Why Leadership Means Leading Your Clients, Too

May 26, 2021

by Meghan Watson, AccountingWEB

As early as nursery school, my report cards (despite “exceeding expectations”) would always mention, “Meghan needs to keep her social interactions to a minimum.” Later, my creative side had most friends and family thinking I would go into graphic design or become an educator. I’d like to think I was the mastermind behind the artfully crafted bulletin boards in high school. I went on to thoroughly enjoy my photography class as an escape from accounting classes at Boston College. I then took to scrapbooking when our first son was born, and that quickly evolved into party planning with elaborate and innovative themes for cocktail shindigs, birthday parties and, most recently, a bridal shower for my sister-in-law. Throughout many of those years, I was a server at a local pizza place before graduating to an upscale restaurant in Lawrenceville, then a Major League Baseball stadium and a well-known restaurant chain known for an Italian dessert made with ricotta cheese. I also happen to be the only child of a hard-working single mother, who was thrilled when I landed an accounting job in New York City before graduating.

So, what does this have to do with women in advisory or leading clients? Professionally, during my 22+ years in advisory, I’ve been engaging in many of these same activities – learning, sharing, being creative, listening intently, absorbing everything, being aware of my environment, adapting, leveraging my knowledge, working hard, connecting the dots and cherishing relationships. Just like when I was trying to get to know my classmates or when I was waiting tables, I paid attention to small cues, body language, word choice, facial expressions, emotions, etc. I’m proud to say that I do all of these things with my clients regularly – some intentionally and some unconsciously. I guess you can say I’ve been tapping into my emotional intelligence before it was a “thing.”

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