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Leading An Accounting Firm by Troy Waugh

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9Challenging Personal Growth: Leading the Whole Person

“When the best leader’s work is done the people say, ‘We did it ourselves.’”

~ LAO-TZU

Although it is true that most of your partners and senior team members are extremely well qualified accountants, are they fully developed as people? Are they the kind of people who can carry and build a conversation with you, your other team members, and your clients? Are they devoid of quirks, poor manners, odd behaviors, and career-limiting communication skills? Some would call this being boardroom ready. A person who is well rounded and well spoken and understands social graces is a person whom clients will seek out for advice and counsel. A person who can only complete a tax return or financial report on historical data will limit himself or herself and your firm.

The challenge that many firms have is bringing in team members from a variety of experiences and family backgrounds. Some are well-rounded people, and some have been limited by their training, innate personalities, and blind spots. Rich Caturano, office managing partner, Boston, of the national firm McGladrey & Pullen, LLP, shares

I found out that I am an introvert, and when I looked at what my goals were in life, I determined that I’m not going to be successful as an introvert. If you want to be able to accomplish all of these things, how do you deal with that? So, that’s probably my blind spot that comes out in me every once in a while. And when it comes out, it means that ...

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