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Leading An Accounting Firm by Troy Waugh

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5Preparation: Ready for Seizing Opportunity

“Spectacular achievement is always preceded by unspectacular preparation.”

~ ROBERT H. SCHULLER

Mother Teresa once said, “We can do no great things, only small things with great love.” When you take pride in perfecting the minor details of serving a client or handling an employee, big things begin to happen in a positive manner. Championship basketball coach John Wooden would invest the first few minutes of the first two weeks of practice demonstrating to every player how to properly put on his socks, shoes, and shoelaces. He wanted no slippage and no blisters taking any attention away from the important elements of the game of basketball. What things in your firm are the equivalent of teaching your staff how to put on their socks and shoes?

Leadership consists of both science and art. Proper preparation and planning is the science, and adapting to unexpected changes and seizing unexpected opportunity is the art. Some people invest so much time preparing that the project never gets launched. Others just seem to wing it. So, what is the proper balance between preparation paralysis and winging it? This chapter will give you tools to improve both the science and art of your leadership and preparation skills.

Keith Farlinger, CEO of the national firm BDO Canada LLP in Toronto, Canada, says that preparation is essential to seizing opportunities that lead to your vision.

You need to be aware of opportunities out there, but when there is an ...

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