New York (Oct. 6, 2003) -- In today's fast-changing business environment, leaders must follow six rules to succeed, a leading consultant and author told attendees at the Accounting Firm Marketing Conference here.

"You have to add value," Stuart R. Levine of the consulting firm Stuart Levine & Associates and author of the book "The Six Fundamentals of Success," due out in January from Doubleday. Levine's remarks came during the second day of the Accounting Firm Marketing Conference sponsored by NorthStar Conferences. "Create your own performance dashboard." Levine urged business leaders to stop assuming they know what clients want and to ask clients what they need — and how they'll judge the firm's success.

Communicate continuously. "It's not good enough to have a poster in the wall," Levine said. "There has to be constant communication." Executives must also know how to deliver results. Every action should be purposeful, Levine advised. "It's not about throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks."

Conduct yourself and your business with integrity. Set a good example, and remember that the world doesn't owe you a living, he said. Executives must also invest in relationships to build trust. As Levine noted, face time does count. Lastly, he said, business leaders must gain perspective. He advised attendees to make room for all parts of their lives, and to find activities that help them relax so they can better focus on achieving their goals.

-- Melissa Klein

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