Growth Habits for Emerging Leaders and Ambitious, Career-Minded Professionals

However well organized the foundations of life may be, life must always be full of risks”

-Havelock Ellis

Professionals who are moving into firm leadership positions are generally expected to do a variety of things. They need to be technically solid with a good knowledge of industry rules and regulations, personally adept at managing others, self-driven with a sense for adding client value, strategically minded with an understanding that growing the business is necessary to drive profits, and on and on it goes.

Too often, these expectations come without support, which should be readily available to all eager young persons in a firm through training, mentorship, and coaching. Still, there are no excuses. A professional career, as opposed to having a job, if indeed that is the aim, depends on being able to navigate difficult leadership demands that will move you forward professionally.

Success is habitual; getting good results as an emerging leader comes from taking personal risks supported by positive habits that are formed daily. Doing so will enable you to grow as a coach, business developer, technician and strategist.

Habit One: Get Comfortable With Being Uncomfortable

Personal growth stretches us more than we can ever believe and leads us down many unfamiliar paths. These paths create discomfort, and, though it would be easier to say no to the pain, it’s important to embrace the risk, especially when personal growth is at stake. For many accountants the idea of growing a book of business is one of these pains. It ranks right up there in the Hall of Fame of fears such as public speaking, failure, rejection and heights. Yet many of the most successful Rainmaker Academy graduates (and there have been thousands) are quiet, unassuming, introverts with a strong desire to grow and a determination to take on risks, challenges, and fears along the way. The next time uncomfortable happens, take stock of how it may help with your growth and decide to stretch yourself. The risk is worth the rewards.

Habit Two: Show Up and Work

A mentor early in my life advised me that doing two simple things would help establish my career. One day, while working at his store, an intense, caring look came over him as he looked right at me and said, “Show up and work. You will be ahead of most people in life.” Too many people do neither, so at the very least these two things place you above the average and make you much more likely to make progress toward your goals. Be where you need to be at the time that was agreed (or earlier) and put everything you can into the work in front of you without getting involved in office politics and other inconsequential things that divert attention away from impactful work.

Habit Three: Getting Is In the Giving

Many accountants resist putting effort into moving beyond their understanding and comfort with tax code and audit regulations. Or they become self-insulated and refuse to share knowledge and expertise with others for fear of being overtaken. Yet those who dare to try, to push beyond what is known and what comes easily, are rewarded with leadership roles, firm partnerships and are sought after by mentors in their firm. It may be cliché, but the amount of success you have in your career will be directly proportional to how much focus and effort you give to the pursuit. This habit of effort is especially important during times when you need to risk moving out of a comfort zone.

Time flies through the daily grind. Those who choose easier routes, staying within their comfort zones and the things they already know and understand, earn a certain level of achievement. But the others who go farther and risk failure develop new skills and achieve things that were once only dreams, likely surpassing what they thought was even possible in their careers.

Next Steps

For more information about Leadership development skills and how to best employ them in your role,  please Contact Us to schedule a complimentary phone consultation. The Rainmaker Companies can help you Grow Your FirmGrow Your Practice, or Grow Your Self.

Patrick Pruett – Executive Vice President at The Rainmaker Companies