In this podcast we discuss the 3 career path options that consultants face once they become partners. We discuss each career path and what it means for a consultant’s career. These are differences that are crucial to know and understand because partner career paths that appear to be more attractive often lead to disappointing results. For example, did you know it is a really bad idea to emulate the career path of all the McKinsey and BCG partners who appear in the McKinsey Quarterly, BCG perspectives and HBR? This counter-intuitive podcast will explain why.

Many consultants don’t spend enough time analyzing and considering the implications of following each career path. They take a superficial look at who are the partners most known and respected within the firm, and try to emulate those partners. Yet, down the road, they often end up at a dead end.

We further address which partner career path you should follow if your goal is to become a CEO one day.

If you enjoyed this conversation we will be so grateful if you jump over to iTunes and share a quick review. It helps more people find us. 

Also a huge thank you for making “Strategy Skills” one of the most popular podcasts in the world for careers. 

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4 responses to 3 career path options for consulting partners

  1. Hi Ryan,

    You are right but the ultimate rule is still met.

    All rules are based on observations of data. Said data is plotted into a normal distribution, or any distribution. What we call the rule is typically the mean of the distribution. Yet, all means will have outliers since all distributions have outliers. Yet, the presence of an outlier cannot disprove the rule, since the rule (mean) cannot exist without the outlier.

    Ergo, they are not mutually exclusive since they are complementary.

    And there are always outliers. Yet, Ohmae never became a CEO of any company so the rule still applies in this case.


  2. I ask simply because Kenichi Ohmae was definitely a ‘Guru’ but also head of the McKinsey’s Japanese operations. I suppose the exception proves the rule/ career path descriptors are not mutually exclusive.

  3. Hello Ryan,

    Office heads will have power. They generally have strong client relationships.


  4. What do you consider the Office Heads for each of the firms? Administrative or Worker Bee?

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