“You cannot change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction overnight.” – Jim Rohn
Think about this meaningful quote from Jim Rohn. Can you see how it applies to you and how you go about improving and growing your accounting firm?
For example, you finally agree that you need to be TRULY paperless and become a digital firm. – – That’s the destination.
You work with your people to develop a roadmap on how to get there. You start down that road. Something happens (I won’t use the other “S” word), but things do happen. You get delayed, you encounter an unexpected obstacle. Some of the things you planned don’t work well.
By all means, change your approach. Learn from those who have gone before you and adopt some different ways to arrive at your destination.
But, do not give up. Keep focused on results and reach your destination.
Then set a new destination!
I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.
Then, yesterday, I read the above quote from @leadership freak. I think he’s identified the correct term.
In accounting firms, you do all kinds of things to motivate people. You GIVE them an extensive list of benefits. You GIVE them words of encouragement. You GIVE them flexibility. You GIVE them a cool workplace. You even GIVE them opportunity.
The question is, as a leader, do you INSPIRE them? Even if you are not officially in a leadership role, do you inspire your peers?
Don’t GIVE them things continually. Try BEING an inspiration. Be the leader who works hard but is always available to help others. Be the leader who does not complain about peers, subordinates or clients. Be the leader who is active in the community and has even been recognized for charitable and community work. Be the person who has achieved great satisfaction and success from being a professional working in the accounting profession.
Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.
“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” – Walt Disney
The Golden Rule, which is a good rule, for the most part, doesn’t always apply in today’s complex workplace environment.
Not everyone wants to be treated like “I” want to be treated.
These days training and development are all about, “One size fits one.”
The Association for Talent Development explains it this way: One size fits one is a movement toward providing learning to employees, clients, or children in a way that makes sense to the learner and not to the trainer, teacher or instructional designer.
CPA firm managers are often not very in-tune with the best ways to motivate and engage the people they supervise. In many CPA firms, everyone is trained the same and it is often a very long-standing aspect of the firm culture. Also, accounting firms do not spend enough money on educating and training their managers on how to manage PEOPLE.
One size fits one, acknowledges that people are motivated by immensely different things. For example, one person loves to be recognized publicly and another dreads being the center of attention.
Qualified managers (and partners) are good at understanding people and they adjust their supervisory style accordingly.
In an accounting firm, profitability is generally the result of the firm’s combined talents, business management skills, internal systems, and value proposition to its core clients. Therefore, many factors must be considered when determining the value of a partner to the firm, for example
What are the technical competencies of the partner?
Are the partner’s technical competencies up to date?
Are these competencies needed by the current client base?
Does the partner add value in other areas, such as leadership, mentoring, and so on?
Can he or she bring in business—the lifeblood of any organization?
Skills alone do not make a good partner. You must also look at the character of the partner, for example
Does the partner live the firm’s core values?
Do staff members want to work with the partner?
Is the partner ethical in his or her dealings with both staff members and clients?
Most firms are too small to have a partner justify his or her existence as solely an administrative, marketing, or human resources partner. Partners need to increase the economic value of the firm.
He goes on to explain that many firms do not conduct formal partner evaluations. They do not require partners to set goals.
Partners need feedback, including the managing partner, if they want to improve their performance….. or NEED to improve their performance.
Excellent firms don't believe in excellence - only in constant improvement and constant change.
Many firms have incorporated flexible work arrangements into their menu of offerings to employees. Some have been much slower to adapt.
Here’s an update from a non-profit organization called 1 Million For Work Flexibility. To keep your CPA firm competitive you need to learn all you can about the flexibility options available to talented professionals.
Here are some of the top moments of the year for flexibility listed below.
New Hampshire became the second state to make it legal for workers to request work flexibility. New Hampshire has an aging workforce and demographic. State Senate Bill 416 encourages younger workers to stay in (or move to) New Hampshire and work there so they can enjoy a flexible work arrangement that allows them to care for their growing families as well as their aging parents without worrying about bosses who might fire them for asking for flex. The bill’s sponsor believes that this isn’t just good for working parents and families, but for the overall state economy. New Hampshire follows Vermont with this type of “right to request” legislation, as well as the city of San Francisco.
New York City passed the Freelance Isn’t Free Act, which is said to be the first of its kind protection for freelancers. It requires written agreements for the timeline and payment of freelance work, with penalties for employer violations.
More companies, industries, and occupations are now offering flexibility to their employees. These 250 companies are shining examples of work flexibility in action. This list of the top companies with the most flexible job listings since 2013 (the “FlexJobs 250”) is based on an analysis of more than 40,000 companies and their flexible job posting histories in the FlexJobs database between October 1, 2013, and October 1, 2016.
The United State of Women, a summit hosted by the White House, showcased the importance of workplace policies that work for women. The inaugural event, attended by 1 Million for Work Flexibility, highlighted work flexibility and brought together thousands of people who are working to change tomorrow for women.
Work flexibility conversation focused on fathers. It’s long been clear that flexibility is crucial for working mothers, but the issue is much more broad. As part of its mission to demonstrate the far-reaching value of flex, 1 Million for Work Flexibility teamed up with supporters to co-host a special Father’s Day-themed event featuring scholar, international lawyer, foreign policy analyst, and thought-leader Anne-Marie Slaughter. The event focused on how we can shift the work and family narrative to include men and women in both corners, by valuing both care and competition, home and career in a way that benefits us all.
Launched in 2013, the 1 Million for Work Flexibility movement now has more than 100 coalition members including advocacy groups, think tanks, academic institutions, and businesses, as well as thousands of individuals demonstrating the many types of flexible work that are not only leading to happier and healthier workers, but also improving our economy.
Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach.
“Maturity is a bitter disappointment for which no remedy exists unless laughter could be said to remedy anything.” – Kurt Vonnegut
I must admit, I was rather shocked when I read that there is a course to help Millennials become adults. What a concept! It’s happening in Portland, Maine.
A therapist, Rachel Weinstein, and a former public school teacher, Katie Brunelle, saw the need and put together a one-day session offering presentations on subjects like time management and budgeting.
They launched The Adulting School to teach millennials how to be functioning grown-ups by showing up on time and paying their credit-card bills, etc. They followed up by hosting happy hour sessions to tackle skills like cooking and networking.
Many of you might think this is actually funny. My first reaction was OMG!
However, I can see the real need for something like this for new college graduates as they enter the world of work, especially public accounting. The organizers put it like this, “You’re smart and capable – Your education just didn’t provide you with all the skills you need.”
I have written and spoken about the fact that adulthood has been “pushed back” by the millennials. Think about it. The Baby Boomers graduated from college, got married, bought a house, started a family in their twenties. The Millennials are doing all of these things in their thirties – a ten-year delay.
It is a big transition from college to work life and building a career. Be sure to offer your new college graduates assistance on making that transition. Be open and honest about your expectations and be sure they have someone to talk to about their new life (a coach or mentor). Time management could be just the beginning course.
Maybe your CPA firm needs an Adulting School. Maybe some significantly older people need an “adulting” course!
Over the years I have observed that many accountants, as they move up the ladder inside growing CPA firms, actually believe that once they become a partner, they will have it made.
As a partner, they will be able to do what they want and will not have to experience those horrible performance evaluations and goal setting sessions.
Maybe this viewpoint applied in the “old” days and perhaps inside some firms it still appears that partners have the privilege of doing things their own way and not being held accountable for following firm processes and procedures.
Inside the best firms, this is no longer the case. Partners hold the weight of the entire firm, it’s clients, it’s people and their families on their shoulders.
Inside the best firms, the managing partner coaches the other partners. They receive performance feedback, and they are expected to set goals and achieve them every year. In these firms, there are consequences for poor partner performance.
Remember, inside your firm, per David Maister, you have two types of partners.Which one are you?
If you are a partner, which one are you?
If you work for partners, you might be able to divide them into these two categories.
Things work out the best for those who make the best of how things work out.