Competence Only Gets You To The Dance

Professional service firms are crowded with bright people; However, the brightest do not always make partner. Why is that?

In my experience, highly competent professionals often think their technical dominance guarantees getting on the partner track.  They fail to understand that competence only gets them to the dance.  To be invited into the partnership involves several important and often unspoken expectations.  If you aspire to partnership or higher leadership within your firm, consider these for starters…

1. You may have talent, but do you have a pleasing personality?  Highly analytical people often undervalue the importance of being able to connect with and influence other people.

2. You may have expertise, but are you sophisticated?  Organizational savvy and how you represent yourself directly impacts how other people view you.  Make it your business to expand your understanding and knowledge of things beyond your work.

3. You may have the work ethic, but can you leverage the time and talent of others?  Demonstrate your willingness to let others do the work and the ability to restrain your tendency to do it yourself.

These three things may not get you an immediate advancement, but they are a great place to start.

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02-13-12

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