Journaling: a great way to capture and nurture your ideas

April 15th, 2014

A journal is a fantastic way to capture forever, great ideas that you see, hear, read or experience. This is important because neuroscientists have long know there is a connection between the hand and the brain – specifically, hand writing notes while you’re reading increases your comprehension and recall.

This happens for two reasons. Read more…

The story of a Mexican American whose beliefs changed

April 14th, 2014

A Sunday morning ritual I have come to enjoy starts with a 2 hour coffee and reading session at my favorite Starbucks store. Typically I’ll be among the first to arrive and I leave when the crowd starts to come in. The store I visit is in the Heavenly Village which is kept clean and tidy by a diligent crew of people headed by my friend Jose, who is the head of the Village maintenance team. Read more…

Please take care of yourself and optimize your performance

April 11th, 2014

In the past three years three valued members and friends of the Principa Alliance have either died or had a serious stress-induced illness during or near tax season. A UK member died of a heart attack just after the beginning of the hectic January tax season. Another UK accountant had a stroke two days after tax season and a US member suffered a heart attack in the middle of tax season. Read more…

How to make $3.5 billion in 12 years

April 10th, 2014

I’m often amazed at how frequently a series of events intersect. A couple of days ago I was presenting a webinar in which I talked about how important it is to empower your team members by creating an environment of trust …. a mantra we hear every day.  As always, I mentioned the work of Pat Lencioni author of The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team and Dan Pink’s thought-provoking book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. Read more…

A Business Plan Template

April 1st, 2014

I’m not a huge fan of traditional business plan construction but I do acknowledge that the process gives business people a framework for thinking through the various elements of planning for success. Having said that I’m writing this post for another reason. The template that was attached was sent to me by a relationship manager at my Australian bank. I have had virtually nothing to do with him in the past and this came as somewhat as a surprise. He has no idea what my business is about and I’m certain that he sent this template to all his “business” customers. Read more…

What are CPAs talking about

March 27th, 2014

Bill Sheridan always has interesting insights about our profession with an equally interesting angle that he posts on the MACPA blog. One that jumped of the page for me recently was one he called The Best Business Advice Ever: Be Willing to Change. As usual, Bill is right on the money so take a moment to read his thoughts. Read more…

Do you have a purpose?

March 24th, 2014

Ask this question to anyone and you’ll get many different answers ranging from: that’s my business, I don’t really have one, I want to be happy, to be content, to make a difference, to make lots of money, to have fun ….. etc. etc. The point is, it’s a personal thing, it quite like changes over time it may be inward looking or it may be outward or it may be both. Read more…

Autonomy and Team Member Performance

March 16th, 2014

Since I have been presenting the Q&A web conferences this year slightly less than 50% of the questions asked have related directly or indirectly to team member issues such as how to delegate, how to get them to embrace your culture, how to motivate and get engagement, how to improve productivity, how to get people to think logically etc. Read more…

Urinals, Flies and System Design

March 12th, 2014

A couple of years ago I was at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam on my way to a meeting in Eindhoven. As often happens when travelling I needed to use the restroom. For the most part it was like any other restroom around the world but when I addressed the urinal I noticed there was, what appeared to me (sans glasses) to be, a black image of a spider or something etched on the bowl. You probably don’t want to hear this level of detail but I need to tell you that I aimed for that image, hit it and then left the restroom after washing my hands without giving it another thought. Read more…

Brewing excellence, one cup at a time

March 10th, 2014

That’s the marketing slogan of Keurig the company (among others) that has created coffee pods they call K-Cups that allow consumers to enjoy a really good quality coffee beverage without having the skill expected from a trained Barista and, most importantly, it makes all this possible to quickly and conveniently do in their home or office. Read more…