Guest article by Geoff Smart

I’ve been consulting business leaders for well over 20 years now, and in that time, I’ve worked with some of the brightest minds across various industries. At ghSMART, we have helped many people reach the top of their field, and you may be wondering how we helped them. A professor taught me a tactic years ago that has helped me reach the top of my field. Now, I enjoy sharing this information with our clients.

Essentially, there are three roles in every profession – rainmakers, doers and trackers. The trackers are those who track other people’s work. They play an important role but will rarely leave a lasting impact on their field. Most people are doers, since they do the work that is provided to them by someone else. They’re also important, but they probably won’t reach the top of the field. Then there are the rainmakers. These are the people who are proactive and go above and beyond to achieve results. Rainmakers always push to reach their goals and often reach the top of their field in the process.

Just being a rainmaker is not enough to leave an impact, though. If you follow these eight tips, you’ll be well on your way toward success.

  • Go to the best schools you can while achieving the highest grades possible and establish your technical skills. You don’t necessarily have to attend the best school possible, but it does help.
  • Spend 20% of your time building relationships. Try to spend a day each week learning what concerns are affecting customers in your industry and work toward solutions.
  • Keep a list of your 50 most important relationships and rank them in order of importance.
  • Don’t do tasks or offer advice if it is outside of your area of expertise. If you don’t deliver great results, you will push your clientele away.
  • Improve your public speaking skills. On average, 95% of professionals are not confident when speaking in public, so the 5% who are confident usually shine on a regular basis.
  • Learn how to hire and delegate. You can’t do everything on your own, so you need to surround yourself with a team you can trust.
  • Price yourself high, but don’t get greedy. You know how much your work is worth and you know how much the competition charges. For desired results, clients don’t mind paying a little extra for good work.
  • Mentor others to become rainmakers. Your team will only grow stronger.

As a caring and courageous rainmaker, you will rise to the top of your field – while your peers who rest entirely on their technical skills will not.


Dr. Geoff Smart is the chairman and founder of ghSMART, a leadership consulting firm that exists to help leaders amplify their positive impact on the world. Dr. Smart and his firm have published multiple New York Times bestsellers. He stays active in his community and has advised many government officials.