As professionals master their craft and reach the highest levels of expertise and responsibility, they discover that in order to continue their career progress, they need to get involved in management and become leaders in their firms. The idea that those who are good at being advisors should focus on being advisors and those who are good at management should focus on management is overly simplistic and often harmful to both the firm and its professionals. Leadership is a quality rather than a position, and possessing leadership is both a privilege and a burden. Firms need many leaders from all parts of the organization.
Every professional should aspire to be an owner. That's the highest level of responsibility and achievement. While not all owners will manage, they should at least be well informed and perhaps involved. All should be leaders in some capacity, taking charge of various functions in different situations. Understanding what it means to be an owner, including your responsibilities as a manager and a leader, is critical to your career success. This also means that firms should be very clear with professionals on what exactly is expected of them and when.
Defining Owner, Manager, and Leader
Let's begin by carefully defining our terms. First, we will continue to use the terms owner and partner interchangeably to refer to someone who has a share of the firm and is actively involved in the business. The nature of ownership means ...