I will follow a generic approach that would apply to any consulting firm. It is a highly competitive environment within a consulting firm because the peer group is a highly intellectual bunch. So to shine in that lot takes a lot of hard as well as smart work.
Always remember that you need to do more that what is expected and better that your peer group. This is how you grow faster.
1. Project Delivery - Always ensure that your do an excellent job on the project. Put in that extra effort to ensure that your project deliverables exceed expectations. That means you need to have those skills to do that. So equip yourself with those skills through lot of practice and knowledge through lot of reading and analyzing. ( I always volunteered to take more than 1 project. This helped me to have the highest metrics in terms of chargeability.)
2. Client Feedback - Nothing can be as strong as a good client feedback. But do it in a genuine way and not my unnecessarily soliciting it from your client.
3. Assist in business development, practice development - Be involved in all these activities since it helps you stay connected and at same time you are aware of whats happening around you in the practice.
4. Networking - Very important to be networked well.
My story - Joined Accenture Strategy from a non-target B-school, to be honest a non-tier B_school. I worked hard by taking up more projects than my peers, working on lot of proposal design, practice development, helping in developing service offerings, recruitment etc. I became a practice lead in 3 years, replaced the person who was the existing practice lead. He came from one of the top 5 b-schools in India and had double my experience in years.
End of the day what differentiated me from others was my passion for consulting and strong work ethics. Trust me, very few have it. At the same time, meritocracy is not eveything. Being in the grapevine matters a lot too. So its for the individual to figure out as to how he/she navigates in this dynamic environment and creates a space for self.
Along with perks of being a top performer comes the negative side as well. You will develop lot of enemies within peer group as well as across hierarchies. I had situations where Lead Partners blocked my promotion even though I was rated No 1 in the peer group. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Rest you figure out once you start working in these firms. :)