It is so easy to get caught up in short-term thinking, and find yourself doing nothing but work all the time. What you learn eventually is that clients find it so much more refreshing that you are a balanced person. It is amazing what you learn about a client when you say, “Can we not do that meeting at 6:00 because my six year old has baseball practice,” and they say, “You know what, so does mine.” I am someone who takes my work-life balance very seriously, and I’m very upfront and open about it. I can do that at McKinsey because as long as you serve your clients well, you’ve got a lot of flexibility when it comes to work-life balance.
Personal interactions with business leaders
I used to be a lawyer, and I’ve found that at McKinsey, consultants are able to build client relationships earlier on in their career than in a law firm or in an investment banking firm. Here, I have personal interactions with very senior executives who control very large companies with thousands of employees and large parts of economies. Those interactions are very rewarding.
Helping our client teammates succeed
I was recently on a team where for every McKinsey person, there were three or four client people who were primarily dedicated to a particular function, such as purchasing. The big final recommendation was very much led by the client folks. We worked with each of them on their presentations, and gave them a lot of coaching. Our role in that final meeting was as the convener – the client team led the meeting. A couple of them clearly viewed the final presentation as a very important career moment for them. It was very inspiring.
What ambition means to me
What ambition means for me is being successful at my work, serving my clients, and having the time to have dinner with my kids—those are my ambitions. The great thing about McKinsey is that you can define success in whatever way suits you best.
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