What successful managing partners do By Robert J. Lees and August J. Aquila How to Engage Partners in the Future The problem is that in the majority of CPA firms there is no clarity around what being a managing partner actually entails and, specifically, what managing partners should do to create and sustain their partners’ commitment to actively participating in delivering the firm’s future. Our research involving in-depth interviews with 150 managing partners at the world’s leading firms identified that the truly successful managing partners share three key activities:
Plus: 4 keys to tie pay to performance. By Robert J. Lees and August J. Aquila How to Engage Partners in the Future Partners are the culture in a professional service firm – what they believe, what they reward, what they do and how they do it determines what and how things get done. Partners are the owners – they, and they alone, are responsible for the firm’s vision and its implementation. Being a leader means each partner must:
Nine reasonable entitlements and 15 misconceptions, bad ideas and outright abuses. It’s a privilege to be a partner in a CPA firm. Not an entitlement. Too many partnerships seem to operate as if they had it the other way around. And, in most cases, those partnerships don’t usually make the best CPA firms. Marc Rosenberg has seen his share of dysfunctional firms. They are no better nor no worse than the people who run them. Get these 24 points of partner roles and responsibilities correct and your firm could find a renewal in spirit and in growth.
And the eight ways to give core values real business value. By Robert J. Lees and August J. Aquila How to Engage Partners in the Firm’s Future When we talk about having a compelling vision, we don’t just mean the simple, well-crafted statement you find in a lot of firms. For a vision to be compelling, for it to persuade the partners that they want to play an active part in making it a reality, a vision must have four elements:
Nine questions to test your mettle. By Robert J. Lees and August J. Aquila Creating the Effective Partnership Not every CPA firm can be the market leader. But every firm can strive to be the best at everything they do.
How the best managing partners gain commitment. By Robert J. Lees and August J. Aquila Creating the Effective Partnership In the very best firms, the partners debate the options and, while it is incredibly rare for every partner to agree with every single aspect of the vision and strategy, the partners agree to line up behind the ultimate decisions.
Finding the perfect compensation system By Robert J. Lees and August J. Aquila Creating the Effective Partnership the right things. Every compensation plan should be constructed to help the firm enhance its ability to service clients, achieve its strategic goals and attract, reward and retain the right people. If a firm’s plan does not accomplish these objectives, it needs to be restructured.
Goals alone won’t won’t get you there. By Robert J. Lees and August J. Aquila Creating the Effective Partnership Many leaders believe that people remain focused and committed to their performance goals if the goals are clear and compelling. However, that’s not our experience with accounting firms. According to Franklin Covey’s “The 4 Disciplines of Execution: Achieving Your Wildly Important Goals,” team engagement and accountability are necessary to maintain commitment to goals and we are firmly in this camp.
Monthly meetings may be the solution. By Ed Mendlowitz “Tax Season Opportunity Guide“ Question: There seems to be disagreement among our partners on important issues in running our practice and we never seem to have time to discuss it or work things out. We are a three-partner firm with 15 employees and no one is designated as managing partner. Answer: A suggestion is to have monthly partner meetings out of the office and an annual retreat. Both of these have been covered previously but I will add some new ideas here.