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Leadership, Staff Development

Thanks to Mark Miller for this guest post, which coincides with the recent launch of his newest book, Talent Magnet: How to Attract and Keep the Best People. The book identifies three key elements for an organization to become a talent magnet. This article focuses on the first element, a Better Boss.

 

It’s fun to see different streams of work come together. I don’t know if you’ve had that experience or not. Let me try to explain the idea that’s stumbling around in my head.

 

I’ve been learning to lead for almost 40 years; I’ve been researching and writing about the topic for almost two decades. When I was asked to work on how we might win the war for talent, I was eager to learn and contribute, but honestly, I thought I ha...

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Leadership, Process Improvement

Guest Post By Dick Axelrod, originally published on dickaxe.cayenne.io.

 

  1. Unclear Purpose

 

Meeting participants are unclear about the purpose of the meeting or what they want to accomplish. Before holding a meeting, ask yourself what you want to be different for yourself, the participants, and the organization as a result of holding this meeting. Make sure you share this purpose with the participants. If you are a meeting participant and don’t know or understand the purpose of the meeting ask, “What is the purpose of this meeting?” at the beginning of the meeting. Then ask yourself, “What can I contribute to make this meeting productive?”

 

  1. Unclear Roles</li...

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Coaching, CPA, Leadership

Note: this article was originally published in the Minnesota Society of CPAs Public Practice e-Newsletter.

 

No matter what your role is, the first few months of the year are likely to be crunch time for one reason or another. If you’re in public accounting, April 17 marks the finish line for the annual race known as tax season. For CPAs in industry, the finish line may be closing your year-end, completing the audit, or filing quarterly reports if you have a year-end other than Dec. 31.

 

Unfortunately, it’s easy to get caught up in survival mode this time of the year. But don’t settle for mere survival this year. Instead, use these th...

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Leadership

Despite the constancy of change in today’s global marketplace, the environment for change in many organizations is unfriendly at best. Few organizations have the appetite for change found at Facebook, Google, Amazon, and other innovative firms. I work extensively with CPAs, CFOs, and other technical professionals; a group not known for its propensity to change.

 

As a leader, you recognize that when the pace of internal change lags the pace of change in the external environment . . . well, it’s not good news. But what do you do in a context that resists change? How can a leader initiate and navigate change in a change-averse industry or culture? Here are five approaches to overcome barriers to change in these situations.

 

1. Launch a “CEO f...

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Coaching, Productivity

As we turn the calendar to 2018, it’s time to set goals for the new year. But first, a quick question: How did 2017 turn out for you? Did you achieve your goals? Or was it another year of disappointment or unfulfilled potential?

 

Perhaps you’re searching for a structure for goal-setting that really works. Or, you simply want to freshen up your approach. Or, maybe you’re looking to add another tool to your toolbox for working with others. This article is for you. Here are five steps to achieve your goals in 2018.

 

1. Get clarity on your personal foundation

 

Setting big goals is pointless if you don’t have a strong personal foundation. I like to say, “You can’t build a skyscraper on a foundation designed for a ga...

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Leadership, Strategy

More than half of finance executives in a global study by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and Institute of Management Accountants identified strategic thinking as critical to professional development for chief financial officers. These skills are just as important for CPAs in public accounting who want to advance in their careers or grow their firms. Strategic thinking is the key to delivering exceptional value in today’s rapidly changing, competitive business world.

 

This article describes the essence of strategic thinking and how it differs from traditional strategic planning, along with ways to develop strategic thinking and build it into your regular routines as a finance leader.

 

What is strategic thinking? </strong...

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Staff Development, Training

Mr. Joe Employee (not his real name, but a real story) showed up for his first day of work at ABC Company, somewhat nervous but excited to tackle the challenges of a new position. Although tired from moving halfway across the country the week before to work at this company, he was eager to get off to a good start.

 

Joe found it strange that the offices in his small department were dark and quiet that Monday morning. Thinking his anticipation had gotten him there a bit early, he found someone in a nearby department to ask the whereabouts of his new boss and teammates. A receptionist said she would make a phone call or two while Joe explored his new workspace.

 

No boss and an empty desk

Joe found his desk by noticing two cell...

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