In yesterday’s post on ‘are you spending enough time on the stuff that will help you make partner‘, we talked about the importance of making time for the ‘sky blue’ types of activities. i.e. activities which are not chargeable, and unlikely in the short or medium term to lead to more chargeable work, but likely to be vital for you to do if you want to achieve the holy trinity of making partner:

  1. Grow your own client following
  2. Build a team beneath you to service your own client portfolio
  3. Step up to lead your part of the practice

However, all of these three things, will cause tension for you. So, why tension? Well, as a senior professional you could be expected to be highly utilised – potentially a 8+ daily chargeable time target. Building the capability to achieve the holy trinity will take you away from being billable. Hence the tension. However, if you are serious about progressing your career, you need to make time for activities which will allow you to achieve the holy trinity of making partner. So, what is this ‘other stuff’ which will allow you to achieve the holy trinity?

Growing your own client following:

  • building your own technical specialism
  • growing your network for life (see what should go in your relationship plan and have you ever mapped out your ideal network)
  • forging strategic alliances
  • helping to write tender documentation
  • contributing to pitches
  • spending time with clients and intermediaries who may be able to refer you to other clients
  • researching prospects
  • delivering presentations at seminars, teleseminars and webinars
  • attending conferences
  • writing blog posts, white papers and potentially even a book

Building a team beneath you:

  • recruiting in team members
  • setting direction for your team (see do you beat, attract or ignore your team)
  • supervising junior members
  • acting as a line manager to the junior members of the department
  • 1:2:1 on-the-job training for team members
  • team away days
  • running team meetings
  • mentoring junior team members (find out what’s the difference between a coach and a mentor)
  • reviewing junior team member’s work
  • briefing other members of your team to do the work

Stepping up to lead your part of the practice

  • taking on management responsibility
  • building a business plan for your part of the practice
  • joining a firm-wide committee
  • joining a practice task-force

Phew, have I missed anything off the list?

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