Leading Administrative Professionals
Apr 21,2015
You know that person. The person in your organization who makes you look organized when you aren’t. Who shows you how to do things on your computer (for the 100th time) you should already know. Who knows as much about the new fill-in-the-blank service or product you’re launching as you do. Who understands your customer’s quirks and preferences better than you ever will. Who is the gatekeeper for all those pesky calls. Who schedules their vacation around your vacation or conferences. Who meets you downstairs with that document you need but left in your office. Who does all of this with only an occasional thanks and probably an even rarer compliment. You know them. Your administrative professional.This week is Administrative Professionals Week and Thursday is Administrative Professionals Day. Take some time and thank your admin professionals today, tomorrow, Thursday and Friday. It will be hard to forget to do it, because reminders are everywhere. But take it a step further: thank them every week. Thank them when they reduce your stress. When they stay late without you asking. When they go the extra mile (which they often do) to meet your last minute deadlines. Give them specifics when you thank them....
The Road Not Taken
Apr 08,2015
Lessons Learned on Starting and Growing a Successful Career in One PlaceContributed by Sean Taylor, Partner with Smith & HowardTwo roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by,And that has made all the difference.If you are a poetry buff, then the first part of the title to this piece should stand out to you.  Robert Frost’s classic poem, The Road Not Taken, talks about coming to a fork in a path in the woods.  Our traveler is unsure about which way to go and wishes to have the ability to go both ways.  After examining the paths, our traveler cannot discern with clarity the difference in the paths and decides to take the one that appears to be the least traveled, and, upon doing so, concludes that this decision has made all the difference.So in today’s day and age, I pose a question for you.  When it comes to an individual’s career, which is better: staying in one place for many, many years or changing jobs with some frequency?According to a September 2014 economic news release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median number of years that wage and salary workers had been with...
Leaders Are Tillers, Not Bulldozers
Apr 02,2015
The dictionary defines a bulldozer as a “large, powerful tractor having a vertical blade at the front end for moving earth, tree, stumps, rocks, etc.” It also defines it as a person who “intimidates or coerces.”A tiller, on the other hand, is a machine or person that labors, “as by plowing upon the land for the raising of crops and to cultivate.”I could probably stop this post without further elaboration and readers would understand why one illustrates a true leader and the other doesn’t. But if it were that simple, there wouldn’t have been any readers who said to themselves, “Yeah. I am (or my boss is) a bulldozer.”I think there are lessons in the two examples for current leaders and those who aspire to be leaders. Let me explain.Picture a bulldozer, whose job is to muscle its way through dirt, rocks and anything in its way to get to its goal. While it may ultimately reach the goal, the destruction in its path can be substantial. And though someone may come behind the bulldozer to smooth over that razed area and make it look pristine, the pieces of earth and materials that were picked up, roughed up and discarded...
Vulnerability and Authenticity
Mar 27,2015
I recently read an interview from a Womenetics’ email (if you’re not a subscriber, you should be). The interview, titled “DeCan on Authenticity: Just Dance,” was with Maggie DeCan, the President and COO of HoneyBaked Ham Company of Georgia. DeCan believes that vulnerability and authenticity are important qualities in leaders, and I agree. Her own willingness to be vulnerable and authentic – whether it is in the personal telling of the story of her mother’s death or dancing like a seahorse instead of a dolphin in front of 300 people and owning that dance – are traits that I see in many successful leaders. Vulnerability means you own experiences and mistakes and are willing to be the “first one up” to talk about them. In DeCan’s view, this often creates followership.In 2008 as our firm began planning for our first-ever succession from our managing partner to a new managing partner, I was comfortably situated in my 18th year with Smith & Howard and enjoying my role as the audit practice leader. I decided to add my name to the list of partners that were candidates to be the next managing partner – a step that put me in a vulnerable...
Nonprofit Matters Post 2
Nov 13,2014
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Nonprofit Matters Post 1
Nov 13,2014
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nunc eu feugiat nunc. Vivamus venenatis, est ut sollicitudin cursus, neque ante lobortis sem, eget aliquam metus leo sed odio. Suspendisse potenti. Nam lobortis et tortor vitae finibus. Praesent vitae augue vel augue posuere sodales. Donec elit nunc, dictum eu lacinia vel, sollicitudin dictum leo. Vivamus vitae elit aliquam, placerat purus at, facilisis nulla. Fusce ultrices leo et leo ornare, ac porttitor lectus placerat. Duis mi sapien, facilisis nec eros eu, egestas aliquet justo.
Manufacturing Matters Post 2
Nov 13,2014
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Manufacturing Matters Post 1
Nov 13,2014
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nunc eu feugiat nunc. Vivamus venenatis, est ut sollicitudin cursus, neque ante lobortis sem, eget aliquam metus leo sed odio. Suspendisse potenti. Nam lobortis et tortor vitae finibus. Praesent vitae augue vel augue posuere sodales. Donec elit nunc, dictum eu lacinia vel, sollicitudin dictum leo. Vivamus vitae elit aliquam, placerat purus at, facilisis nulla. Fusce ultrices leo et leo ornare, ac porttitor lectus placerat. Duis mi sapien, facilisis nec eros eu, egestas aliquet justo.
Leaders Don’t Dwell on Wins or Losses
Sep 16,2014
You win some and you lose some. How you deal with wins and losses will determine quite a bit of your success.Billy Horschel won the FedEx Cup Tour Championship golf tournament in Atlanta this past weekend, pocketing $11.44 million dollars, a big victory for anyone. But just over a week ago, Billy made a blunder during another tournament that, had it gotten under his skin, could have cost him not only that tournament victory, but the opportunity to win the $11 million purse this past weekend.When asked how he was able to get past the prior weekend blunder, Horschel said, “I don't dwell on things that are bad… I look at the positives. I'm a positive guy. I'm a positive-outlook-on-life guy. So that wasn't going to affect me at all.”"…And listen, things are going to happen in life and in golf. The sooner you get over it, the sooner you can move on."What leaders – in business, sports or other areas of life – know is that “The sooner you get over it” applies not just to losing, but to winning. In both cases, it’s important to learn from the experience. Understand why you won or why you lost and...
What It’s Like to Wake Up as Part of the Number One Firm in the Nation
Aug 29,2014
Guest post by Julie Barnes, Director of MarketingWhen I joined Smith & Howard in late 1993, I was an administrative assistant, we had about 27 people, four partners and a small office in a small building on Peachtree Street. When I woke up this morning almost 21 years later, I was the Director of Marketing and was working for a firm that has almost 100 people, ten partners, has relocated twice in seven years due to growth and now occupies a large floor of office space in a Class A office building with a view of Atlanta that can’t be beat.But what is really stunning is that we were just recognized as the number one CPA firm in the country by INSIDE Public Accounting – a national industry publication that is the standard bearer for CPA firms across the U.S.  Number one. That’s “one” – as in the best.Stunning may be too dramatic a word, because it would imply surprise. I don’t think we’re surprised. After all, we have been working hard, setting, making and exceeding goals since 1971. But when you have invested a good bit of your heart and soul into a company (as we all have) and...