The accounting industry can sound like a snooze-fest, but Jackie Meyer leads with love, striving to put more compassion in leadership roles in the field. This couldn’t be any sooner with the great resignation hitting the accounting industry hard.
Meyer, Concierge CPA, CEO, and Founder of TaxPlanIQ, was inspired to become an amazing, fun, inspiring leader in her new business because she worked under people before who made her lose her zest for life and learning.
Meyer started Meyer Tax, The Concierge CPA, with the intention to lead with love, human connection, and passion. She wants professionals in the tax world to ‘fall back in love’ with their careers under her guidance. Because of her stellar and unconventional leadership, productivity and employee retention skyrockets.
“Every occupation can be engrossing with the right team around you,” Meyer said.
We chatted with her about how leading with love and light can help you to scale your business and grow your enthusiasm for yourself and your team. Meyer is working on a tailored leadership program which she hopes to unveil in late 2022. “With the importance of social initiatives and ESG in our field, this becomes even more vital.”
Build Genuine Trust
“Mistrust is natural; but humans want to trust,” said Meyer. “Your employees want to feel like they can count on you, not view you as someone who says what they need to for their own personal gain. To do that, you have to walk your walk.”
Trust diminishes as rank increases in business organizations. The CEO is the least trusted by most employees at most companies, according to Harvard Business Review. So as a leader, it is integral that you build trust with your subordinates, not by being their best friend and confidante, but by being genuine, authentic, and following your company mission statement clearly.
“Be the example you want your employees to follow by being the example you would want to follow if you were in their shoes,” said Meyer. “Tell the truth without oversharing. Celebrate your wins, and use your failures as learning points. The latter has the added benefit of being an opportunity for education while subconsciously cultivating conviction within your team.”
The act of ‘walking the walk’ instead of just ‘talking the talk’ fosters belief in you in your team. Belief in you correlates directly with belief in your company and belief in themselves, which is the key to growth, success, productivity, and scalability. Transparency and accountability is the backbone on which you can build further foundational skills and habits that your team can fall into behind you.
“Once you have mastered leading by example and being someone you would trust, the real magic can begin. Remember that while you might have more education, a higher work status, or a perceived (or actual) advantage that sets you apart from your team, we are all human. The lowest-paid worker at a company still does something that keeps the company moving forward, or their position would not exist. It takes a village.
“It takes all kinds. Keeping this humbling perspective in your heart is the key to excellent leadership And what do we want, really, from killer leadership? We want our employees to be productive and efficient, but where does that come from? The answer is drive, motivation, passion, pride,” she elaborated. “It is our responsibility, as leaders, to be a means for our employees to siphon that positive energy for themselves. We must be the catalyst for this revolution.”
It’s all good and well to want to lead with love and humanity, but what can you actually do to achieve that?
Meyer recommends writing down or journaling your personal values, mission statement, goals, and ethics. She also suggests re-evaluating these writings annually, bi-annually, or even every quarter, to make sure you still align with them.
People’s dreams and wishes change over time, that is human nature. To stubbornly hold yourself to the dreams of your youth would be silly, and we all know what a difference our high school goals were to our adult years — but not many of us realize that these can ebb and flow with the seasons.
“Don’t be wishy washy,” said Meyer. “You will find that there will always be a tethering thread that holds your years of goal evaluation together. Maybe you are into humanitarian causes, animal rights, gender equality, whatever it is, if you are an authentic person that usually won’t change much. But how you want to get there, what you want to focus on, who you want to surround yourself with, and the types of people you admire or want to model your life after, those invariably do change. Be open to and observant of that.”
The next step in the process is to show, rather than tell, your team what your values are. Your company mission statement should be something that is an overarching umbrella — a strong rock hold that does not change. But, especially if you are starting a new company and attempting to scale, growing pains will naturally change the way you do things. Be open and loud and proud about this!
“Are there areas you need to improve? Because we have many” asked Meyer. “Does your whole team know you and your company’s values? If not, work needs to be done there. Use affirmations, sticky notes, colorful journals and stickers, the whole bit. Whatever you need to do to shift your mindset into a place of love and success. Get that flow, and above all be authentic about it. Your team will be able to tell if you aren’t true to your mission.”
About Jackie Meyer
Jackie Meyer, the Concierge CPA, CEO, and Founder of TaxPlanIQ, has Certified Concierge Accountant programs through Meyer Tax Consulting that help taxpayers and entrepreneurs find the best solutions for them. Visit https://jackiemeyercpa.com/ for more information.