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Closed-door sessions with my coach: invaluable

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December 22, 2011

My phone rings; right on time, same day each week. I close my office door behind me. My staff makes the same joke: “It’s her boyfriend calling.” It’s not a boyfriend, but rather my professional business coach. A 55-year-old seasoned business owner—there for me each week—to offer guidance and assurance as I move my firm successfully forward.

Before I started “seeing” my coach and understanding the great value of having a strategic business expert on my side, I never would have considered seeking out a coach. Over the years I’ve talked to many people, including well-established CPAs and CEOs, many of whom told me they have also used a business coach. After that, I was sold.

I knew that I wanted to find a coach that I knew and trusted. After some thought, I reached out to an older colleague. Because of our pre-established relationship, I felt comfortable right away and soon found that having a regularly scheduled call with him was a great decision.

As a partner, I make a lot of decisions on a day-to-day basis. And while I have an experienced partner and belong to a few CPA peer groups, there is something to be said about having a single, dedicated coach.

It’s comforting to get help prioritizing the 4,000 items on my list and an unbiased opinion on business strategy from someone who’s been part of the grind for decades. It’s also nice to have scheduled time that’s all about me and my agenda.

I’m not distracted by helping staff, but rather focused on higher level strategy that requires my attention in order to make sound decisions. I also feel listened to…which can become a lost feeling when you are the one always leading.

In the last six months, I've moved faster then I would have without my coach. We are open and completely honest with each other on decisions, and he consistently reinforces my confidence during those moments of doubt. He is also good at pushing me out of my comfort zone to take on challenges for the long-term good of the firm.

It’s important to mention that my coach is not a CPA, and that's a good thing. He is an accomplished business person that is coaching me on being a better, more savvy business owner. Remember, to run a successful firm, you have to work “on” your firm, not “in” it. And that requires accounting professionals to move out of the technician role and into a business leader role. All of this is what my coach is helping me to do.

If you think about it long enough, you might see how you too could benefit from a business coach. Give it a shot. You might just find what I did: more success!

Jody L. Padar, CPA, MST, is a Certified Public Accountant experienced with Complex Federal & State Income Tax Compliance for Business & Individuals. Jody is an adjunct professor at Oakton Community College, where she teaches Taxation and QuickBooks Courses. She is part of Intuit Trainer Writer Network and speaks nationally on various Technologies and Taxation. She can be reached at www.newvisioncpagroup.com.

 

Comments (1)
Jodi, I so agree with your article. I have learned so much from my coach and have become a leader through her careful instructions. I have learned about leadership from outside of our profession which I believe has helped me to think of myself as a business owner and a CPA. We forget sometimes that there is more to leadership then just the technical skills we have. My coach has pushed me to be better and holds me accountable and I love her for it!
Posted by Gabrielle L | Wednesday, December 28 2011 at 8:03PM ET
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