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Posts Tagged ‘leaders’

I recently read a great article on Yahoo! Small Business entitled, “You’ll Never Hear Successful People Say These 15 Phrases.”  Each point made is very applicable to what we do in our profession.  I’d like to share each of the phrases in a series of three emails, five phrases described in each, so you can fully appreciate the message shared for each one.  These are taken right from the article, but I am Withum-izing a few where appropriate.  As you read through these, ask yourself if you are guilty of saying these phrases, keeping you from reaching your fullest potential… and then learn how to remove them from your vernacular. 

Here are some phrases you’ll never hear a successful person say:

1. “We can’t do that.”

One thing that makes people and companies successful is the ability to make solving their clients’ problems and demands their main priority. If a need arises repeatedly, the most successful people learn how to solve it as quickly as they can.  Withum is home to many great resources and connections, both internal and external.  There is likely no problem we can’t help our clients solve.  Instead of saying, “We can’t do that,’ respond by saying, “I don’t have the answer/solution to that question/issue.  Let me check with my colleagues and I will get right back to you.”  Reach out to a supervisor or PIC if you come across an issue or service request you think you can’t address.  It’s pretty likely you can.

2. “I don’t know how.”

Instead of automatically shutting down the solution-finding process, successful people learn what they must in order to succeed in a project or in their career. For example, you would never see a truly successful international business consultant who travels to Italy multiple times per year refusing to learn Italian. If you have a desire to do something, do what you need to do to gain the skills to achieve your goals. 

3. “I don’t know what that is.”

Pleading ignorance doesn’t make the problem go away. It just makes the asker find someone who is able to work with them to solve the problem. While it’s always good to be honest with those you interact with, finishing this phrase with “but I’ll find out” is a surefire way to become more successful. Again, Withum is home to many great resources and experts who can help you find the answer if you cannot do so on your own.

4. “I did everything on my own.”

The best people know to surround themselves with others who are smart, savvy and as dedicated as they are. The best leaders also know to give credit where credit is due, as due credit to you will always come back in hand. Recognize those that have helped you or made an impact and you’ll continue to earn success and recognition yourself.  As you know, at Withum, TEAM is what drives success and recognition, not ME.

5. “That’s too early.”

If there is a networking event, client meeting or prospect opportunity at the very beginning of the day, the most successful people do what it takes to be there. Part of being successful is being at the right place at the right time, no matter if you’re a morning bird or night owl.

Please consider these important points to help you be a more successful person, at Withum and in life. I look forward to sharing the other ten phrases with you in future emails.

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Welcome back from the holiday everyone.  I trust your time with your families was enjoyable.

Those WS+B professionals who attended the a recent Tax CPE were in for a treat that day, with Pat Williams, leadership author and SVP of the NBA’s Orlando Magic, providing an overview of his book, Leadership Excellence: the Seven Sides of Leadership for the 21st Century, the very book we have been discussing the past few months.  It was an inspiriting and energy-filled session.  I hope you enjoyed it.

Today, I will cover the fifth side of leadership described in the book:

Boldness.  “I sometimes endure excruciating periods of doubt and soul-searching, and I always try to play out the results of each alternative. However, once I make the decision, I move forward. Something clicks, and all my energies are applied to ensuring the decision works rather than fretting over whether it was the right one.” – Rudy Giuliani

I am a big believer in going with your gut, trusting your intuition.  There is definitely such a thing as ‘paralysis by analysis’ when you are taking into consideration too many opinions or wanting to make the decision that will make the majority happy, thus making you a popular, well-liked person… for the moment, anyway.

However, when you go with a decision that wasn’t truly your own, it will only hurt you in the long run. Your leadership is not authentic and those you lead will catch on.  As described in the book:

“Bold leaders make bold decisions. The role of the leader is to gather as much information as practicable, consult with key people, reflect on all the options, upsides, downsides, risks, and rewards…  Then decide.”

Pat Williams shares some practical ways that we as leaders can demonstrate boldness:

  • Take on audacious challenges, bold visions and extreme dreams – when we set out do to the impossible.
  • Dare to put our own careers and reputations on the line for a vision we believe in.
  • Take a stand for our beliefs and values even when the world is against us.
  • Accept responsibility for our failures, courageously taking our lumps instead of shifting blame.
  • Stand and fight when others run away.
  • Accept criticism without defending ourselves.
  • Step far outside our comfort zone in order to try something completely new.

In what ways have you been a bold leader?  Did you stand up for the values we as a firm (or you personally) believe in, facing a client or acquaintance who asked you to do something that was questionable?  Did you take the lead on an initiative that failed or that was not popular with your team, but you knew it was the right thing to do at that time?  Being a leader is sometimes a lonely proposition.  As long as you maintain your integrity and trust in the vision of the end goal, then you can feel good in having made the bold decision you made. And win or lose, you will be respected for it.

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