After nearly 6 years leading Wellers, which I've thoroughly enjoyed, it's time to hand over to a successor. I am delighted to announce that as of January 2019, Christina Nawrocki will be the firm's new Managing Partner. She will drive the strategic direction of the business and I can now look forward to spending more time with our clients.
In this post, I explore what leadership means at Wellers, why it's about far more than just numbers, and how this particular succession is a welcome buck to the trends in the marketplace.
Leadership is about legacy
For us, the sign of a good leader at Wellers isn't just about achieving various short term accomplishments during ones tenure. We feel leadership is about much more than that - the leader's role is their contribution to the firm's overall history.
In our case, Wellers has been going for over 75 years and this means a successful managing partner is ultimately judged on their legacy. It may be a case of passing the role on in a better place but ultimately it's about keeping the mission statement (why we exist) along with our core behavioural values (what we believe in) alive, bright and thriving throughout the organisation.
This may sound unusual coming from accountants who primarily deal in numbers and metrics. The firm the Managing Partner builds and leaves behind is requisite evidence of legacy. It's reflected in the the actions, behaviours, accomplishments and leadership progression of employees.
I started out as the firm's first female managing partner, it represented a further, progressive development in our culture and leadership. It therefore fills me with great pride to continue that trend by handing over the reins to Christina as the second woman to occupy this role.
Transitioning from Partner to Managing Partner
All Partners are of course determined to make the business a success. Becoming Managing Partner however, shifts the focus to the whole entity that is the firm. It's no longer just about the areas and objectives you were deemed responsible for as a Partner. The good news is Christina previously headed up our HR function for many years.
HR spans many different areas and is all encompassing which means she's been involved extensively in multiple projects and cultural initiatives with me to develop our staff, drive quality client service delivery, and grow the firm. Consequently she's adapted to the role seamlessly already, with it being an extension of what we worked on together previously.
Female leaders in the accounting profession
Christina's promotion to leading our firm appears to be something of an anomaly in the accountancy profession. The statistics make stark reading. Research conducted by Visible Women in 2016 found just 19% of senior positions in the top 1,000 accountancy firms were held by women.
This is despite the number of female accounting students rising with female enrolments now equalling or outstripping their male equivalents. The report also suggested as a solution that accountancy firms borrow best practice from other industries as a matter of urgency because the current rate of progress is too slow.
In the wider UK market, a survey conducted by the Guardian of 399 corporates found just 22% had women on their boards in 2017. Unfortunately 16% of companies had no female board members whatsoever. Whilst things have improved regarding women in the workforce over the years, it's clear that there's still a long way to go.
It's for these reasons that I'm so proud of Christina and all the progress we've made. I have every confidence that she'll consolidate the working culture we've established while continuing to drive the progress towards our growth targets, by implementing the strategic objectives and sustaining the necessary adoption of technology. The future is bright for Wellers' clients and our people.
The content of this post is up to date and relevant as at 23/01/2019.
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