Experiencing the 5 C's: Courageous

Culture RSM careers

Our firm’s vision is to be the first-choice advisor to middle market leaders globally. At RSM, our people are Caring, Curious, Collaborative, Courageous Critical thinkers. We call these the 5 C’s – the five characteristics of a first-choice advisor. These characteristics are core to our culture and are what enables us to be great client servers, teammates and leaders. RSM’s Chief Auditor Sara Lord shares how there are many benefits of being courageous and how it has positively impacted her own career:

Being courageous is not always easy, but at RSM being courageous enables our people to better serve our clients, stay true to our personal values, and elevate our careers. From my own experience, I’ve learned that every day involves courageous actions both large and small, and personal courage grows over time.

In the seven years I have been at RSM, I have had the opportunity to lead many different teams and initiatives, a highlight of which has been helping create and launch RSM’s global audit methodology. Throughout my career, being courageous has propelled me forward and has been essential to many of my successes.  

One of my recent moments of courage stemmed from receiving a nomination to RSM’s Board of Directors. While serving on the Board was an aspiration of mine, I did not expect a nomination at that particular time in my career, or even know if board service would ever become a reality. Upon learning that I had received a nomination, my mind quickly filled with reasons to decline. I was concerned about not having enough time for such an important additional business role with my busy daily tasks and being a mom to three fantastic children. Plus, I still needed to complete the interview and election process that included so many talented candidates and current board members.

It took courage to face down these concerns. I had to be open and transparent with my colleagues and tell them that I was interested in accepting the nomination, but that I would need their help if elected. I was extremely fortunate to be elected to serve the firm as a Board member. While serving, I continue to need to be courageous to remember to step back from other projects, to ask for help from my teammates when I need it and to trust them to take the lead on projects when necessary. While it can be difficult to ask for help, having the courage to trust others allows everyone to grow and succeed.

Aside from my own experiences, I see my colleagues demonstrating courage in so many ways. Courageous behavior includes items such as: voicing an alternative point of view that leads to an innovative solution for a client; asking a follow-up question when an answer does not make sense or a situation doesn’t feel quite right; and volunteering for a new project even if you aren’t completely sure you are ready for the challenge. Being courageous takes strength and confidence but can result in career growth, the contentedness of knowing you are living your personal values and enhanced client service. Each individual moment of courage helps our firm deliver our vision to our clients, helps our people grow personally and provides positive role models for others.

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