Hey, guys. Hope you all had a nice, relaxing holiday weekend. As you know, Mondays after a holiday weekend suck, especially if you hate your job. But there are accounting professionals out there who were probably champing at the bit to come to work today because they actually enjoy being there and being around their […]
Here at Going Concern, we’re especially fascinated by the ever-unchanging dynamic between grunts and the benevolent leaders they serve. That’s why when I saw this article pop up on some sciencey subreddit I follow for no discernable reason, I just had to share. Let’s jump right into “Shall we serve the dark lords? A meta-analytic […]
Welcome to Unpopular Opinion, a new semi-regular series on Going Concern addressing topics impacting the accounting profession from the contrarian perspective. Have an unpopular opinion to share? Get in touch. Note: opinions are not necessarily mine. Diversity and inclusion are hot-button issues not only in accounting but in the business world at large these days, […]
When I was in my late 20s, I was thrown into the managing editor’s seat for a group of weekly community newspapers in the Chicago suburbs, after only having four years of experience as a beat reporter. Not only would I oversee six news reporters but also a staff of sports and arts and entertainment […]
The following is sponsored content by Joey Havens, the executive partner of Horne, LLP, an Accountingfly Firm Partner. The world needs more leaders and the leadership gap is real. If we continue to believe as we have always believed, then we will continue to have narratives and stories like we always have. And, if we […]
Yesterday in the roundup, we learned about PwC's new leadership team in the US. It consists of 20 (!) people, led by Tim Ryan who announced the news in a LinkedIn post. The post is obviously scrubbed for an external audience, which is why it's fun that a source dropped us the internal email from […]
If we were playing the business buzzword drinking game with the following Facebook post, we'd be wasted before the end of this sentence. Grab your shot glass and let's take a look. Post by Deloitte. It's incredibly refreshing to see the Deloitte status quo ready to battle against the status quo for the sake of […]
If you recall, we wondered out loud last week who might take up the esteemed chair that will soon be missing Joe Echevarria's ass. As we know, current CFO Frank Friedman will at least keep the chair warm until the formal election process is completed. Now, we have a self-nominated contender who has thrown his […]
Like it or not, one day Millennials will take over the world.
As much as no one wants to admit it, being in a working relationship is much like being in a romantic one. Sometimes one side sits there waiting for the other to read his or her mind (OK, it's mostly her), someone is always pissed off about dirty dishes piled up in the sink and […]
E.D.G.E. stands for Evolve, Distinguish, Grow and Emerge – four key elements to ascend into your career as a CPA – and is a brand new, three day conference to give emerging CPAs an edge on their career development. Topics include refining your leadership skills, positioning your personal brand to get the results you want, and making the transition to a managerial role. Attendees will receive updates on tax, accounting & auditing, as well as financial/estate planning, and will have the chance to network with leaders in the profession as well as their peers.
The next generation of CPA leaders have the opportunity to refine and enhance their skills at the debut E.D.G.E. Conference, scheduled for Aug. 10-12 in New Orleans.
The three day event is the first AICPA conference geared towards emerging CPA leaders and is targeted at practitioners in public accounting and business and industry with 5-15 years accounting experience. Attendees will learn the strategies they need to distinguish themselves as leaders, how to grow their personal brand and will ultimately emerge with a leadership skill set to help further their career and steer the future direction of the profession.
“During the early stages of their careers, CPAs are often so consumed with the technical aspects of their jobs that they don’t receive training for the skills they need to get to the next levels,” said Allison Harrell, conference chair and senior audit manager, Thomas Howell Ferguson, P.A. “The E.D.G.E. Conference is structured to combine forward looking technical sessions with presentations that develop the soft skills that emerging leaders need if they want to take the next step in their career.”
With an agenda which boasts a wide range of topics covering six different focuses, attendees will receive a comprehensive educational experience tailored to their needs. In addition to technical sessions on tax, audit and accounting, attendees will get practical information on career advancement and training on how to refine their interpersonal and communication skills.
“This conference is a great opportunity for any CPA who wants to take the next step in their career but isn’t quite sure exactly how to go about it,” said Paul V. Stahlin, CPA, AICPA chairman. “I’m looking forward to meeting the next generation of CPA leaders and sharing my thoughts on the issues that are shaping the direction of the profession.”
The conference offers attendees an opportunity to learn from experts in the accounting profession and features over 30 sessions to choose from, including presentations from:
Ernie Almonte, CPA.CITP, CFF, partner, DiSanto, Priest & Co.
Tom Hood, CPA.CITP, CEO Maryland Association of CPAs
Brian Kush, CPA, CLC, president of Moxie Partners
Donny Shimamoto, CPA.CITP, founder of IntrapriseTechKnowlogies LLC
Paul V. Stahlin, CPA, AICPA chairman
The E.D.G.E. Conference will be held from August 10-12 at the Ritz-Carlton in New Orleans. The cost is $620 for AICPA members, $920 for non-members, which is the early-bird price, expiring on June 26th .
Here’s video of Donny Shimamoto (who we were honored to meet last month at Spring Council) talking about why the E.D.G.E conference is a great idea for everyone from senior partners to new hires. Find out more from the AICPA.
Let’s be completely honest here, when I heard James Quigley had worked on a book subtitled “Individual Action/Collective Power,” I half-expected this to be a handbook on how to get miserable shlubs to do your evil bidding for you while you abuse and humiliate them. After all, the man oversees an entire army of miserable green dot shlubs, surely he knows a thing or two about getting people to do things for you.
Lucky for Quigs and the inds behind As One, however, this book was nothing of the sort. More like Choose Your Own Adventure for leaders, which allows the reader to first determine which archetype of leaders and followers his or her group falls under. Featuring case studies (“inspirational” stories) with such big names as Apple, GE and Pixar, As One looks the why of these organizations’ collaborative efforts before taking on the how.
Deloitte spent two years studying effective collaborations and in the process defined eight archetypes of leaders and followers: Landlords & Tenants, Community Organizer & Volunteers, Conductor & Orchestra, Producer & Creative Team, General & Soldiers, Architect & Builders, Captain & Sports Team and Senator & Citizens. The main archetypes are strategically located across a circular axis, with Landlord & Tenants and Community Organizer & Volunteer anchoring the upper and lower poles. Conductor & Orchestra and Producer & Creative Team sit at the extremities of the horizontal “nature of the task” dimension on the west and east ends of the axis. The other four archetypes are hybrids, occupying the spaces between the main archetypes and combining some characteristics of each.
So this got me thinking, where would Caleb and I be on the axis?
As much as I would like to paint your dear Going Concern editor in a sycophantic, borderline psychotic light, “Dictator & Huddled Masses” wasn’t included in As One, so instead I used the easy chart in the book’s intro to answer a few simple questions about how our organization works. I have the creative freedom to carry out tasks the way I choose (as long as I don’t talk too much about the Federal Reserve), and we have a fairly small hierarchy given the size of our website and TPTB that rule over us. Instead of choosing the archetype I assumed we’d be (Producer & Creative Team), I went by the chart to determine we were most like Community Organizer & Volunteers.
From key characteristics:
Volunteers cannot be told what to do; they must be given the choice to join on their own terms. The persuasive message of the community organizer motivates them to join in the cause; and it’s that common purpose that inspires volunteers to make a difference.
[Volunteers] independently choose to follow the path of altruism or enlightened self-interest. Community organizers and volunteers may be passionate, selfless and dedicated, but, above all else, they are independent thinkers who, of their own volition, decide whether to get involved in a cause and for how long.
“A community organizer is someone who uncovers [volunteers’] self-interest,” says Jana Adams, the National Training Coordinator at the Direct Action Training Research Center. “They give [volunteers] an opportunity to work in their own self-interest and address problems in the community that they could not address by themselves.”
All of those key characteristics rang true with me, though I wouldn’t necessarily call making misogynist jokes about work/life balance altruistic. And I definitely cannot be told what to do, so another point to the book for that one.
As One allows the reader the opportunity to brand his or her own strategy, whether or not the current structure allows for such freedom. Unlike much of what one might encounter in public accounting or any other similarly-structured business, the free flow and adaptability of As One gives leadership the chance to form itself, mostly through analysis of what makes an archetype tick. Even miserable shlubs have a drive (be it money, stability, masochism or the perpetual carrot of becoming partner one day being dangled in front of one’s face), it’s how they are driven that makes all the difference. Point being that leadership isn’t about who can bark orders the loudest, despite how life in public accounting might make it appear.
Are we all so easily prodded into distinctive roles? Not really, and As One doesn’t attempt to do so. Its authors argue that life itself is a collaborative journey, and it may just be easier on all of us to accept that. Organizational structure doesn’t necessarily have to create a disenchanted workforce just in it for the paycheck, and recognizing the strengths and weaknesses of each collaborative group can actually help infuse a little pride in the job, or at least more willing participation.
As One isn’t a book about how to get people who hate you to do things for you, it’s about recognizing the individual power in each of us to accomplish collective goals, be that running a business or changing the world as we know it. It presents some awfully lofty goals but asks one very important question: what could we accomplish if we could unlock the power of As One on a global scale?
Some leadership changes for Deloitte are being reported in the DC area, as Gary Tabach will be the new partner in the charge of the Southeast region:
Gary Tabach, Deloitte LLP’s Greater Washington managing partner, has been promoted to vice chairman and regional managing partner for the accounting and consulting firm’s Southeast region.
He is replacing Maritza Montiel, who has been named managing partner of leadership development and succession.
Tabach now oversees some 10,200 staffers in 20 offices from Baltimore to San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Mr. Tabach still has to do most of the heavy lifting for his old job as he will remain the DC managing partner.
Ms. Montiel’s new position, managing partner of leadership development and succession, strikes as mysterious. That particular title gives the impression that she is “partner in charge of telling other partners that they need to lock it up or they’re fired”. If we’re in the ballpark let us know and keep us informed about any leadership changes for your office or region.
Deloitte’s Gary Tabach lands bigger regional role [Washington Business Journal (subscription required)]
New Deloitte Consulting CEO Plugs Magazine Lists, Shuns Facebook Fans
Deloitte Consulting has appointed a new Chairman and CEO, Punit Renjen, succeeding Douglas Lattner. This is good news because A) fresh blood is always a positive and B) it’s news that doesn’t involve “Deloitte” and “lawsuit” in the same sentence.
Not only that but this Renjen character seems like a go-getter:
“I am honored to lead the talented professionals of this great consultancy, particularly at such a challenging time in the marketplace,” said Renjen.
Worst economic conditions in generations? Bah. Watch Renjen take this economy out to the woodshed. Granted, that may involve all the non-Punit Renjen Deloittians abandoning any semblance of a life outside of work for the duration of his tenure but it’ll be worth it. Why?
“Our commitment to our people is best reflected in Deloitte being named ‘The Best Place to Launch Your Career’ by BusinessWeek magazine for two years, being named a ‘Best Firm to Work for’ in 2009 by Consulting magazine and perennially ranked on Fortune’s ‘Best Companies to Work for’ list.”
Perpetual inclusion on arbitrary employer lists put out by business magazines, that’s why! While that should put your minds at ease, Renjen manages to overlook the ever-increasing Facebook, and Twitter numbers, so we wonder if he’s really cut out for this job. Just seems like a disservice to the Green-dot fans out there, that’s all.
Punit Renjen Named Chairman and CEO of Deloitte Consulting LLP [Press Release]