Making Partner: Today’s 15 Essential Skills and Traits

Do you have what it takes? Bonus: Six boxes to check off, and seven tough questions.

By Marc Rosenberg

What is the right stuff to earn a promotion to partner? This is one of several questions that if asked of ten partners from different firms, you may get ten different answers.

MORE: Why You Might Want an Executive Committee | How to Specify Managing Partner Duties | When Votes Must Be Taken, What Are the Options? | Ownership Percentage and Capital Accounts | 5 Key Reasons to Have a Partner Agreement

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I have worked the following script dozens of times at partner retreats: I ask the group what it means to be a partner and write their responses on a flipchart. When we’re done, one of the partners yells out “Oh no. None of us qualifies!” And because the truth is often said in jest, this retort is no joke.

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Why Non-Compete and Non-Solicitation Covenants Matter

Businessman sitting in office and reading documentsBONUS: A sample agreement.

By Marc Rosenberg

“Non-compete” and “non-solicitation” are two terms often used interchangeably. Though they are similar, there are important differences.

MORE: Why You Might Want an Executive Committee | How to Specify Managing Partner Duties | When Votes Must Be Taken, What Are the Options? | Ownership Percentage and Capital Accounts | 5 Key Reasons to Have a Partner Agreement
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For the sake of brevity, we use the term “non-competes” to refer to both covenants.
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Why You Might Want an Executive Committee

Business people having meeting10 specific duties.

By Marc Rosenberg

As firms evolve in size, many things need to change.

MORE: How to Specify Managing Partner Duties | Handling Pay During the Disability of a Partner | Why Voting Isn’t Such a Big Deal | What’s in a (Firm) Name? | Protect Your Business with a Solid Partner Agreement
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One of the biggest changes over time is how the firm is managed.
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6 Questions for Planning Your Succession

August Aquila: "Holding on too long is the most serious sin you can commit."Make your planning spell SUCCESS.

By August J. Aquila

It’s no surprise to anyone thinking about retiring or selling a practice today that the number one issue they face is finding someone to take over the practice.

MORE ON GREAT PARTNERSHIPS: 7 Issues in Partner Retirement Planning | Solving Underperforming or Dysfunctional Partners | The 3 Types of Partners You Need | How MPs Can Make a Real Difference | 5 Reasons That Leaders Fail | 11 Things All Partners Must Do | Why Partners Need Written Goals
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There is a definite shortage of buyers and those who are buying are becoming more and more selective. Many firms will find that it has now turned into a buyers’ market.
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The Toughest Job in the World: Managing an Accounting Practice

5 arrows curving upward5 tips for better firm management.

By August J. Aquila
What Makes a Great Partnership

Wanted: Managing Partner

Requirements: Unique individual who can lead a group of independent-minded professionals; keep some semblance of normality; deal with super egos, unproductive partners and dysfunctional partners; grow the business, stay competitive in a rapidly changing and unfriendly environment, and figure out how to compensate everyone fairly. Interested parties should send resume and salary requirements to Box AA.

Why would you want this job?

MORE ON GREAT PARTNERSHIPS: Do Your Partners Pay Their Own Way? | 7 Keys to Becoming an Equity Partner | How and Why to Achieve Partner Unity | How You Can Get Partners to Change | Are You Driving Your Best Partners Crazy? | 7 Warning Signs for Your Firm | Don’t Weed Out the Roses | Back to Basics: 25 Ways to Grow Your Practice | 3 Ways to Halt a Poor Leader | 8 Financial Ducks to Line Up Now
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Managing a practice today has never been more difficult, but it doesn’t mean that it’s impossible or not rewarding. It all depends on your focus and your willingness to solve the important problems at hand.
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11 Things All Partners Must Do

Two businessmen discussing a projectIt comes down to this: What does being a partner mean?

By August J. Aquila
What Makes a Great Partnership

Partners are the culture in a professional service firm – what they believe, what they reward, what they do and how they do it determines what and how things get done.

MORE ON GREAT PARTNERSHIPS: Do Your Partners Pay Their Own Way? | How to Become the Firm of Choice | Five Factors for Measuring a Partner’s Value | Why Accountability Counts | Communication Goes Both Ways | 6 Ways to Pay Partners | 8 Questions to Analyze Your Pricing
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But one of the problems we consistently hear about is the lack of clarity in what being a partner means. And in the absence of clarity, the partners typically fill the gap by doing what they think it means, with all of the differences of thought and behavior that inevitably brings. It’s these differences in behavior that result in firms failing to maximize their potential.
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