Please help us welcome the newest member of our team, Renee Moelders! As you may know, every six weeks we feature profession leaders in our Leadership Blog Spotlight. This personal-story series gave us the idea that it might be nice to give our readers an opportunity to know each ConvergenceCoaching, LLC team member and their leadership perspective. So, this represents the first in a new segment we’ll run now and then, featuring a different team member, entitled Convergence Spotlight. We are going to kick off this new segment by introducing you to our newest Consultant, Renee.

Prior to joining ConvergenceCoaching, Renee was a Firm Administrator for Copeland Buhl & Company, PLLC, a medium-sized public accounting firm in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. In her role as Firm Administrator, she was responsible for finance, operations, human resources and oversight of the administrative team. Over the course of her 17+ year career, Renee has worked for four different accounting firms around the country, exposing her to a variety of challenges in day-to-day operations as well as enabling her to play an instrumental role in devising and executing long-term strategy.

Because success in her prior Firm Administrator roles required Renee to work closely with the Managing Partner and the partners to manage change, she is perfectly suited to her consulting role working closely with firm leaders within the ConvergenceCoaching client community.

We are excited to have Renee join us and we hope you enjoy gaining some insight from her experience in the profession.

ConvergenceCoaching: Whose leadership style do you most admire and why?
RM: Early in my career, I worked for my father at a small start-up bank. I admired the gentle manner and true caring he showed each day for his team. Every morning he would say "Thank you so much for coming into work today!" It was a little bit of a joke but we could feel that he meant what he said, which made us all the more willing to do the necessary things to get the job done. He brought laughter to the workplace. Things would get challenging at times, but he could always lighten the mood and help us get through it.

Work/life advocacy was a major focus for him. I would worry about the things that needed to be done and bemoan the lack of time to complete them. He would tell me that at some point you just have to put down your pencil and turn off your calculator and go home for the day. "Renee," he would say, "there will always be too much work, so you just have to focus on the most important things today, and then come back tomorrow."

ConvergenceCoaching: What is it about a leader that you believe makes others genuinely want to follow them?
RM: I am moved to follow a leader who has a vision and is eager to get there. She cares about bringing everyone else along and shares the vision with us along the way. This leader listens to those around her and values their opinions. There is an energy and a collaboration happening, a back and forth, which excites and motivates people. That back and forth permeates the whole organization and becomes the vehicle for change and continual improvement.

This leader is not afraid to get out in front and effect change and to make decisions. And when things don't go the way everyone expected, the path is adjusted and the leader says "Oops, well that didn't work. Let's try again!" Lastly, those around the leader are able to get to know her because she presents herself as a real person.

ConvergenceCoaching: What is the most challenging part of being a leader? What is your advice for successfully overcoming this challenge?
RM: The breadth of responsibilities most leaders hold can really get in the way of what should be our number one focus - making time for our people. We, as leaders have a responsibility every day to help people improve and grow so that we are developing the next generation of leaders.

ConvergenceCoaching: Do you believe that great leaders are born or made? Why?
RM: I am aligned with Vince Lombardi on that question. He said "Leaders are made, they are not born. They are made by hard effort, which is the price that all of us must pay to achieve any goal that is worthwhile." For many of us, the hard work is seeking feedback and asking others how we are doing so we can grow and improve our leadership skill set.

ConvergenceCoaching: What advice do you have for those looking to step into a leadership position in their firms or businesses?
RM: Get involved in a new and different way than you are now, by volunteering for a special project or developing an idea for improving some part of the business. Look at the things you do every day through the lens of "Why do we follow these steps and is there a better way?" We sometimes assume firm leadership will affect all of the necessary changes; however, at all levels we have the ability to be more effective and improve the organization in some way.

ConvergenceCoaching: Do you have a favorite movie or book that you feel exemplifies what it means to be a great leader?
RM: I always go back The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. The "Inside-Out” section at the beginning, with the message of changing ourselves to change our situation, is so incredibly powerful.

ConvergenceCoaching: What would you like ConvergenceCoaching blog readers to know about you?
RM: I am so excited to get to know you and your firms. I'm continually amazed at the innovative programs CPA firms are enacting to train and develop staff, attract the best talent, improve their work flow, better serve their clients…I could go on with the list. Public accounting continues to be a dynamic and rewarding profession and I'm humbled by the opportunity to be a part of it.

I love asking the question “What is it about a leader that you believe makes others genuinely want to follow them?” It is fascinating and enlightening to hear what people have to say about this. And, we would love to hear YOUR answer! Please share your thoughts by commenting below.

Best Regards,

Michelle Baca