5 Traits of Ineffective Leadership

Three businessmen in conflictAnd 8 ways to cope with them.

By Rex Gatto

Over the years I have encountered many people in leadership positions who are totally ineffective. Why? Is it because they are not bright, not passionate presenters, and/or not able to build strong relationships?

MORE: Successful Tax Seasons Require Teamwork | 7 Habits of Lousy CPA Firm Leaders
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Generally these characteristics alone do not condemn one to a lifetime of ineffectiveness. In fact, the ineffective leader could be very bright, articulate and benevolent or well liked but still ineffective.

Successful Tax Seasons Require Teamwork

High angle view of business people stacking hands in a teamwork gestureFive questions to ask.

By Rex Gatto
Gatto Associates LLC.

Here are a few inconsequential misstatements to begin:

  • Keywords that partners use like pride, commitment and quality of work for the client are words to get staff to work harder for no more money. Ouch!
  • True teamwork (staff working effectively in a niche/department) means the partner can blame some of the problems on them. Double ouch!

MORE ON LEADERSHIP: 7 Habits of Lousy CPA Firm Leaders
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Now having capitalized on some bad humor, let’s look at some simple definitions to begin. These definitions can change according to your firm’s structure.

Seven Habits of Lousy CPA Firm Leaders

Red 7 facing green 7Plus the flip side for successful leaders.

By Rex Gatto
Gatto Associates

Do you ever wonder how some people get promoted to a leadership position? Who did these people know to become a partner or director of tax in the firm?

MORE GATTO:  The New Leadership Skills You Need to Make Partner in Today's Accounting Firm   |    COMMENTS: Gatto Responds to “Ethics or Profits?”   |    How Leaders Lead in Tough Times

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Billions of dollars are spent on training present and future leaders: there are special events for partners at prestigious universities, full-day trainings for partners and managers. But how is that benefiting the employees in the workplace? READ MORE →

COMMENTS: Gatto and Kless Respond to “Ethics or Profits?”

Howard Wolosky's guest commentary, "Are Ethics and Profits Mutually Exclusive," has sparked some feedback by a couple leaders of the profession.

Rex Gatto, Ph.D. at http://rexgatto.com:

Howard: As always, you present interesting and thought provoking questions and insight. What has happened to our sense of integrity and loyalty? Do we focus on greed and competition or do we focus on what is in the best interest of our firm, community and nations? We need to find leaders who will go against the current events of the day to be role models for ethical behavior. It is difficult to turn around a nation that is going in the wrong directions but it can be done in our communities and cities and work upward. CPAs are trusted advisors who care and want to support their clients. Who are the inspirations leaders who are being inclusive rather than exclusive to pull a wounded economy and national together is the macro question. The micro question is can people in a profession such as CPAs provide the ethical leadership and direction that is needed. CPAs can and should provide ethical leadership while working with their clients, guiding them to do the right things. Ethics and profits can concurrently exist in a healthy and correct way.

Ed Kless at http://www.verasage.com and www.choosegreat.com:

The answer to your headline question is a resounding NO!

As George Gilder demonstrated in his 1981 masterpiece Wealth & Poverty, profits are an index of altruism - the other centeredness of the business. Oil companies have been highly profitable because they create great value for their customers.

What you are talking about if FRAUD. Fraud and 99% of all business do not go hand in hand. The most despicable thing that has come out of the past few months in the ever increasing belief that businesses and business people are all evil frauds. The overwhelming majority are not.

Recovery demands that we reverse the thinking on this. Regulation along will not do it. I am with you that transparency is absolutely needed. The reason is it turns us all into potential regulators.

No matter what laws are passed there will never be a governmental agency that can uncover all fraud. No should the elimination of all fraud by the goal, it is just not possible.

Life is risky! If zero risk is the goal, you should end your life now!