Art of Accounting: Obsessed Leadership

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IMGCAP(1)]I spend a lot of time with clients and I believe I have identified the one quality that most of my successful clients have—it is obsession.

They have many qualities, but obsession is universal among them. 

Let me explain. Obsession, as I use it, is the single mindedness drive to succeed based on stated goals.  Here are some methods of obsessing:

• Decide on the long-range “getting where you want to be” goals.

• Identify the goal that is the single biggest-picture goal.

• Make that goal the major focus of concentration.

• “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing,” as Stephen Covey would say.

• Develop a plan to get there.

• Direct your business’s or organization’s energies toward that goal.

• Communicate the goal, the reasons for it, why it is important, how it should be approached, why it will need everyone’s efforts and each person’s role.

• Walk the talk.

• Don’t compromise.

• Don’t digress. Be consistent.

• Don’t give in because of expediency, convenience or pressures of the moment.

• Don’t be afraid to change plans, methodology or adapt as circumstances evolve, but do not lose sight of the goal.

A successful CPA advisor helps their clients become obsessed leaders by guiding them toward defining their macro direction and then helping them stay on track with the successful obsessed drive toward the attainment of their goal.

Edward Mendlowitz, CPA, is a partner in WithumSmith+Brown, PC, CPAs. He has authored 20 books and has written hundreds of articles for business and professional journals and newsletters plus a Tax Loophole article for every issue of TaxHotline for 27 years. Ed also writes a blog twice a week that addresses issues his clients have at He is the winner of the Lawler Award for the best article published during 2001 in the Journal of Accountancy. He has also taught in the MBA graduate program at Fairleigh Dickinson University, and is admitted to practice before the U.S. Tax Court. Ed welcomes practice management questions and he can be reached at WithumSmith+Brown, One Spring Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, (732) 964-9329,

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