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When I ask CPAs about their biggest operational challenge, their answers are remarkably similar. Nearly all have to do with how to deliver less-than-stellar news involving employee performance.
One of my friends who leads a small CPA firm expressed regret about hiring a bright young man who just couldn’t seem to get the work done on time. When I asked the managing partner how he handled the issue, he said, “Well, I gave him a very harsh review at the end of the year.” “How’d he take it?”, I asked. “Not well. He seemed upset and confused, and yet still nothing has changed.”
What’s wrong with this picture? Read more
As I consider the foundational components or requirements to scale a firm, one thing I would list is ‘Owner Health Activities.’ The more my partner and I grow our firm, the more important this becomes. I’m not only talking about working out at the gym, though physical health is a component. There is more to health than the physical aspect. Taking care of your mind can be a huge benefit as you grow your firm. The ability to think fast, think differently, think with others in the way they think, or think more deeply can make you a bullet-proof firm owner. And the emotional balance firm owners need during busy times, stressful times, and during elations is part of managing and maintaining health. Read more
There’s nothing firm owners enjoy less than an awkward, difficult, honest conversation with a team member. Yet have them you must. There are times when one of your employees isn’t performing well, is behaving poorly, or is simply tap dancing on your last nerve. Usually, the team member provides no help in initiating these conversations, because he seems to be blissfully unaware that anything is amiss. You’re totally on your own. What should you do? Read more
I was a middle school math teacher for eight long years. I finally quit teaching because I wanted to find a career where I could actually make a difference in the lives of others. That, plus I couldn’t stand those bastards.
As a teacher I worked with some amazing people. One of my fellow teachers taught a speech and drama class. One of the projects she assigned her students was to film a music video. Very cool. One group of students wanted to film their video on the roof of the school. Also very cool. She let them do it. Very cool? And she let them do it unsupervised. WTF? Read more