Pure Lucht
Leadership Lessons Learned by John Lucht

The title alone catches your attention (and by the way, I don’t recommend asking your assistant in an email to “please order 10 copies of Getting Naked”). If you’ve never heard of the book, the title may seem controversial:  Getting naked refers to allowing yourself to be completely honest and transparent with your clients. But it’s the message this book gives in a very quick read that sets it apart from other business books about passionate client service.

The book emphasizes that the foundation of any relationship is trust and that trust can be developed by being vulnerable and operating outside your comfort zone. This message is delivered via a story about “Goliath” and “David” consulting firms and points to...

A little over two years ago, I assumed the role of Managing Partner of Smith & Howard, an Atlanta accounting and advisory firm. Having been with the firm almost 20 years at the time I became Managing Partner, I not only understood the foundation for the firm’s success, but wanted to make sure that during my tenure, the firm would keep the foundation and build upon it.

The transition into my new role was gradual, and I worked closely with our co-founding partner and then-Managing Partner, Jim Howard to make sure our clients, our employees and our leadership team were comfortable with Smith & Howard’s direction.

The experience has been enthralling, challenging and at times exhilarating. More importantly, it has...