Randy Nail is CEO at HoganTaylor, which was recognized as a Top 200 Firm by Inside Public Accounting. The firm has climbed steadily each year toward their goal of becoming a Top 100 firm. When Randy became CEO, HoganTaylor was shifting from the traditional partner model to a more corporate structure. Randy believes the new structure better supports the firm in achieving its vision and growth goals and allows partners and other team members to leverage their unique strengths and fulfill on their career goals, too.
ConvergenceCoaching: Whose leadership style do you most admire and why?
RN: The servant leader model is so powerful, and the greatest example of that model is Jesus. I have noticed that I am most drawn to leaders who have a calm confidence, humility, and strength in their personal bearing. When you add to that a communication gift that inspires and challenges others, then you really have someone who can influence well. John Maxwell has shaped a lot of my leadership thinking, and he says, “Leadership is influence.” The best leaders in my opinion use their influence for the good of others over self.
ConvergenceCoaching: What do you think the single most important leadership attribute or characteristic is and why?
RN: Conviction of purpose. How can you lead others if you don’t know where you are going, and how will others know that where you are going is worthwhile without a strong conviction of that purpose? There are so many important elements to leadership like courage, humility, transparency, perseverance, vision, caring, empathy, flexibility and on the list goes. All of these are important attributes at any given period of time, but purpose is required to direct and shape them.
ConvergenceCoaching: What do you look for in young up-and-coming leaders?
RN: Are they teachable, do they work hard, are they committed to unity, collaboration, and teamwork? Basically I look at an individual’s character. If a young leader displays that he or she is in it for the good of others along with self, then there is a solid foundation to build on. I love the passion and enthusiasm of young leaders who are out to make a difference in their world. They inspire me to be better.
ConvergenceCoaching: How do you develop leadership in others?
RN: I hope that others would say that I have a way of helping them believe the best about themselves. My goal is always to lift others and help them see their potential. This isn’t about just being an encourager, but also having hard conversations when necessary. Goal setting and receiving honest feedback are very important to develop, but nothing is so powerful as to have someone believe in you. I have observed a real hesitancy in many people to step forward and lead and often they just need to have another leader give them permission and believe in them.
ConvergenceCoaching: What advice do you have for those looking to step into a leadership position in their firms or businesses?
RN: If you are in it to help others, then do it. Act with confidence in your current leadership ability and know that you will make mistakes as you grow. Learning from those mistakes is critical to a leader’s development and success. Being clear about your purpose, and your conviction to it, will guide you when most others can’t see the finish line. When you persevere with discipline, you will accomplish your goals.
ConvergenceCoaching: What three words best describe your leadership style?
RN: Collaborative, compassionate, direct. I really do try to understand where people are coming from and then pull out the best in them. Sometimes this means having difficult conversations, but I always have the best interest of that person at heart and I work to ensure that comes through. I believe in teamwork because no one person is as smart as the whole team together. I try to create an environment in the workplace that people enjoy so they will have the best opportunity to grow and experience fulfillment.
We are grateful to Randy for sharing his perspective and recipe for leading others so they can be their best and fulfill on their purpose. He emphasizes the importance of purpose and believes in the importance of having both a clearly defined personal vision as well as a firm-wide vision. Randy and his team have developed and published a detailed and specific “Three Year Vision” that they are working toward and identifying how each partner and team member fits in that vision. Clarity of purpose is a central theme to Randy’s leadership style and the philosophy at HoganTaylor.
This is the perfect time of year to start thinking about where YOU are going and what you want to accomplish in the next 1, 3, 5 and 10 years. We would love to hear what you come up with. Please share your vision and purpose in the comments section!