Raleigh is a long-time friend and client of ConvergenceCoaching and he loves his work! He says “I get to help businesses and individuals solve tax, business and sometimes family problems. I enjoy working with family businesses and professionals who desire to have a CPA that thinks like a businessman.”
As a shareholder at Matthews, Cutrer & Lindsay, P.A., Raleigh oversees the firm’s tax planning and preparation practice. In addition, Raleigh directs the firm’s business valuation services. He earned the Accredited in Business Valuation (ABV) designation as well as the Personal Financial Specialist (PFS) designation. Raleigh has significant experience in consulting with closely-held businesses, estate and trust planning as well as other areas of taxation and he has a special expertise in the restaurant industry.
We admire Raleigh’s passion for his work, his strong commitment to his firm’s people development and HR programs and the fun-loving spirit that comes through in all that he does. We are excited to feature him as a special leader this month!
ConvergenceCoaching: Whose leadership style do you most admire and why?
RC: Former Governor of Mississippi, Haley Barbour. I watched how he handled the response to the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and how he pulled everyone together to accomplish the goal of getting businesses back up and running. I admired how he helped people on the Mississippi Gulf coast that lost everything regain hope. He did not blame anyone; he just took care of business the way a leader should. Simply put, he stepped up and led.
ConvergenceCoaching: What do you think the single most important leadership attribute or characteristic is and why?
RC: Integrity. Without integrity, people can’t trust you. If your people can’t trust you, how can you expect them to follow your lead?
ConvergenceCoaching: What do you look for in young up-and-coming leaders?
RC: I look for up-and-comers who have a passion for their work and a desire to be the best at whatever area they are working in.
ConvergenceCoaching: How do you develop leadership in others?
RC: To some extent, I believe there are born leaders that will rise to the top regardless of how much development they receive. Then, there are those that are not natural leaders that you have to nurture by giving them responsibility for a particular area or job in small doses until they are ready to lead and manage larger clients and initiatives.
ConvergenceCoaching: What advice do you have for those looking to step into a leadership position in their firms or businesses?
RC: Be careful what you ask for. Leadership carries with it a burden that many people do not see until they are in leadership. In other words, the buck stops with the person in that leadership position and they need to be ready to shoulder that responsibility and the accountability of their role.
ConvergenceCoaching: What three words best describe your leadership style?
RC: Passionate, trustworthy and consistent.
- Passionate - If you do not love your work, eventually that lack of passion will show up in the quality of your work and how you treat others.
- Trustworthy - without the trust of your people and your clients, you can't be effective.
- Consistent - saying what you mean and meaning what you say. Do what you should do every time if at all possible.
I was particularly struck by Raleigh’s direct answer to the second to last question regarding the advice that he would give to “up and coming” leaders. Leadership can seem glamorous but he is absolutely right that one of the scary things about leadership is that “you are it,” “you are THE one,” and sometimes there is nobody else to make the tough calls and ultimately get the job done. I love that Raleigh doesn’t sugar coat things and is willing to express that leadership sometimes feels like a burden. We asked Raleigh what he feels is one of the most difficult aspects about being a leader and he said “The hardest thing about being a leader is making the hard decisions that affect others’ lives such as letting someone go.”
What do you find to be the most difficult aspect of being in a leadership position? Please comment with your thoughts below and also consider sharing your perspective with someone else in your life especially if you’ve never expressed it to anyone before.