What makes us take the steps we take in our career? What compels us forward?

It is a quality, a skill, or even just a vibe, that makes us stand out. It’s our secret sauce, our superpower.

Mine is my passion to put contracts at the heart of a commercial organisation, thereby unlocking sustainable and scalable commercial value.

In June 2016, I walked out of BT Centre and left a career of 15 years behind, determined to re-invent myself. Deep down I had a burning belief that I had more to give, something different to offer.

Although I started my career as a lawyer, I was never passionate about the technicality of law as such. I was more intrigued by the ability to help navigate businesses through the legal maze. That attraction made me leave private practice to join a Telco start-up: the ability to study the then new telco legislation and regulations in order to assist the business founders to establish their business. In turn, understanding the business opportunities and lobbying for regulatory change to create competitive advantage.

Connecting the legal with the business world.

Elevating commercial law concepts and principles as tools to use in contract negations. Leveraging agreed contract terms to manage and advance commercial relationships.

I looked differently at commercial opportunities and used a different toolset - the contract became my weapon of choice in my commercial armoury.

However, I also learned the hard way that unless my business partners were willing to embrace the different perspective I was offering, I was left standing on the sideline. A lonely - be it loud - voice.

I realised that unless contracting and contract management is firmly plugged into the commercial and business processes of an organisation, its value will remain locked. The cliché of contracts gathering dust proving to be true…

…until something happens and a frenzy of activity is unleashed to find the contracts, study them, figure out how their terms inform the strategy of action…

A business run based on re-active action cannot scale successfully.

And that’s when I embarked on a mission of change: making legal and commercial contracting integral to how business is conducted. 

It required getting my legal colleagues to feel comfortable of becoming key players within the core commercial processes. Helping them overcome the misguided fear that their specialist expertise would be diminished by lifting the veil and creating a legal front door.

Equally, I worked closely with sales, finance, procurement departments to get them to embrace fully the legal and contracting teams as business partners - not merely the go-to-departments when problems arose.

I became an internal transformer re-imaging how things are done along the contract lifecycle.

I became a contractpreneur challenging commercial thinking, re-imaging how business can be run, thereby unlocking commercial value and accelerating sustainable and profitable growth.

That day that I walked out of BT Centre was the day I unleashed my superpower and embraced my calling to work with organisations to bridge that legal and commercial world along the contract lifecycle.

It’s the path that lead me to join Deloitte Legal, a specialist team that shares my passion of enabling organisations to experience law in a different, more innovative way.

I truly feel I have come full circle and relish the opportunity to work with many organisations to have them experience the enormous value that gets unlocked through contracts and transforming the contract lifecycle.

If any of this resonates or has triggered your curiosity, please join me in the conversation or contact me: ppauwels@deloitte.co.uk * +447789895143 *