In today’s Leaders Special interview, Rob Brown talks to Kevin Harris, managing partner at top 10 UK accounting firm RSM, on leadership, career development and culture.
Kevin Harris is the highly driven, passionate and visionary Office Managing Partner of top 10 UK accounting firm RSM. He also chairs the local Enterprise Partnership, responsible for generating economic growth in his region. Alongside these roles, he is a Non-Executive Board member of the East Midlands Chamber of Commerce and was President last year.
Key takeaways from the full uncut interview include:
▶ A fascinating journey from qualifying accounting to top 10 firm managing partner
▶ The mindset difference between most accountants (technical advisors) and their business owner clients (entrepreneurs)
▶ What failing your accounting qualification by 1% or being made redundant can do to your mental resilience and career control
▶ What accountants need to develop if they want more influence and a voice in an accounting firm
▶ The frustrations and difficulties of working in an accounting firm with traditional partner hierarchies and structures
▶ The futility of thinking you can make everybody happy when you lead any kind of professional firm or organisation
▶ Tips for dealing with opposing views and people who want to challenge your leadership or ideas
▶ How to avoid having to play the political game with multiple stakeholders in a professional firm
▶ Striving for personal and work balance in an accounting firm leadership role, especially in a culture where hard work and long hours are expected
▶ The importance of self-awareness, mental resilience and continued learning when leading a professional firm
▶ An example of a big career risk and what can be learned from being courageous in an accounting leadership role
▶ Where drive, motivation and fulfilment come from in leading a large accounting firm
▶ Insights into how accounting firms grow and how many accountants shy away from the growth and entrepreneurial side of running a firm
▶ Whether everyone in an accounting firm should be involved in business development
▶ Why recruitment and retention of top talent is the biggest challenge in any accounting leadership role
▶ The importance of selling a vision in accountancy to attract the right kind of talent and engagement
▶ Advice to upcoming accounting firm leaders to build resilience, associating with the right people and being true to oneself.
Contact Kevin here on LinkedIn.
NOTE TO LISTENERS:
This is a full-length interview (usually 20-30 mins long) from which the highlights show earlier in the week was taken. You can listen to this on a previous episode.
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