Leadership is often seen as a mysterious art, and people frequently chalk success in high positions up to charisma or some other similarly nebulous and unmeasurable criteria.

That’s something of a copout, though. In the six years that Accounting Today has been compiling its list of the Managing Partner Elite, a number of common characteristics have emerged among the top leaders of U.S. accounting firms — characteristics that anyone can develop, regardless of how “charismatic” they are.

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