Partners, has anyone struggled at the manager level being responsible for delivery and oversight of a project, but thrived when you reached the senior manager / principal / director level, when you are partially involved on multiple projects and providing guidance as opposed to day to day management?

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I think my job is easier as a partner in many ways than it was as a manager. The demands and expectations are greater of course, but the role plays much more into my strengths. And I have access to senior level talent that can address my weaknesses instead of needing to be the person who adapts to some other partner’s style and needs.

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I didn’t immediately have an optimized team. But one thing I also did before becoming a partner was that I built good peer networks and helped out anyone that I could at all levels. So when I became a partner, I knew a ton of people and also had a good sense for the skills of many of them.

Self-awareness also helps. I know where I need to have others fill in for my weaknesses and I embrace that.

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I’m not a Partner, but I would seriously doubt it. The Director / Partner level just adds on sales responsibilities; it doesn’t actually remove delivery ownership

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Yea this is what i hypothesized but still wanted to ask

It is usually the other way round mate. Managing multiple projects can be a lot more stressful because you need to meet the same expectations as earlier but with much lesser time commitment from you. Not straightforward delegation anymore but instead about inspiring the teams, having appropriate guardrails, and being able to pick up on early warning signals without having the luxury of spending much time to truly go into the details on each project.

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Agree with SM1 - most of my guidance comes from good or bad past experiences (what worked, what didn’t). It’s hard to beat experience, as it acts as your frame of reference in many situations.
I’m not calling you out on your self-evaluation, but if you were really that good at D1s description, you would very likely already be doing it today. It would come naturally to you and you’d be outperforming peers due to it.

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Yes. I’ve gotten much better and effective the further I got away from detailed project management. Some people’s skills are in organization and tactical things but can’t move beyond that to the strategic and people management. I’d say I was a bit of a late bloomer in that I probably was forced to do a lot of things I wasn’t inherently good at before making Partner. I wasn’t bad but they didn’t come as easily as it does now. Now that I can delegate all those things and focus on coaching and developing others, I can spend most of my time where my talents and interests are best focused.

likeuplifting

This describes almost exactly my experience too.

likeuplifting

Great question

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Partners who bring in significant sales can do anything they want. (except illegal activities or that which would expose the firm to reputational risk)

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Guidance with accountability I assume. Sales responsibilities increase, but day to day delivery tasks ease up. Some people find a way to stay afloat without doing much - which is tougher at M since you need to make shit happen.

Agree with this but would clarify that I (and I assume P1/P1 above as well but don’t want to speak for them) was still a very strong manager, but have found a better niche personally as a partner. Said another way, I know precious few people who were not successful managers who made it up the chain all the way.

But there are many types of partners, and some I know were GREAT managers or even directors but are struggling with life now.

I would also say, honest and reflective/meaningful self-awareness is going to be an asset in any case.

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