March 23rd 2016
You know how it feels: your gut is tight, your heart rate is up, your hands are sweaty. This is often what happens when you have to engage in a tough conversation with a team member. The hell of it is, you called the meeting, because you’re the leader.
February 10th 2016
January 21st 2016
As a leader, you carry unique burdens. But you can lighten the load and become better at your job by adding vulnerability to your skill set. Yes. You read that right.
January 11th 2016
Diving into a conversation that simply dumps your needs onto someone else may not be your most effective approach. Without some kind of softener like Hi, how are things going? or Is now a good time?, you are omitting an essential part of the equation: whether the listener wants to be engaged with you in that moment. Acknowledging what the other person wants or needs is a pretty good definition of both powerful communication and civility.
December 18th 2015
CPA and law firms can feel like secret societies. Executive Committees meet behind closed doors. Partners have their own exclusive retreats. The real requirements for becoming a partner are mysterious and undocumented. Somebody gets fired, everybody gets an email, and nobody ever discusses what happened.
December 7th 2015
Love at work is possible, practical, and productive. I’m beginning to understand, though, that it is not simply a goal — a plug ’n play entry into your current mission statement. If love is to be made real at work, it must be an outcome of specific thoughts and behaviors. Love is the result of Loyalty, Openness, Vulnerability, and Empathy. I know: these are not words you hear a lot in firms. But we have to start somewhere if we want to build strong cultures on something other than profit. Love is a great place to begin.
October 19th 2015
October 13th 2015
When I ask managing partners about their biggest operational challenge, the answer is often how to evaluate the performance of younger team members. They tell me that the young ones don’t know how to take criticism, which leads to uncomfortable conversations.