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Leading An Accounting Firm by Troy Waugh

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16Synergy and Alignment: One Plus One Equals Three

“Great players are willing to give up their own personal achievement for the achievement of the group.”

~ KAREEM ABDUL-JABBAR

Accounting firms are made up of many talented professionals who must work independently yet together. Even when partners agree on values, mission, and vision, it can be difficult for leadership to keep everyone moving in the same direction. How can leaders build momentum within their firms? How can the firm leverage a reputation for vision and growth to attract the best and most talented people? How can leaders create an environment that attracts the most desirable clients? How can leaders, managers, processes, and team members be so aligned with the vision, mission, and values of the firm that the whole is larger than the sum of its parts?

Terry Snyder, president of the accounting firm alliance PKF North America in Lawrence, GA, says, “We’ve all walked into a client, a vendor, or a customer, and there’s a certain harmony, a certain rhythm that exists. You know you’re someplace that’s successful. Our goal here at PKF is to create that rhythm, that harmony, so when somebody walks in, they experience that magic.”

In this chapter, we’ll discuss a variety of ways to achieve synergy within your firm. First of all, I’ll warn you that forward motion will create friction. The great leaders anticipate friction long before the friction or problems occur. We’ll discuss how leaders adapt and learn from crisis in their ...

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