Pure Lucht
Leadership Lessons Learned by John Lucht

We are often reminded (and usually by someone in charge) that if we want to succeed, we have to “go the extra mile.” While this is true, I have found that an extra mile looks very different from person to person. As with any other clichéd instruction, clarification and a mutual understanding of what the extra mile means is critically important for success. 

As a leader, you have some pretty strong responsibility on the front end to define and guide that “extra mile” and to help others understand what an extra mile looks like to you.

Culture is the foundation. You should already have created a culture that sets a high standard for quality, whether it is quality in product...

In October 2015, I wrote about how instead of (or in addition to) being a boss, leaders might want to consider being a mentor. At the time, I said, “Though not every boss can or will be a mentor, I believe that adding a mentoring aspect to one’s role of boss is one of the most positive things you can do for your career and for those with whom you work.” January is National Mentoring month and January 19, 2017 is Thank Your Mentor Day. I thought this would be a good time to circle back around to how important it is to be a mentor (and how fortunate you are if you are or have been a “mentee”).

 A...

A resolution is “a firm decision to do or not do something.” If you made a resolution and someone told you that you had only a 10% chance of actually seeing it through, what would you think? I would think that my resolution was probably not realistic. And I would be right.

Many of us make obligatory, though well-intentioned, New Year’s resolutions. I urge you to stop and reconsider. Statistics show that only 8-12% of New Year’s Resolutions are actually accomplished. And almost all New Year’s resolutions fail by January 15. Not exactly a record of success, is it?

Instead of making a New Year’s resolution, I encourage you to look at the year ahead. What do you hope to...

Leaders develop leaders who develop leaders who develop…..you get the drift. One of Smith & Howard’s values is Perpetuity and Leadership: We desire that the firm transcend generations and be a place where future partners can succeed.  This was in full display at our holiday party last weekend, where our founding partners, a retired audit partner, current partners, emerging leaders and future partners all gathered to celebrate a great year. 

Jim Howard and Joe Smith spent their careers serving clients and cultivating the future leaders of the firm. We continue to do this today, working to make sure our current leadership keeps our values top of mind in all things, and helping our future leaders develop and learn what has...

Today (October 16) is National Boss’s Day. What an odd thing, to make celebrating one’s boss an obligatory day. Of course, there are national just-about-anything days, including National Bagel Day, National Candy Corn Day and National Coffee Day (now there’s one I can learn to appreciate, as many of you who know me well see me with a cup of Dunkin' Donuts coffee daily). While I don’t think employees should ever feel obligated to celebrate their boss because there is a national day for bosses, I do think it’s worth the boss’s time to consider what would make him or her worth celebrating.

By definition, a boss is “a person who employs or superintends workers” and “a person who makes...

Leaders come in all shapes, sizes and from all walks of life. Their experiences and paths to leadership are as varied as their histories. And many leaders, as I’ve discussed in previous posts, are atypical leaders. They don’t lead companies or divisions or departments. Sometimes, as in the case of Anne Frank, they lead by saying what others can’t or won’t say and often in daunting circumstances. That Anne Frank did so beginning at the young age of 13 is impressive. And that her set of circumstances were the worst that humanity have seen make it all the more remarkable.

Along with her family, Anne spent most days – from 8:30 in the morning until after 5 in the evening...

I am very pleased to present a guest post by Steve McCullough. I have known and worked with Steve as a client for over 8 years.  We have a common interest – Georgia Gwinnett College – where I serve on the Foundation Finance Committee and Steve is an accounting instructor. As you’ll understand when you read Steve’s post, he is a natural teacher and extends his passion for teaching beyond the walls of a classroom to every employee at every level of the companies he works with. (John Lucht)

Let Them Play Their Symphony

I’ve never been one to ever consider myself successful in my career, but I guess I would have to say that since I’ve...

I think many leaders – especially those new to leadership roles – feel that they need to maintain a tight hold on their role as leader. They sometimes think that relinquishing leadership for a project or over a customer or client matter to someone else may indicate a lack of confidence, knowledge or even disinterest. In my experience, it is almost always quite the opposite.

It takes a tremendous amount of confidence (in another person and in one’s own “skin”) to be able to turn over leadership of something to a colleague. Why? Because 1) There is risk involved in failure. The person could fail to lead well, and the project could fail. This could put business relationships,...

A recent article in Accounting Today talked about “Bully Bosses.” This ties directly to my earlier post about leaders who are either bulldozers or tillers and applies to all businesses, not just accounting firms. The article’s author lists a series of questions for leaders to ask themselves to find out if they may be viewed as a bully leader.  For starters:

Do I…

1. See my employees look at their shoes when I ask for input?

...

As I thought about this topic, I did what I usually do when I need a kick-start for writing a post: I Googled it. My Google search term was “not everyone is a leader.” As you see from the screenshot below, that search brought up 111 million (yes, million) results. That told me two things. 1) The topic had been well covered and I was probably wasting my time; and 2) I found myself disagreeing with my own topic after I reviewed many of the articles I read.

google image search results leadershipHere’s my perspective. At Smith & Howard, we have about 100 people. We have quite a few official leaders:...

Pages