Thursday, February 4th, 2010


Often when you (as a firm leader), suggest a new program, process or benefit for the firm, some of your partners will not immediately see the value. Perhaps they worry about the expense and/or the time commitment.

This often happens with mentoring programs. Mentoring is one of the most natural career development activities that happens inside a CPA firm. In fact, I believe it is the foundation of the CPA profession – – – an older, more experienced person teaches, guides and advises a younger, less-experienced person. It’s the way generations of CPAs have learned the profession, OJT (on the job training).

When you first suggest a more formal mentoring program, you might get “that look” and a flurry of questions from the partners (who you are asking to be mentors). How does it work? How much time will it take? How often do we meet? What exactly should I say to them?

Thanks to Boomer Consulting, you can see and hear me explain how easy mentoring is below. This was taped at last year’s Human Capital and Learning Symposium in Kansas City. I hope to see you at this year’s Symposium in a couple of weeks. Still time to register.

Also, I have a hand-out I share with attendees at my mentoring presentations, Five Questions Every Mentor Must Ask. Contact me if you would like a copy.

I think today’s post calls for a two-word quote:

“Know thyself.” – – Socrates


  1. Monica Lawver says:

    Hi Rita – love the video! Mentoring really can be that simple. Could I get a copy of the "5 questions"?

    I started to mentor a staff and senior on my own, letting them each know that we are the guinea pigs. The structure of our mentoring is pretty simple: One hour a month to talk about whatever they want. Progress on the CPA exam, interpersonal issues, career goals and interests, whatever! So far, it's been great. When I told the management team this, the response was very positive, and one manager commented: "One hour a month is not a big commitment." They shared this with the whole firm, so now every staff and senior has the option to ask someone to be their mentor. I think this is terrific!

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