I originally approached him earlier in the year to talk about me coming in and giving a high level presentation of the key points to partners and staff I learned in researching and writing my book “What do Accounting Clients Really Want?” This presentation was to be done for no charge. It was just my way of sharing some valuable lessons and of course to promote the book.
It took me a while to get into his diary, but I eventually got an appointment.
He apologised for being 20 minutes late. I don’t mind that so much but why is it that so called C-level people think it is OK to be late for any appointment? I just don’t get it. It shows such a lack of respect for the person that you are meeting with. I (almost) ran from the other side of the city in pouring rain to make sure I made it in time for an appointment inhis office. Perhaps I’m ranting unfairly – but being late (I don’t think) is good form.
Anyway, leaving the above to one side, the chap I met with seemed like a nice guy. He certainly knew his stuff and no doubt is a good solid manager. He has made some difficult decisions in his tenure as Managing Partner and has made some good improvements to the way the practice operates.
But is this enough? I can’t help but think that the head of a professional services firm needs to be someone that can inspire and motivate the partners & staff. The firm head needs to be able to simply and powerfully communicate the story of the firm to their clients, prospective clients and the wider market. They also need to be someone who personifies the values of the firm. If the firm purports to be acting in the best interests of the client then does the managing partner visit clients on a regular basis? Do they ask clients questions about their views on business and bring back what they learn to the firm and share with the partners & staff?
I might be dreaming, but I really think the No.1 of the firm needs to be someone special – someone who is a leader not just a manager or administrator.
No offense intended – these are just my thoughts 🙂
Until next time,