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October 31, 2019

I Work for an Accounting Firm and I Love What I Do

A few years ago, after watching one too many Law & Order episodes, I decided to go to law school. I had vague ideas of what I might want to do with my life, and law school seemed like a decent jumping-off point for a guy in his late 20s with a sociology degree and a bizarre-looking resumé. What I quickly learned was that law school was a very particular kind of beast. I don’t pretend to know much about accounting programs; in law school, though, you’re not judged by how well you do in your classes. Instead, you’re actively pitted against your classmates: a 3.95 GPA means nothing if you’re not in the top 10% of your class. While this is stressful enough, there’s also a subtle form of brainwashing I identified — and fell for — during that all-important first year: Big Law (large, corporate law firms).

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Topics: Growth, Full Potential, Culture Matters

October 17, 2019

How to Prioritize Your Growth When You Don’t Have Time

We hear it often. “I’ll prioritize <INSERT NAME OF LEARNING & DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITY HERE> after I work on this pressing deliverable.” It sounds like a plan, right? The problem is, for many of us, prioritizing our career growth and continued learning never actually comes. After one deliverable is met for a client, another is staring us in the face. 

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Topics: Growth, Life-Long Learning, Full Potential

May 16, 2019

Making ‘I Think I Can’ ‘I Know I Can’

I think I can...I think I can...I think I can. These are infamous words from a childhood story we all know well. The purpose of the story is to build up self-confidence in young children so they won’t give up when times get hard. This same principle can and should be applied to adults as well.

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Topics: Growth, Full Potential, Goals

May 02, 2019

The Power of a Performance Advisor

At HORNE, we don’t have “bosses,” we have Performance Advisors (PA). The PA role is designed to help accelerate our development through ongoing conversations that are timely, honest, constructive and transparent. We also have 2nd PAs, if we so desire, who serve as an additional perspective in the same capacity. Having a 2nd PA willing to invest in my development has always been valuable to me.

In my three years at HORNE, I have been encouraged and empowered by my relationships with my PAs. I use my voice to help shape my career, and we work together to set goals that are measurable and practical. My PAs assess my performance and progress along these goals, and so do I. We discuss and align our perspectives as needed, and I gain a solid view of where I am in my career, where I’d like to be, and where I can improve.

My PAs recently helped me uncover one major area for improvement – that is my need to be more willing to share the workload and delegate effectively.

Knowing that I had a desire to grow in the area of business development, we started by assessing new responsibilities I had assumed in that area. We quickly identified a concern of sustainability – could I keep managing my original responsibilities and the new without becoming overloaded? I admitted my reluctance to ask for help because I don’t like being a burden on others, but we explored the cost of me not choosing to grow in this area. Costs like seeing decreased performance, burning out, denying others a chance to use their talents and strengths or to learn new skills, and the increased frustration they may feel as a result.

My PAs challenged me with candor and compassion to replace my concerns of being a burden with more productive thoughts, to resist the urge to do something myself rather than delegate or teach someone how to do it. They challenged me to keep the bigger picture in mind, continue having conversations, and practice. I have a long way to grow in this area, but I will keep at it.

To all PAs, my challenge to you is to continue renewing your enthusiasm and commitment to bringing HORNE’s Continuous Growth Philosophy to life with your team members. Know them – help identify their strengths and area of passion. Focus them – be clear about performance and expected results. Engage them – build relationships, connect to the Wise Firm culture, help them understand the “how” not just the “what.”

Team members working with a PA, remember both of you are accountable for ensuring development-focused conversations about you take place and take place in the manner they are designed. I challenge you to be honest, transparent and willing to receive feedback. And remember, it’s what YOU do with that feedback that will make the difference in your career.

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Topics: Performance, Relationships, Growth, People Development, Goals

April 04, 2019

4 Habits Every Manager Must Break to Avoid Burnout

Managers are responsible for other’s performance and growth. It’s part of the gig. You can’t deny it, avoid it or hide from it. This means when we take on this role we must shift our perspective in a big way.

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Topics: Growth, Leadership, Coaching

January 10, 2019

Would You Make the Coffee?

I rushed into the breakroom between meetings to grab a quick cup of coffee, but much to my disappointment the carafe was totally empty. I took a quick glance at the Keurig sitting on the counter and contemplated making a single cup, but the thought was fleeting. I knew that in a matter of minutes someone else would do the same thing I was doing—stop by the breakroom in between commitments to refuel their tank and refresh their cup. No, I’d pass on the quick fix, and I’d wait the five minutes it would take to make a fresh pot. In the process, I’d help someone else avoid this small pause in their day.

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Topics: Servant Leadership, Growth, Leadership

December 13, 2018

Growing Yourself to Grow Others: Part 2

Leading others well requires constant learning and growing. To best develop our teams, we have to first be willing to develop ourselves! One of the best ways to learn is by sharing with and hearing from peers.

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Topics: Growth, Feedback, Leadership

November 29, 2018

Growing Yourself to Grow Others: Part 1

At HORNE, we believe that our people are our greatest asset and the best way to grow all of our team members is by first, growing our leaders. One of the ways we develop our leaders is by hosting regular group coaching sessions, focused on the strategic needs facing our leaders. The purpose of these sessions is to provide a confidential space where transparency, collaboration, strategizing and peer learning can best take place. Our most recent session was focused around understanding and unpacking specific feedback as it relates to our roles as leaders and determining ways to improve on them.

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Topics: Growth, Feedback, Empowered People, Listening, Leadership

November 09, 2018

Business Professional, Mom and…Acrobat?

When I was in college working to obtain my bachelor’s in business management, if someone told me that one day I would grow up to become an acrobat, I would have told them they’d lost their mind. Pigs had a better chance of sprouting wings and taking to the sky than I had of navigating a trapeze. Yet here I sit ten years later, constantly walking a tightrope as I try to balance work and home life.

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Topics: Growth, Fearless Unrivaled Flexibility, Honor Values

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