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It's personal: how to fit yourself out for success

For career success and a position in a firm’s upper echelons, accountants are going to have to embark on a personal development journey, says Ayalla Reuven-Lelong


This article was first published in the April 2019 International edition of Accounting and Business magazine.


To lead and remain relevant in today’s fast-moving business environment, accountancy firms need to ensure that partners and employees alike have a ‘winning personal value proposition’.


To help develop the skills to succeed in the fourth industrial revolution, we need to consider five key areas, which were identified following interviews with partners from Big Four and other firms, members of the C suite, HR leaders, learning and development leaders, and academics. The five areas can be modelled as a metaphorical journey to five lands that every accountant should undertake to succeed.


Mindset


The first area is mindset. Stanford University professor Carol Dweck identifies two types: fixed and growth. The growth mindset is a prerequisite for success in a world where change has become the new normal.


Accountants with a fixed mindset assume that an individual’s character, talents, intelligence and creative abilities are static and unchangeable. They tend to stay in their comfort zone and resist change or personal development process. It’s an approach that weakens their personal value proposition.






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