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Leading An Accounting Firm by Troy Waugh

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7Teaching, Coaching, and Mentoring: Multiplying Your Leadership

“If you want 1 year of prosperity, grow grain. If you want 10 years of prosperity, grow trees. If you want 100 years of prosperity, grow people.”

~ CHINESE PROVERB

All leaders teach; good leaders coach; great leaders mentor.

Everyone in a leadership role, whether appointed or earned, teaches followers. Some teach unconsciously simply by their modeling of professional behavior and technical skill. They do not realize how others may be learning. Some leaders teach positive traits, and some leaders teach poor behavior. Some followers take refuge under the poor leader and may say

▴ “Well, he doesn’t get his billing out on time, why should I?”

▴ “She doesn’t always agree with the other partners and will let us know.”

▴ “He treats staff members with disdain; why should I respect them?”

Good leaders are aware of their impact on others and actively teach and coach with purpose. This is probably my favorite chapter in this book. When I was asked to teach a monthlong new staff members’ class when I worked at Price Waterhouse, I was bitten by the teaching bug. I enjoyed the rush of others learning and applying the skills that I was helping to teach. I especially loved seeing some of the students years later and hearing them tell me all the things they had gotten out of my class. Over the years, I have worked hard to develop my teaching skills. Nevertheless, over the years, I noticed that teaching wasn’t quite fulfilling enough ...

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