For any current partners, was there a time in your career where you felt "no way I have what it takes (e.g., sales skills) to be a partner"? What changed for you over time?

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This will sound arrogant, but no. I always figured I had what it took… but that I wasn’t there yet.

I started out with lousy communication skills and no selling skills of any kind. And I had no expertise. And no ability to manage large scale projects. Etc. But I knew I was smart and that I was very good at learning new skills - so it always felt like a matter of time if I was willing to put in the effort to build out my capabilities.

One suggestion: you can learn from the partners but you don’t have to try to be like them immediately or assess whether you can be one day. The useful question isn’t whether you have what it takes to become a partner. It’s whether you have what it takes (and the desire) to get to the next level. If the answer to that is yes enough times, you’ll one day wake up and find that you’ve become a partner too.

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Really appreciate this response and your growth mindset.

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I absolutely had moments like that throughout my career and frankly still do. They have gotten more fleeting with time and I got better at dealing with self doubt and the imposter syndrome.

I would say this:
1. Self-realization is a very important skill, which improves with time and experience, just like anything else. When I face self doubt, I take a step back and evaluate whether it is factual or driven by emotions. If it’s not factual, I put less value on that feeling.
2. I very much agree with P1 above. Being a partner, getting to partner, is not about being a lone superhero. This entire business is nothing but teamwork and relationships. The earlier you recognize this and learn how to work effectively with your peers and ask for help, the better off you will be.
3. Similar to 2 it is now always about knowing how to solve a particular problem. It is about knowing how to solve and with whom. Ambiguity is a big part of this job. Don’t let that ambiguity mess with your confidence.

I will leave you with this - you’re your own person. We are all different. I truly believe that what our most authentic selves bring to the table is what makes us better. So with this topic, or any other, do not get discouraged if most people have different perspectives. Consider all advice, but make it your own. The goal is not to become mini-me. The goal is to become the best you.

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No 😎

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Leaning on others in hard times and letting others lean on me when they need to.

Realizing I don’t have to have all the answers all the time and that my partners around me provide support and fill in the gaps that I have.

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Great question! I’ve thought this at every level but managed to pull through. Currently Director.

likehelpful

Astute observation

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Not since last Thursday 🥸

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Training my mind to not worry about things I do not control.

likehelpful

As soon as I figured out it was a team sport it wasn’t something I worried about (happened before making partner). Like with anything you’ve got to find your people and your team and if they are good you’ve got nothing to worry about

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Only for a brief period when I was a young associate . During new hire training - they recorded a video of my presentation and then ripped me apart in the critique . I don’t blame them - I cringed when I watched the replay .

Half way through my first project - I realized that literally no one in the team was close to the ideal we were taught in training , and people were all figuring it out on the job and learning new skills constantly . From that time, I never had any trouble believing in my ability to go up the ranks

A second crisis of confidence happened while preparing for the partnership process . My boss took me out for a dinner and explained everything one more time on how things work and I was ok again

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Someone else believed in me

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No

I was always told I was going to make a much better partner than I was an associate;)

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