By Scott A. Heintzelman - I recently started a blog (Exuberant Accountant) and was surprised at the positive response. I received many emails and words of encouragement from all over this country and beyond. My new friend Bill Kennedy (Energized Accounting) and a current member of the Bloggers Crew, recommended me to the good folks at AccountingWEB.com. Since this is my introductory post, I thought I would share what I am about.
I want to post about the many things I have learned regarding employee engagement, mentoring young staff, advising business owners, running successful organizations… Much of what I have learned is the result of being a partner at one of the Best Places to Work in the state of Pennsylvania (McKonly & Asbury), learning from my many clients, and finally from the numerous business books I have read. Our firm has been a 2-time member of Inside Public Accounting Magazine’s All Star list. I think all of these things have made me a better advisor and a better partner. I hope to share these insights with you.
One of my favorite things to learn about and to discuss with others is the subject of employee engagement. As a CPA firm, we work in a profession known for burning through the young talent. I always felt we could do it better by investing in our employees and focusing on communication and respect; and this would lead to long-term success. I believe the results speak for themselves. We have doubled the past 5 years; we have opened 4 additional offices during the past 3 years all the while maintaining our Best Places to Work culture. I believe this success is a direct result of having engaged employees.
People often ask if I will share the secret for our success and I have to chuckle. There is no simple magic bullet. The kind of culture we have built is a journey; one that requires years of commitment and total belief that you win with people. I hope to share many of these insights to help others who desire to build a better organization.
A few books that I believe are foundational in building an organization of excellence would be Good to Great by Jim Collins and a couple of Gallup books (First Break All the Rules and Now Discover Your Strengths). These are three books we are passionate about and have in fact done book studies with our entire firm. The Gallup books are required reading when you join our firm. We also require the StrengthsFinder test of everyone. We believe you need to understand your strengths/talents (those things that come naturally to you) as well as your blind spots (weaknesses) in order to thrive.
Look for more posts from me regarding these very important topics. I welcome your feedback on this post or things you might want to see in the future.