Much as we see patterns in our lives emerge as we age, so, too, do trends in business reveal themselves with greater clarity as our careers lengthen. This has proven to be the case with the work I have done with partners, which now begins its second decade.

One interesting phenomenon has been the common attributes that separate the largest rainmakers from other partners in their firms. Although there is no clear line of demarcation, because of variances in rates and markets, those who generate fees above the $2 million to $3 million level will be the focus of this article, as that typically is a point at which many partners hit the originations wall. The skills that it takes to bust through that barrier often differ from those that were relied upon in building that quantum of work.

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