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Archive for December, 2015

It’s hard to believe we have only a few days left in 2015.  What a great year it has been!  As the last message of the year, I would like to take this opportunity to share my gratitude and appreciation for the hard work, enthusiasm and continued support that has been demonstrated by the entire staff.  Everyone in all departments – from our Professional Staff (Staff 1’s to the PICs) to the IT Department, Finance, Collections, Human Resources and Marketing – have been running on all cylinders and putting forth best efforts, keeping our firm on a positive trajectory towards even greater heights in 2016.

Our clients, communities and the influencers in our profession are noticing, giving Withum high rankings in prestigious lists such as Accounting Today’s Best Accounting Firms to Work For; NJBIZ’s Best Places to Work in New Jersey for the eleventh consecutive year; Crain’s Best Places to Work in New York City for a third year in a row; Best Places to Work for in New York State for a third year; Inside Public Accounting’s Top 50 Firms ranking #28 in the country and #6 in the Northeast; Vault Accounting 50 ranking #15; and for a fourth year, New Jersey Law Journal’s “The Best of” Reader Polls winning in three different categories in 2015. Our philanthropic initiatives have also been recognized, being named a “Great Oak Awards Finalist” by New Jersey Monthly honoring the state’s most generous companies; winning a Philadelphia Business Journal Corporate Giving Award in its “Hands On Initiative” category for Withum Week of Caring; and being a finalist in CIANJ’s Companies that Care program. I sincerely thank you for your outstanding efforts.

The cornerstone of our success is truly the loyal and talented professionals who work here every day.  At Withum, our culture and commitment to providing a great work environment allows our professionals to grow and thrive in their careers, and also having some fun while doing so.  The Withum Way philosophy is indeed alive and well.  I hope you are looking forward to the big things ahead being launched at our State of the Firm event on January 11th as much as I am. There will be plenty of good things to share and celebrate, demonstrating why our firm continues to be one of the best places to work in the profession.

I wish you a very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous 2016!

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In today’s post, we will be covering the fourth topic from Jack & Suzy Welch’s book, The Real-Life MBA: Your No-BS Guide to Winning the Game, Building a Team, and Growing Your Career, which is: Leadership.

The word “leadership” can bring to mind a variety of definitions and images. Dwight D. Eisenhower once said, “Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.”  While that may be true at a 20,000 foot level, there are many more nuances which comprise the true meaning of leadership at a deeper level. The Welch’s believe that leadership can be boiled down to two simple things:

  1. Truth and Trust.
  2. Ceaselessly seeking the former, relentlessly building the latter.

Truth-and-trust leadership is an overarching approach – an organizing principle – that drives everything leaders do every day, whether they are in staff meetings, performance evaluations, strategy sessions, budget reviews and everything in between.

Truth is a determined pursuit, a personal and unquenchable fire, burning to know what is really happening inside the people – or the company – and out. Truth is bearing down on the assumptions, asking questions which must be answered with rigor. “Where did you come up with those numbers?” “What were the underlying assumptions that got you there?” “What was your thought process in making that determination?” “What kind of technology or situation could disrupt everything you are suggesting?” This is how leaders dig for the truth.

Trust is a muscle that is strengthened by daily exercise. In our world, trust amongst staff is generally developed during meetings. We talk about work and how to get it done, review the competition, devise marketing strategies. But meetings are huge opportunities to build trust if you do them right. This is the platform where you encourage open debate and praise courage when someone says or does something bold, counterintuitive or assumption-challenging. And to take it further, you (lightly) reprimand those who try to silence these ideas. Good leaders keep confidences closely, and in public conversations and private ones, make it clear that everyone is on the same team. They don’t tolerate gossip. And really important is that trust-building leaders tell the same story to everyone all the time. Everyone hears everything, and variations or discrepancies or attempts to spin differently for different audiences can cause trust issues.

Combined, the double helix of truth and trust cracks the code of leadership today.

I hope you enjoyed this installment of the thought leadership coming from The Real Life MBA.

Have a great week!

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