During my many years working in public accounting and my many years of consulting with CPAs across the country, I have met all types of accounting firm partners.
It is interesting to find how many CPA partners just want to focus on and do the work. They are expert tax practitioners or they are extremely efficient at auditing. They love their work. What they don’t love is pursuing new business.
Thank goodness there are some partners who are much more people-people. Of course, they are expert technicians but they love networking, getting to know other business people and they enjoy participating in community events and charitable activities. I qualify these two groups as the ones who like to do and those who like to talk.
Both groups are valuable, however, when it comes time to select a leader (a managing partner), the group almost always selects the more out-going, assertive, and decisive personality. I have observed that many partners want a leader who will just leave them alone to do their work and focus on the firm administrative topics.
That is not the role of a managing partner. Admin and operations are the responsibility of the firm administrator. Leading, managing, cajoling, mentoring, coaching, and convincing the partner group should be the MPs responsibility.
The managing partner must be BOLD. I am not saying the “other” partners are sheep being led to the slaughter, however, contemplate the following quote:
“An army of sheep led by a lion would be superior to an army of lions led by a sheep.” – Alexander the Great