As an ambitious accountant or a lawyer, becoming partner is probably a key part of your career development plan… and why not? It’s what many of you been working for.
Working with leaders from a variety of industries across the country, I have a keen interest in understanding what it takes to get that coveted partner title; what skills are needed to take you from associate to partner. Whilst there are several leadership traits that are important, I have extracted 3, which I believe are essential to take you to that next level.
Building your technical knowledge or skill is a given can will earn you the respect you need to rise up the ladder. But… that’s not enough.
1. Build your communication skills – To become partner, your ability to interact with others both internally and externally is crucial. Start working on building your professional network externally, but also internally with those senior to you and those junior to you. Internal relationships are vital to earn the necessary support. Specific to do’s would be
- Take advantage of some communication skills development support either from a leadership coach or training programme.
- Become a mentor for others in your firm
- Attend networking events – who you know can important when it comes to being put up for partner
- Use Linkedin and other social sites to connect with professionals both within and outside of your industry
2. Focus on the business of your firm – At the end of the day, it’s all about the numbers for any business, whether it’s a law firm or an accounting firm or a consulting firm. To become partner, you must demonstrate to management that you are committed to growing the firm. Think like an entrepreneur and lead the way in performance by proving yourself with the numbers. A partner is expected to be ‘on their own,’ in terms of growing their side of the business. Be proactive, positive and energetic with a long-term view for the business and yourself… and use your communication skills to make your plans known. Think of your company as your own. As Partner, you are part-owner of the firm, so link its success to your success.
Having said that…
3.Ethics and integrity must be uncompromised – Whilst growing the firm’s business is important, it cannot come at all costs. Protecting your company’s reputation and your own is also vital. The words “do the right thing” must be the central part of your skills repertoire. You need to establish yourself as a role model within the company. Modelling the way by being just, ethical and responsible will earn you the respect you need for management to see that you are mature enough to make it as a partner and kick on.
Are you an ambitious lawyer or accountant hoping to get to partner? Do you want to get more clarity on what steps you need to take to get there? Book an Orientation Call today to find out how I can help you build your skills, focus and mental resilience to get to that next stage in your career. Or read more on my website about how my COPATM framework can open up creative and insightful ways of fast-forwarding your professional journey.
One of the services you might be interested in is my Big Picture Planning Service which is a 2-hour insightful walking and table-top session, where we discuss your current position, where you want to be in the next few years and what steps you need to take to get there.
As a leadership coach, I work with organisational leaders and entrepreneurs from varied industries to understand ‘what makes them tick’ and to find ways to help them understand themselves as leaders and what they can do to become better leaders and decision-makers. We work on specific strategies using a collaborative approach… and lots of time spent outdoors.