In traditional parlance, a rainmaker has been a
term used to allude to the Native American practice of dancing to encourage
deities to bring forth the rain necessary for crops. In summertime during a
drought, for instance, the rainmaker would dance and sing songs on the plains,
and this activity was believed by others in the tribe to magically cause clouds
to come and bring the life-giving rain.
In today’s environment, a rainmaker is someone
with a Midas touch who ‘magically’ brings new business and clients to a firm or
generates more revenue from existing customers and donors, and rain is a
metaphor for money.
Having a rainmaker on your team can be a huge
asset, as well as a liability. As assets, there is the obvious: rainmakers can
bring in unprecedented amounts of revenue into your practice, making money flow
through your firm like actual rain in a Mumbai monsoon. Typically, they are
confident individuals whose optimism is infectious, making sure your firm is
constantly high on positivity. Because they are very good at positioning you in
front of clients, rainmakers can raise the image of your firm, and make sure
that they close deals.
Unfortunately, rainmakers have a downside as well:
they are typical good at doing the job, not so much as explaining how they got
it done, which makes them poor mentors and teachers. They can be high
maintenance and arrogant, and find it difficult to work with people in
authority. The biggest disadvantage of rainmakers however, is that they are
well aware of their own importance to the firm, and can hold it hostage, making
outrageous demands and throwing huge tantrums.
Rainmakers are outgoing, social and well-connected
individuals, always looking to make connections and open new avenues for fresh
business opportunities. While all of us may not be Harvey Specter (the
rainmaker on the popular Netflix show ‘Suits’