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BCG Fish. What is the main difference between coming in as a Project Lead and a Principal?

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Comp: P1 pays 25-35% more. Expectations are commensurately higher. Examples: Staffing: PL typically running 1 case or part of a big case with 2-3 A/Cs and either P3/P4 or executing partner (XO) oversight. P running bigger case with 6-8 PL/A/Cs under and may have more limited XO support or running 2 cases +2-3 each, likely only 1 with a PL. Platform and constellation: PLs should be developing a plank or 2 (eg recurring clients) and 1-2 partner groups that can keep them busy. P1/P2 should have the makings of a full platform (industry, function, client), a team that will always staff him/her first, and broader support from swath of practice area who would look to him/her if their #1 is slammed. Sales: Neither has commercial targets, but Pa should be a key purchase driver for their main client (“We can wait 2 weeks to make sure we get Amy”) Internal: Ps are more or less required to tone heavily involved in training, interviewing, or career development committee in addition to leading practice area topics. PLs get involved in much of that, but not as heavily.

Coming in as a lateral Principal is quite tough unless you have a clear area of expertise that is commercially in demand or existing sales relationships. PL still tough but much more forgiving for laterals.

Thanks everyone. I'll go for the PL level.

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