Monday, July 25th, 2022

What Are You?

“You teach what you know, but you reproduce what you are.” – Howard Hendricks

Partners and managers teach younger, less experienced CPAs. They teach them tax, audit, and accounting. They guide them in gaining the technical knowledge to advance in their careers.

Old Bob, the firm’s ancient tax guru partner, helps younger CPAs better understand tax. Yet, everyone knows he’s off-limits when it comes to participating in the mentoring program. He rarely leaves his office. He doesn’t market, sell or participate in community and charitable events. Do you want a bunch of Bobs as partners?

So, re-read the quotation above. It applies to many CPA leaders (who are role models). Yes, they have accumulated great knowledge and experience over many years, and they strive to teach that technical knowledge to the young people entering the firm.

Here comes the BUT! But, do they set a good example to go along with their technical abilities. Here are some things that partners do that puzzle the interns and new hires:

  • They don’t have a set schedule and are often absent from the office.
  • They do a lot of personal business during work hours, such as taking care of their “other” businesses and handling financial activities for relatives (non-paying relatives).
  • Play golf quite often in the summer with non-clients.
  • Don’t return client phone calls promptly.
  • They say they have an open door policy, but their door is often closed.
  • They never attend firm functions such as the holiday party or summer picnic.
  • They work from home more than the staff does.

As a firm leader, think about what you are and not just about what technical knowledge you have.

  • "The greatest reward for your actions is not the respect you gain from others but the respect you gain for yourself."
  • T Jay Taylor

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