Two essays on different aspects of leadership have recently been posted on the web. I think they are relevant to anyone who is (or aspires to be) in a position of influence. Accounting firm CEOs and managers as well as accounting professors should read on.
The two essays are, “How to Think and Act Like a Leader,” by Jack and Suzy Welch on Linked Influencers, and “CEOs Who Are Active On Social Media Boost Employee Morale And Their Company’s Image,” by Cooper Smith on Business Insider.
Being a leader changes everything. Before you are a leader, success is all about you. It’s about your performance. Your contributions. It’s about raising your hand, getting called on, and delivering the right answer.
When you become a leader, success is all about growing others. It’s about making the people who work for you smarter, bigger, and bolder. Nothing you do anymore as an individual matters except how you nurture and support your team and help its members increase their self-confidence. Yes, you will get your share of attention from up above—but only inasmuch as your team wins. Put another way: Your success as a leader will come not from what you do but from the reflected glory of your team.
I’ve known several professors who could never make the transition from skillfully presenting material to helping students learn. This transition is at the heart of the learner-centered approach to college teaching.
Cooper Smith gleans insights from research on CEOs and social media usage. CEOs who use social media have shifted the focus from themselves to the team. Employees feel inspired under a CEO who uses social media. Moreover, Customers and clients consider the company to be more innovative if the CEO uses the latest technology.
This is directly relevant to both accounting firm executives and accounting professors. I’ve talked with many executives and professors, almost all of whom don’t use social media in their professional lives. I hear comments such as, “I just don’t think there is anything in it for me,” and “I can’t identify the return on investment in social media.” They are missing out on a crucial aspect of leadership–shifting the focus from self to team through communication and sharing.
Robert Moritz of PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Stephen Chipman of Grant Thornton are leaders of large CPA firms who have learned this.
Debit and credit – – David Albrecht