Archive for the ‘Leadership’ Category

Thursday, March 16th, 2023


“Leadership is a way of thinking, a way of acting and, most importantly, a way of communicating.” – Simon Sinek

I received a message from Grammarly about an upcoming webinar about miscommunication. Grammarly is a very helpful tool for me. I hope you are using it at your firm.

Per Grammarly:

Workplace miscommunication affects a staggering amount of professionals. Our 2023 State of Business Communication report with The Harris Poll shows that 66% of business leaders and 53% of knowledge workers experience it at least once a day.

Those experiences create a whirlwind of negative impacts: 84% of business leaders cite lower productivity, missed deadlines, and increased costs.

However, effective communication can be just as powerful for decreasing stress, improving productivity, increasing customer satisfaction, and more. 

I have blogged many times about the importance of communication within CPA firms and have given many presentations on the topic. Click here to see all of the blog posts – read some of them and don’t let poor communication hinder the success of your firm.

  • How to write a good email: 1. Write your email. 2. Delete most of it. 3. Send
  • Dan Munz

Tuesday, March 14th, 2023

Go With Your Own Inner Voice

“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” – Steve Jobs

The following is a segment of a graduation speech given by Steve Jobs. I think it has a message for CPA firm leaders:

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice.

And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

  • Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.
  • Steve Jobs

Friday, March 10th, 2023

Flashback Friday – Leadership Flaws

“The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said.” – Peter Drucker

This Friday, take a moment to consider the Ten Fatal Flaws of Leaders. Numbers 1 and 2 seem to speak to the CPA profession.

  • The speed of communications is wondrous to behold. It is also true that speed can multiply the distribution of information that we know to be untrue.
  • Edward R. Murrow

Friday, March 3rd, 2023

How Skilled Are Your Managers?

“Setting an example is not the main means of influencing others, it is the only means.” – Albert Einstein

This week for the Friday Flashback, I am going way back to 2010 and a post that asks: Do you have magnificent managers? The sad thing is this post still applies today, 2023!

I know you are busy, but find some time this weekend to recharge your batteries.

  • Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, February 27th, 2023


“How can you have charisma? Be more concerned about making others feel good about themselves than you are making them feel good about you.” – Dan Reiland

A very simple question today. Do you have charisma?

I don’t think we often consider charisma as part of the job description for a partner. Or for a CPA in general. I have met many CPAs over my years in the profession. The most successful ones, the ones I grew to know and admire from various firms, had charisma. They are the ones who became a firm’s managing partner and then led that firm to amazing heights.

I recently read a description of charisma: Charisma is charm that inspires devotion.

Many CPAs have (or have acquired) charm. They use charm to build relationships with important clients. They use it to mentor younger CPAs. But a select few have charisma.

As a leader of a firm, how about you? Do you have it?

  • There is no personal charm so great as the charm of a cheerful temperament.
  • Henry Van Dyke

Tuesday, February 21st, 2023

Your Dream

“The moment that you begin to think ‘we are great’ your slide towards mediocrity will have begun.” – Jim Collins

Do you have a dream about what the future could hold for you and your firm? Most of us do, even if it is deep down inside us.

It would be great if we could accomplish that! I bet we could get that done! I would be so cool if we could just…….!

If you are old enough, remember when you read Jim Collins’ book Built to Last. He mentioned a BHAG.

BHAG is a concept developed in the book Built to Last. A BHAG (pronounced “Bee Hag,” short for “Big Hairy Audacious Goal”) is a powerful way to stimulate progress. A BHAG is clear and compelling, needing little explanation; people get it right away. Think of the NASA moon mission of the 1960s.

Many firms established a BHAG. I wonder how that turned out.

As for now, I hope you have a dream of what the future might bring. A big and exciting dream. My question for you is in this quote (via @leadershipfreak):

“Are the *habits* you have today on par with the *dreams* you have for tomorrow?” ~Alan Stein, Jr.

  • We must exert self-control in a world that is out of control. 20-mile march, 20-mile march, 20-mile march, day in day out.
  • Jim Collins

Monday, February 20th, 2023

It’s Not The Right Time

“Change ‘nots’ to ‘not yets.'” – Dan Rockwell (@Leadershipfreak)

The first part of Dan Rockwell’s tweet (above) describes what too often occurs inside CPA firms.

Have you said the following or heard the following from others at your firm?

  • The time’s not right.
  • I’m not ready.
  • The firm’s not ready.
  • Not this year.
  • That’s not for us.
  • It’s not what other firms are doing.

Times have changed and will continue to change. It’s happening rapidly.

Now is not the time to procrastinate. Change most of your “nots” to “not yet.” Or better, change your “nots” to “let’s do it now.”

  • Action will destroy your procrastination.
  • Augustine "Og" Mandino

Friday, February 17th, 2023

Flashback Friday

“Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest.” – Mark Twain

There are many things you should be doing in tax season, and there are many things you should not be doing. This Flashback post urges you not to do it!

  • I follow three rules: Do the right thing, do the best you can, and always show people you care.
  • Lou Holtz

Tuesday, February 14th, 2023

The Greater Practice Management Issue

“One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one’s work is terribly important.” – Bertrand Russell

I recently read a comment from Jody Padar, author of The Radical CPA, that I think CPA firm leaders need to understand:

It’s never been about the tech… the tech is a symptom of the greater practice management issue or business model problem. Everyone starts with tech but soon finds all the other things that need to evolve in order for true technology innovation to happen–

  • You're either part of the solution or you're part of the problem
  • Eldridge Cleaver

Tuesday, February 14th, 2023

Reminder – Webinar February 16

You’ve worked diligently and have built a glowing reputation grounded in your excellent skills in tax, accounting, and auditing. You’re known as the “go-to” person when a client is faced with tax and financial decisions. You have a very successful firm — but that’s not enough.

I am pleased to present a timely webinar titled “The Evolution of Your Firm From Compliance to Consulting” for Accountant Advocate.

The webinar will be on February 16th, 2023, at 11:00 am PDT, 2:00 pm EDT, and 7:00 pm BST.

Join me for an insightful discussion on:

  • Why change is now more important than ever
  • How to convince your partners to move out of complacency and embrace new challenges
  • Learn how to overcome the battles you will face with technology, talent, growth, and client services

Read all about it and register here.