Create a legal playbook for your department that defines key metrics and milestones, and ways to meet them. Provide incentives to your team and other partners to help meet the metrics. The playbook should include practical applications to different legal situations.
Develop strong relationships with your board members and key stakeholders within your organization. Keep them involved in the decision making process, creating open lines of communication and transparency. This may also help legal become more ingrained in high-level business operations and strategy.
The General Counsel often gives advice to senior management on important issues facing the company. With that in mind, it is ok to say no; however, the best course of action is often to provide a solution, rather than merely rejecting an existing option.