Are you identified early on and given little hints along the way and then "asked" to put your case? Or is it up to you to push the agenda? If you were a perfect associate but never mentioned it, would it just never happen? Do people ever get compelled to take it even if they DGAF?
Do you have to behave like a partner in waiting or is that a bit gauche? Can you recover your position in the race if you start off shit and a bit naive?
Is it really about anything more than being liked by the right people on quite subjective criteria?
I'm in-house 4life so no stake in it all, just curious.