Investing in People

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No matter how well trained and educated you are, it’s important to remember that who you are as a person can sometimes bring as much value to your team as your qualifications.

This rings true for our guest on the show today, Annie Yoder, who is Director of Development at Rea & Associates, a 300+ employee accounting firm with a national footprint. Annie is a trained CPA, CFF, and CPE but significantly she does no accounting work at her firm, having rather moved into a position that is strictly concerned with the interpersonal. In today’s episode, Annie shares the story behind how this happened and gives listeners a few golden nugget tips on the subject of good leadership, trust, and self-reflexivity. She talks about the lessons learned from her mother and her Amish upbringing, the idea that everybody has value and that people who hurt others themselves are hurt. Our conversation moves to the role she plays at Rea & Associates, and she shares some of the ways she leads employees to their growth, and the exercises she takes coworkers through to help them build trust in each other. We also hear from Annie about her growth process, the things that made her take a look in the mirror, and the idea that a person takes themselves everywhere they go. Ultimately, our interactions cause ripple effects in each other which have huge potential to help us be more compassionate humans or trustworthy leaders, so tune in to hear how these have taken effect in and through Annie today.

I certainly do believe that if we pour into our people, they are going to service our clients to the extent that we want and need them to, and then our clients are going to pour into our communities.

Key Topics:

  • What led Annie into accounting: her need for financial stability.
  • How Annie has transitioned from being a CPA to Director of Development in her firm.
  • A skillset of connecting dots, or leading people to answers they seek that Annie has.
  • Coaching, conflict resolution, and ‘home-finding’ duties Annie does during her day job.
  • Whether it is usual for qualified accountants to move into People Development.
  • Four pillars that Rea & Associates prioritizes: people, clients, growth, and firm.
  • The cornerstone at Rea & Associates which is investing in their employees.
  • How investing in people leads to a feedback loop benefiting everybody.
  • Ways that Annie’s Amish background and mother’s prioritization of education has shaped her.
  • Annie’s career path from her MBA to litigation support as a CFE leading to the present.
  • How her auditing and litigation support ‘dot-connecting’ background helps Annie today.
  • Transactional vs relational interactions and Annie’s mom’s lesson that all people are valuable.
  • Dealing with hurt people who hurt you, and whether both parties can grow.
  • How people can help each other find a sliver in themselves to see the good in everybody.
  • Ripple effects caused by interactions that lead people toward positive growth.
  • How conflicts with coworkers, reading, podcasts, and Annie’s husband help her self-reflect.
  • What Annie’s boss taught her about advocacy and trust by making her feel safe.
  • Building trust between coworkers Annie uses: encouraging consistent behavior.
  • The two branches of the trust tree: competency and character, and their offshoots.
  • Future-focused thinking and other ripple effects of Richard Rea’s legacy in the firm today.
  • Advice Annie would give to her younger self: stop worrying so much.

Mentioned in this Episode:

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