How and Why to Achieve Partner Unity

Businesspeople joining their hands in the sign of unity8 questions to determine your firm’s culture.

By August J. Aquila
What Makes a Great Partnership

I have worked with many firms in helping them build team unity, especially when the firm is undergoing a change in managing partner, merging or just trying to implement its strategic plan.

MORE ON GREAT PARTNERSHIPS: Why Accountability Counts | Fighting Restraining Forces | Chemistry and Mutual Respect Matter | Great CPA Firm Partnerships Begin with Trust | The 4 Best Ways to Use Pre-Retirement Partners | Work Together Better in 11 Steps | Drop Politics, Be Accountable | What Makes a Successful Strategic Plan? | Innovate or Die
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Everyone knows that partner unity is one of the keys for overall success and sustainability. And, we know the benefits of having greater partner unity than the next firm – better client service, less employee turnover, superior profitability.
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When Silence Is Golden … and Not

Businesswoman with hand to foreheadA cautionary tale about commitment for partners-to-be.

By Martin Bissett
Passport to Partnership

Ask yourself and answer these questions when considering the current and future “commitment” behaviors that you’ll employ.

MORE ON THE PASSPORT TO PARTNERSHIP: What Commitment Means Now | 13 Steps to True Commitment | When to Ignore a White Lie: A Cautionary Tale | Communicate Your Worth and Value | Best Practices for One-on-One Communication | Learn to Read Your Firm’s Culture | Experts Advise What Partnership Takes
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1 – What is my first reaction to being asked to work outside of my normal hours?

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What Commitment Means Now

Smiling woman with colleagues in backgroundDo you and your firm have the same perception?

By Martin Bissett
Passport to Partnership

The Passport to Partnership study collated a number of responses in a conversational style. The need for commitment is showcased below and was repeated many times in various different ways.

So many use us as a stepping stone and we’re now trying to determine who those are at the interview stage.

MORE ON THE PASSPORT TO PARTNERSHIP: 13 Steps to True Commitment | How Good Is Your Network? | RFPs: 7 Things NOT to Do | 5 Ways to Evaluate Your Communication | 7 Levels of Communication Management | 5 Ways to Get Buy-In for Firm Culture | Partnership: Competence Is Just the Foot in the Door
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Proof – if any were needed – that long-term commitment is not a given in the next generation of accounting professionals.
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13 Steps to True Commitment

Martin Bissett: "Make continual deposits in the goodwill account."What it means for partners.

By Martin Bissett
Passport to Partnership

Rising from senior manager to partner often means being promoted ahead of our peers and contemporaries. It creates a gap in earnings, stature and influence compared to those who just yesterday were our colleagues on a level playing field.

MORE ON THE PASSPORT TO PARTNERSHIP: How Good Is Your Network? | Shift Thinking from ‘We’ to ‘You’ | 7 Mistakes to Avoid When Going After New Work | Why Communication Matters So Much | 3 Questions to Evaluate Your Firm Culture | Competence: More Than Technical Skills | Are You Partner Material? Maybe Not
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It can also mean that if we are coming into a firm from the outside, we are being promoted over people who have served at that firm for many years and understand the culture of the firm a lot better than we do right now. We may have to lead these people as the head of a department and if so, they’d better be on our side.
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How Good Is Your Network?

4 happy co-workers looking at man's tabletBONUS CHECKLIST: 5 questions to evaluate your network and skills.

By Martin Bissett
Passport to Partnership

Ask yourself and answer these questions when considering the current and future “conversion” tactics that you’ll employ.

MORE ON THE PASSPORT TO PARTNERSHIP: Shift Thinking from ‘We’ to ‘You’ | When to Ignore a White Lie: A Cautionary Tale | Communicate Your Worth and Value | Best Practices for One-on-One Communication | Learn to Read Your Firm’s Culture
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  1. If I were to start today, could I name four businesses that I’d like to reach out to?
  2. What is our firm’s net fee growth goal this year and what can I do to contribute to it?
  3. What do I need to do to be able to handle the tough stuff like negotiation, pricing and handling objections? What start to learning these skills can I make today?

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Communication Goes Both Ways

Diagram of 2-way communication5 best practices on the way to greatness.

By August J. Aquila
What Makes a Great Partnership

The other elements of a good partnership won’t make much difference if there is not good or great two-way communication in the firm.

MORE ON GREAT PARTNERSHIPS: Chemistry and Mutual Respect Matter | Why Expectations Must Be Defined | Are You Driving Your Best Partners Crazy? | 7 Warning Signs for Your Firm | The Checks and Balances Your Firm Needs | Don’t Weed Out the Roses | Back to Basics: 25 Ways to Grow Your Practice | 3 Ways to Halt a Poor Leader | 8 Questions That Staff Ask In a Merger | 8 Financial Ducks to Line Up Now
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Managing partners and partners need to communicate frequently and effectively to make a partnership work.  Poor communication is often at the root of many a partnership’s problems.
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Shift Thinking from ‘We’ to ‘You’

Portrait of a cheerful businessman smiling at the cameraBusinesses place value on expertise.

By Martin Bissett
Passport to Partnership

Please start understanding, valuing and respecting your own value in the marketplace with clients who could not reach their goals without you.

MORE ON THE PASSPORT TO PARTNERSHIP: When to Ignore a White Lie: A Cautionary Tale | RFPs: 7 Things NOT to Do | 5 Ways to Evaluate Your Communication | 7 Levels of Communication Management | 5 Ways to Get Buy-In for Firm Culture | Partnership: Competence Is Just the Foot in the Door | Are You Partner Material? Maybe Not
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Businesses are in need – sometimes desperate need – of your technical expertise and caring approach.
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Chemistry and Mutual Respect Matter

Beakers containing colorful chemicalsWhy and how to evaluate chemistry among partners.

By August J. Aquila
What Makes a Great Partnership

Birds of a feather flock together according to the old saying.

MORE ON GREAT PARTNERSHIPS: Why Expectations Must Be Defined | Why Shared Values Are Important | Why ‘Walking Together’ Is So Important | 6 Ways to Pay Partners | How to Build a Better Firm Through Teamwork | 8 Questions to Analyze Your Pricing | 24 Points for AFTER the Deal Is Done | 5 Questions for Every MP to Answer Honestly | 6 Practical Ways to Innovate | How to Combine Two Firms after Merger: Carefully
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You can generally judge your chemistry with someone in the earliest minutes of meeting them. It’s often best to trust your first impressions, which are based on a lifetime of experience interacting with other people.
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When to Ignore a White Lie: A Cautionary Tale

Businessman covering face with handsHow well do you represent your firm?

By Martin Bissett
Passport to Partnership

The Passport to Partnership study collated a number of responses in a conversational style.

MORE ON THE PASSPORT TO PARTNERSHIP: RFPs: 7 Things NOT to Do | 7 Mistakes to Avoid When Going After New Work | Why Communication Matters So Much | 3 Questions to Evaluate Your Firm Culture | Competence: More Than Technical Skills
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The main example that really stood out as the major indicator of a need for each future leader to be able to “convert” new business is showcased below and was repeated many times in various different ways.
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