CEO Jackie Meyer worked under many lackluster bosses while she was climbing the ranks in the tax field. The Founder of Meyer Tax, The Concierge CPA swore to herself that she’d do it with care, passion, and empathy when she was in a position to lead others.
Today the charismatic tax industry influencer is in the position to affect her industry for the better. Not only is she the boss and leader she hoped to have when she was starting out, but since she also consults with other tax firms, she is teaching other tax industry leaders to delegate from a place of empathy.
Meyers founded Meyer Tax Consulting knowing she could run a serious tax firm while still putting people first. Over the years, she has honed her leadership style and helped her peers to fall in love with their work again. In addition to being happier, tax accountants using her empathetic leadership strategy can better retain staff, who are happier and more productive as well.
She knows that many lessons learned are out of pain and failure, and we are all still figuring out how to be great leaders. While she plans to craft her thoughts on empathetic leadership into a future course, here are some of her best points about leading with humanity.
Try to communicate with your staff as often as possible and as openly as you can. They will appreciate feeling like there won’t be any unpleasant surprises working under you and will feel respected.
“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,” explained Meyer.
While it’s natural for co-workers to trust each other and share information, it’s less common to truly trust your boss and feel like they are giving you the whole story. So, when someone finds that they have a transparent and trustworthy boss, they tend to do more for them and stay at the company longer.
But that’s just a side benefit.
“Use transparency as a tool to build faith with your team. Hold yourself accountable to the company values and mission statement, and use transparency as a checks and balances system to ensure you remain on track,” Meyer said. “By not hiding your flaws, you will be motivated to better yourself and continue to perform well in the skill areas in which you are strong. Be someone that you, yourself, would trust.”
Everyone says to listen, but are they actually? Meyer learned the hard way that requests and pleas from the team are serious, after a team member resigned from not being “heard” for two years. “If you don’t listen to needs, put together a plan of action, communicate the progress, and show empathy, there is only so long that someone will stick around.”
Change Your Perspective
As many of us climb the career ladder, we may forget what it’s like to be an entry-level worker, have questions, be unsure, and crave outstanding leadership. An empathetic leader will step into those shoes and be that great boss for everyone, from the middle managers around the conference table to the shy intern who just started.
After you’ve begun leading with empathy and being trustworthy, try to remember what you needed when you first entered the field.
“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,” said Meyer. “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.”
How to Begin the Journey
The first action you can take is to make some notes. What are your values? What is your personal mission? Jost down a few words you would like your staff to use when describing you, then map out the steps you can take to get there.
It won’t happen overnight, but you can make it happen.
Once you feel comfortable with what you’ve written, share it. If you’re already very comfortable with transparency, share it with the entire staff and ask them to keep you accountable for it. If you’re just started down the path to open-door leadership, share your thoughts with a few close co-workers, get their feedback, and ask them to keep you accountable and check in about your progress.
“Walk the walk. Put your values into action,” she said. “Whether completing a project ahead of the deadline and celebrating it at the next team meeting or owning up to a mistake that taught you a lesson you can share, the positive outcome will be the same, and your team will love you for it.”
With this stable of tools, you’re sure to make a lasting, positive impression on your team and feel great about how you’re leading.
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.