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Firm lessons from Peter

Peter learned some valuable lessons at McKinsey. Read more on what he learned along the way of becoming an associate principle.

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Since I joined the firm in 2012, I have learned a lot of important lessons (which could fill a whole book); I will reflect on three that could be helpful for those who want to embark on this journey.

1. Your attitude is your greatest asset

At the firm, you are going to be pulled into situations that make you uncomfortable; you will learn new concepts, work with new people, and develop new skills. You may not get everything right away. This can be unnerving if you’re used to mastering everything you try quickly. The most important thing is to keep a positive attitude that focuses on learning. Take each opportunity as a chance to stretch yourself. A positive attitude is contagious and it makes the people with whom you’re working more comfortable and excited to help you achieve your goals.

2. Don't underestimate the power of force multipliers

In the military, we used to talk about force multipliers: small factors that make a huge difference in the outcome of the task at hand. These things exist at the firm, too. For example, learning how to structure a document and aligning on the big messages with your team ahead of time can save you a lot of work on the back end. Seek these force multipliers and add them to your arsenal for a more successful – and balanced – life.

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3. Know something about something

Clients are increasingly interested in working with colleagues who have deep expertise in areas that are important to their bottom–line. Ensure you learn the broad consulting toolkit and core knowledge on a specific topic that you can continuously deepen as you develop.

About Peter

Peter is an associate principle based in our Lagos office. Prior to joining McKinsey, Peter worked as a physician and as a consultant to large organizations including the Pan–American Health Organization and the US Department of Health and Human Services. Peter is a graduate of Johns Hopkins and Harvard Universities. He has a PhD in Health Economics and Finance and an MBA.

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