The key to our future: our people
Martina gives us a glimpse of leadership development
At RSM, we know developing next-generation leaders within our firm is key to the future success of our firm and our teams. The RSM Enterprise Leadership Academy (ELA) helps to reach this goal by providing participants with intensive training and coaching to prepare them for the future challenges and opportunities RSM may face. The inaugural class of 23 nominated professionals, each essentially one to three jobs away from an enterprise leadership position, graduated in October 2018. Graduate Martina Linders shared her experience. Read what she had to say:
There’s no better way to develop your own leadership skills than to learn from others’ journeys. As a participant in ELA, I was able to learn directly from RSM’s leadership team and my colleagues from across the country. Hearing others’ personal journeys, struggles and achievements was impactful in advancing my own career aspirations.
There were multiple components to the program, each designed to help us grow personally as well as to enhance our abilities to solve enterprise-wide problems as potential future leaders of RSM. I, along with 22 other owners across the firm, focused on developing an enterprise leadership mindset and set of skills. During the 15-month program, we met up five times for intensive three-day sessions, but were (and still are) in constant communication providing support and feedback to one another while back in our various office locations.
Based on feedback assessments prior to beginning the program, we each received personalized insights on our leadership styles and identified areas for growth. Working with an executive coach, our leadership team mentor and in peer groups, we reflected on the changes we wanted to make and bring back to our teams and roles. I’m thankful for the unwavering support of my own mentor, Chief Marketing Officer Andy Bosman, and peer group during my participation.
Aside from self-growth, the well-being of the firm was also a major focus. Each of us came up with a stretch assignment that challenged us to think of innovative ideas to help benefit the firm in a variety of areas such as career coaching, retiring partner transitions and other high-level issues. Throughout the program, we worked on our projects individually and with the help of our leadership team mentor. At our graduation ceremony, we presented our thoughts and findings to the entire leadership team. It was rewarding to know my ideas could make an impact in our leadership teams’ decisions and helpful to hear my peers’ perspectives on their projects, which further expanded my knowledge of the firm and our future opportunities and challenges.
One thing that stuck out to me was the dedication and enthusiasm of our leadership team at RSM. They were extremely involved and committed to the success of each of us as well as open and honest with sharing their own experiences. The point of the program—to build and develop the future leaders of the firm—was apparent. I graduated from ELA with a fresh perspective on leadership, our firm’s priorities and an expanded network with many new peers to lean on.