Megan Spanner is the Executive Director of Relationship Management at Manley Deas Kochalski where she collaborates with MDK’s lawyers across practice areas to expand the firm’s business with new and existing clients, identify emerging legal issues and industry trends, and launch business development initiatives. Learn more about her in this Women Who Wow feature.
What do you love most about what you do?
One of the best things about my job is that it represents years of my personal development and growth. When I first started my career, I entered in as a paralegal, but my interest in client development led me to an opportunity to begin working in that area. As they say, the rest is history. Today my role encompasses relationship management, sales and marketing. I love that I have been able to create a team of talented people that are dedicated to supporting each other and producing excellent results. Together we achieve continual growth for the firm and ourselves. There is nothing better than being part of an amazing team.
What do you think is the key for success in a role like yours?
I have found that the key to success is the ability to take on the responsibility for making challenging decisions. In order to be effective in decision making it requires the willingness to gather the input of those most knowledgeable about the subject and engaging with stakeholders. There is a surprising amount of personality management that can go into decision-making and implementation. However, the most soundly made decisions balance the priorities of those most impacted to achieve high value for the organization.
Any advice to women about succeeding in the workplace?
It is unfortunate that this is still a valid question to ask, but the reality is that women seeking career growth often face an uphill battle in the workplace. My advice is to take the time to define what career success means to you, rather than being defined by stereotypes. It may be the case that women and men can take different approaches to problem solving, communication and other common workplace interactions. However, there is value in our differences and a variety of paths to reach success. Believe in yourself and your abilities. Don’t be afraid to advocate for yourself.
What do you wish you could tell your younger self?
Hindsight is a beautiful thing! If I could give my younger self advice, it would be to worry less and put your energy into finding your passion. The challenges that come up at the beginning of adult life are often opportunities to examine the battles that are worth fighting. Ask yourself, will giving attention to the things that worry you lead to a resolution that contributes to your goals? Focusing more on pursuing passions, continually learning and developing a strong support network will lead to satisfaction in not only your career, but more importantly in your life outside of work.