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Keeping it Fresh in Firms

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February 18, 2010

One of my favorite bloggers, Rita Keller, wrote a great post on her blog Tuesday about toxic energy in accounting firms brought on by Baby Boomer partners who stay too long and are reluctant to change because they are cozy in what they have built and where they are.

Keller, who is a well-known consultant in firm management, writes the popular blog, “Possibilities for CPA Firm Leaders” compared an Indiana senator’s decision to not run for re-election with that of those Baby Boomer partners who kick around their firm because well, they like it there, don’t know how to do anything else, people are depending on them and they are, of course, collecting a fatty paycheck. The senator opted out of running for office again because he called Congress, um, dysfunctional.

I won’t rehash the whole post because you can read it here, but Keller does ask, “ Why don't more successful Baby Boomer partners in CPA firms, who openly admit that the relationship among the partner group is often a "toxic political environment," do something else when they have reached a certain level of success?”

The cool thing about the post is that Keller kindly challenges these Baby Boomers to be the best they can be and not be complacent, which is a state so easy to stay in when you are comfortable, good at what you do and unengaged. She encourages them to be agents of change and use their power and expertise to create a space that will not only help convince young CPAs to stay and invest in the firm but also help them to grow into the professionals they are meant to be.

As an added bonus, Rebecca Ryan of Next Generation Consulting and of Accounting Tomorrow's "Ask Rebecca" column, chimed in by leaving a comment, dropping a term coined by her Advisory Board cohort, Allan Koltin – “cruiser.” Or, those partners “who ran out of ideas and energy long ago, and are now just collecting a paycheck, knowing that the firm’s problems will be someone else’s to solve.”

Ouch, the truth hurts, people. Baby Boomers - what do you want your legacy to be? What's the message? Be real! Stay current! Be Present! Stay Relevant!

Ryan expresses her own wish for younger generation CPAs in her comment – so if you’re interested you’ll have to go check it out .


Comments (1)
LIZ,

Us Baby Boomers said the same thing when the greatest generation did not want to retire. It will be the same when you reach our lofty age.
Posted by genobud | Monday, February 22 2010 at 5:05PM ET
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