Our team was fortunate enough to recently take part in a lunch-and-learn Academy Leadership session with Ron Hewett at the USS North Carolina.
It was an interesting afternoon spent discovering more about how leadership principles that apply to life on a battleship can also apply to our modern-day accounting firm.
Each of us took away different lessons from the session, but there were five main takeaways:
- Everything you do should reflect professionalism. You can have fun doing what you're doing, but you should always leave that impression of professionalism. What are people's first impressions when they walk into an office? Do they feel comforted and reassured by your professionalism? How do people and data flow in and out of your organization?
- People should be held accountable for the work they do… or don’t do. There should be rewards for jobs well-done, as well as repercussions for not meeting expectations. Accountability is a key component of the autonomous environment that flat-level organizations operate. While the military is anything but a flat organization, accountability is a core value of military life.
- Do Your Job. Tied to the previous point, you have an obligation and expectation to do the job you are supposed to do. Other team members, as well as customers, are depending upon you. You don't want to let them down. Do what is expected of you - and more.
- Communication and Feedback. There should be constant communication and feedback within a team. People need to know who is doing what and what they each can do to help the team succeed. We need to take a more frequent step out of the digital world and do those in-person meetings and phone calls.
- Everyone has to take his or her responsibilities seriously, not shirk them. Accepting responsibilities brings opportunities for success and growth.
It was exciting to spend part of an afternoon on the battleship and enlightening to learn that the principles of leadership required to operate the USS North Carolina during wartime situations in the 1940s can be used in our firm on a day-to-day basis.
Adam Shay, CPA (N.C. License Number 35961), MBA, is managing partner of Adam Shay CPA, PLLC. He focuses on minimizing taxes and improving the financial results of entrepreneurs, and is actively involved in supporting the Wilmington entrepreneurial and startup community. For more information, visit http://www.wilmingtontaxesandaccounting.com/ or email him at [email protected]. He can also be reached by phone at (910) 256-3456.