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News and Events » The 2017 Accounting Today MP Elite

Leadership is often seen as a mysterious art, and people frequently chalk success in high positions up to charisma or some other similarly nebulous and unmeasurable criteria.
 
That’s something of a copout, though. In the six years that Accounting Today has been compiling its list of the Managing Partner Elite, a number of common characteristics have emerged among the top leaders of U.S. accounting firms — characteristics that anyone can develop, regardless of how “charismatic” they are.
 
For instance, great leaders make plans.
 
Strategic plans. Succession plans. Staff development plans. Business development plans. Disaster recovery plans. To say nothing of employee benefit plans, 401(k) plans, tuition reimbursement plans, compensation plans, and plans to take some of their younger staff out to lunch.
 
Elite managing partners not only make all sorts of plans, they follow through on them, with careful execution and frequent updates that involve feedback from all levels of staff. They adapt their plans to changing circumstances, whether internal or external, and they use the revised plans to continue to shape an uncertain future.
 
Great leaders also hold themselves, their partners and their employees accountable for the successful execution of all of their plans, and they use clear, measurable criteria to determine success. (“We’re going to be great!” isn’t a plan; a plan is, “We’re going to be the No. 1 provider of cyber-security assurance in our state.”)
 
Planning isn’t the only element of a strong firm leader, of course. A belief in creating a unique firm culture is very valuable, as is an appreciation for the value of technology (though they don’t need to geek out about it), and they all put an enormous amount of effort into building up the people around them.
 
SOURCE: https://www.accountingtoday.com/news/the-2017-accounting-today-mp-elite?issue=0000015e-e8cd-d68a-af5f-facfd9ef0000


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