I paused and asked, "What will it take
to win?" The client asked, "What do
I explained that the point of what we
were doing was to win the bid. He
could create 10 new jobs, increase the
wages for 60 other employees, keep
countless subcontractors busy, etc.
What would it take to win? Sure, we
could enter the typical gross margin,
standard general and administrative
expenses, and normal profit. But what
if we looked deeper at those costs?
Are any of them fixed and we can ex-
clude them from the cost build-up?
What about the profit margin? Would
you shave 2% off of that to increase
sales 30%? If we could find a few ar-
eas like that, which would lower the
overall bid, he might have a higher like-
lihood of winning the work.
Pausing to ask "why?" helped the cli-
ent as well as me, as his strategic part-
ner, understand what was at stake. It
wasn't filling out a request sheet from
a customer it was a great opportunity
for the client's company.
Leadership Training Starts at Home
Leadership training teaches young ac-
countants skills like asking "why?".
They can then test those skills in a
safe environment, like your office, by
practicing them with their colleagues.
Through practice, they will hone their
soft skills so they can recognize oppor-
tunities to use them outside their im-
mediate team such as an opportunity
to help a client win a bid to increase
sales by 30% (and make your firm a
hero of the day).
Leadership and management skills are
constantly evolving because people
are constantly changing. They are skills
that need constant fine-tuning and
maintenance. They are skills that need
to begin when your career begins.
Michael Maksymiw Jr., CPA is a
senior manager and the leader of
the tax department at Filomeno &
Company in West Hartford, where he
provides accounting and tax servic-
es to closely held business clients.
He also provides tax and advisory
assistance to businesses involved in
merger or acquisition activities. In his
role with clients, he seeks to identify
core challenges as well as assess fu-
ture goals and success factors in or-
der to implement strategies that help
businesses reach their objectives.
Mike is currently serving as a mem-
ber-at-large of the CTCPA Advisory
Council. He can be reached at mgm@
filomeno.com or 860-760-7029.