistic about productivity expectations especially for those with additional challenges in their lives.
- Try to keep things normal where you can e.g. training opportunities, acknowledging life events.
- Remember that lawyers are often so committed and hard-working that you might need to remind them to take breaks and not over-work due to no work/home separation.