Lee Beall: Finding Next-Gen Leaders at Rea & Assoc.


NextGen participants spend 12 months developing skills and one major project.

By CPA Trendlines Staff

Rea & Associates logoDeveloping leaders from within the ranks of his firm is by far the top practice management issue for Lee Beall, chief executive officer of Rea & Associates, a central Ohio area accounting and consulting firm that generates more than $35 million a year.

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Beall and his leadership team first became aware of the need to internally cultivate leaders a few years ago, when, he recalls, “We looked at our employee base at the time and didn’t have a clear picture of who would be the next generation of leaders in our firm. This was a sobering reality.”

Today, Rea has a set goal of selecting Beall’s replacement as CEO from an internal pool of candidates and committed to not looking outside for new leadership positions.

“If firms simply ignore the responsibility to identify and develop leaders within, the success, future and sustainability of these firms will be at risk,” Beall says. He adds that leadership impacts most all of the other key practice management issues, including mergers and acquisitions, finding and retaining good workers, and meeting clients’ changing expectations.