First, I want to express how pleased I am at the number of YOUNG people at this conference. The median age has to be ten years younger than it was just 2 or 3 years ago. This is extremely encouraging to see in the profession of accounting practice management!
Okay, so back to Steve, among the many gems he is sharing:
Leadership is a quality, not a position.
A great reminder! Some of his other key points are:
the #1 thing holding the profession back is lack of unity among the partners of firms
if he could do one thing differently about his practice (retired 5 years ago) it would be more careful client selection -- don't keep clients that abuse employees or that your team members dread working for. Frankly, he says, strong human capital is very scarce right now and is more valuable than any single client relationship.
he believes young people don't see themselves as successful in the accounting field:
little meaningful work for them, little clarity about how to become successful and advance (this vague fuzzy thing out there), poorly defined assignments followed by negative feedback (go figure!)
talk positively about your firm -- we know how word travels fast!
just as important as developing technical skills, we must encourage and support learning of leadership, business knowledge and personal skills
reduce internal competition for resources! people are frustrated being pulled in so many directions with less than enough time to do anything as well as they'd like and this is part of the reason the feel they are unable to really be successful