Different Levels

The secret to success is beyond the labels of levels; it is discovered by enlightening, empowering and encouraging the desires of People to grow and build!

Different LevelsArriving home from school, the little girl was deep in thought. The frustration with the day was written all over her face.

As she found a listening ear, the story began to unfold. One of her 4th Grade classmates had an opposing view on an important subject. By explaining the two beliefs, the little girl seemed to find the answer to her dilemma.

With acceptance in her voice, she understood and announced, “People are just on different levels!”

All natural growth occurs through levels of maturation. Whether children into adults, seedlings into plants, or entrepreneurs into companies, there is a logical order: from the bottom, up; and, from the inside, out.

This hierarchy of levels begins with a foundation. All that follows is supported from that beginning.

After thirty years in business and within a span of seven days, I was reminded of the “Levels”.

Two stories, two story-tellers, two very different views, about one CPA:

Level 1:

“A bit of constructive criticism for future successful customer interaction: Don’t assume that your potential clients know exactly what your product is.

You are good at forwarding prepared documents. Might I suggest a single page with bullet points of the steps and actions that your products entail. I wouldn’t purchase a floor machine unless I knew what the pad pressure delivered to the scrubbing pads is, as the wrong machine may deliver undesired results or reduce productivity.

I would want to see a specifications sheet, just as I asked many time from you of your products.”

Level 2:

“I am a young man who has decided to come back to my hometown to manage and run our family ranch. I worked as a counselor for the last 4 years and was very content with my life and career.

As life happens, due to circumstances, I was brought back to my childhood roots and knew that my family needed me. I was not key on the idea at first but then I was introduced to our family’s accountant and he helped me look at the country life in a whole different way.

Since I have known Kim the last four years he has helped me and my family rebuild our financial status. We have purchased more efficient machinery, doubled our commercial Angus line of beef, and in the works is a pivot sprinkler system.

I remember when I met Kim he told me “You Dream it I will help bring your dream to reality”. He has been so helpful in every aspect a person could imagine, very knowledgeable, very dependable and you can access him anytime.

Kim has helped me grow into a business orientated person. He has the tools if you have the ambition and drive. Thanks Kim..”

How can two views about one person be so different?!

Answer: The young man at Level 1 has a Product based view; the young entrepreneur at Level 2 has a Service based view.

The mentality of some people is so limited that they are Product bound; unless they can understand the “tangible”, any inherent benefit is limited. Other people think at higher levels; they acknowledge and want the perceived value from the “intangible” of quality Service.

Gravity, for example, is a very powerful and valuable intangible. It is a real force to the extent of its Cause-and-Effect results. We have a choice to recognize its value by living within the reality of its influence. Depending on the height of the object on which they stand, those who choose to ignore this intangible presence might only get to do so once.

Individually, we are unique. As individuals, we will always perceive the world differently. The secret to success is beyond the labels of levels. It is discovered by enlightening, empowering, and encouraging the desires of People to grow and build.

We learn by doing and the fun is in the doing. As we, individually, choose our next step on the journey to a higher level, let’s have fun learning!

www.kimfoard.com

A Better Way

Listening to our clients is another of those Win-Win propositions: We learn what they want and they learn how much we care.

Thinking In A Different Way

Innovation only comes from those willing to think differently.

Since all we do begins with a thought, new thoughts lead to new actions. While new thoughts are frequently accepted as entertaining, new actions give the world cause for pause!

Because these thoughts and actions are new, they are different from the old. If everyone is doing the same old thing, the innovator gets noticed. Our comprehension of anything stems from language. Until we have a word, title, or category for something, we are limited in understanding its reward, or risk.

This is a story about being different.

There are days of pleasant surprises. Yesterday was one of those for me. The gift was wrapped inside my email Inbox.

Hi Kim,

I’ve added your blog to my AccountingBlogList.com under the category of General which, after reading some of your blog, doesn’t seem quite accurate to me. Can you skim my list and tell me if you see a better spot? Or suggest if I should create a new category and, if so, what might it be called?

Thanks and congrats on a good blog!

Michelle

This is my response.

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Michelle,

Thank you for the great honor to be included on AccountingBlogList.com!

Your comment about finding me “hard to categorize” did make me laugh! It is not the first time I’ve heard that. In fact, many tend to believe there needs to be a special classification in the neighborhood of “Off The Wall”.

Seriously, though, I have noticed that, as I tell my stories, eyes get big and soon laughter follows; usually, with a comment of, “Kim, you’re unique!”

The greatest documented compliment was offered by Ron Baker when, at the bottom of my Trailblazer article, he provided this valuable feedback: “More importantly, congratulations to you for having an open mind, looking for a better way, and contributing to the dignity of our profession by doing the right thing for your customers.”

That comment is what, I believe, defines Accounting:

  • Care about the people.
  • Listen to them.
  • Deliver value.
  • Learn.

Then, repeat the cycle.

Meeting you at the AICPA Tech+ conference was a treat for me. The excitement of being with a thousand of the sharpest minds in the country was only dampened by the frustration of not being able to meet and share with each of them.

Sitting in the session of One-on-one with Peter Sheahan and listening to the methodology of promoting ourselves to others resulted in a moment of clarity. The questions from the audience were relative to the specific steps in offering our marketing more effectively. It dawned on me that the problem is not with our sales tactics; it is with our ability to communicate. Communication is what the listener does.

We, simply, need to listen to our customers. Their desires, today, are different from what they were, yesterday. Each day is a new opportunity to deliver value to them, and the marketplace.

Listening to our clients is another of those Win-Win propositions: We learn what they want and they learn how much we care. What I know, now, after thirty years of sitting at their feet, pales in comparison to the formal college degree. Sure, our clients come to us for our qualities as a Master in the realm of accounting; yet, we (and they) benefit when we become their Students and learn even more about them and the multifaceted world we share.

That’s a very long introduction to my point: In my original Tribute email to Ron on Memorial Day, I shared a story of growth to that moment in time. Now, it is different. I was doing the best I could with what I knew, at the time. With new education and experience, I’ve discovered A Better Way.

Originally, the thought was to have a Business blog and a Personal blog. Silly me! Great accountants eat, breathe, sleep and live this chosen profession, passionately, 24/7. So, the design has been re-tooled to provide introductions from my Website blog; then, to tell stories at the SageTalk blog.

In a telephone conversation with a Client last week, I heard a new twist on that friend’s impression of my efforts. She said, “Kim, you’re a gladiator! You refuse to sit on the sidelines; you are engaged in battle to make a difference.”

Maybe it’s the Scotch-Irish ancestry and the parable that goes with it: “You know what Irish tact is, right? It’s the ability to tell a man to go to H-E-double L and have him looking forward to the trip.”

Personally, I want to believe it stems from a Teddy Roosevelt shtick quoted in this Coattails blog post:

The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but, who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly!

My purpose is to join you and Ron in your efforts to make a difference in the lives of many.

If there is a category for our type, I believe a fitting title is: A Better Way

New, Different, Better; regardless of the semantics, we intend to, truly, be Trailblazers for the benefit of all.

Thank you, again, for your kind and thoughtful recognition.

Best regards,

Kim

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www.kimfoard.com