This month’s Leadership Spotlight features fellow Nebraskan, Krystal Siebrandt, a Partner at HBE Becker Meyer Love LLP. Krystal has over twelve years of experience on various profit, nonprofit and governmental organizations. She is active in the community, currently holding positions on the Saint Paul United Methodist Church Finance Committee and the Seniors Foundation and Friendship Home Boards and having held numerous other positions including serving on the American Marketing Association Lincoln Chapter Board, and being a member of United Way of Lincoln and Lancaster County Loaned Executive and UNL School of Accountancy Junior Advisory Board.
Krystal is a bright next gen leader and part of a forward-thinking partner team and firm. We are grateful to share her perspective with you in this month’s spotlight:
ConvergenceCoaching: Whose leadership style do you most admire and why?
KS: I recently had the privilege of being a member of the 2016 graduating class of the AICPA’s Leadership Academy. During the training event, we had the opportunity to spend time with Barry Melancon. We learned how he became the CEO of the AICPA at only 37 years of age and against all odds, having had no public company accounting experience. He described successfully leading the largest body of CPAs in the world through one of the toughest times in its history with the fall of Arthur Andersen. And equally as impressive, he has a skill for describing complicated matters in terms anyone can understand, which I can tell has benefited him in building consensus among groups and in progressing his forward-thinking initiatives. Not to mention, he is very relatable. These are all qualities I very much admire in a leader.
ConvergenceCoaching: What do you think the single most important leadership attribute or characteristic is and why?
KS: I believe the single most important leadership attribute is the ability to be dynamic. Change is inevitable in our environment in order for us to stay relevant. Great leaders anticipate the need for change, rally those around them to implement change, and learn from successes and failures in the process. Simultaneously, they are thinking about the progress that needs to happen next.
ConvergenceCoaching: What do you look for in young up-and-coming leaders?
KS: I look for passion beyond the day-to-day. I believe that what sets an up-and-coming leader apart from his or her peers is a drive to continually improve and advance. This drive is usually manifested through a positive attitude and a commitment to the broader mission of their firm or business.
ConvergenceCoaching: How do you develop leadership in others?
KS: I delegate responsibility while providing support. I think emerging leaders want opportunities to prove themselves, but also need guidance as they encounter situations outside their comfort zone. By sharing my past experiences with them, I can help build their confidence and know-how. I also try to be a strong advocate for those I am leading.
ConvergenceCoaching: What advice do you have for those looking to step into a leadership position in their firms or businesses?
KS: I am a firm believer that each of us has the ability to shape our own future. Therefore, my advice would be to get involved and make yourself stand out from others. Leaders in your firms or businesses will welcome your participation. If they aren’t currently engaging you as much as you’d like or in areas you are interested, speak up. This display of initiative alone will impress them.
ConvergenceCoaching: What three words best describe your leadership style?
KS: Supportive, flexible, and committed
I enjoyed Krystal’s succinct and straightforward responses to our questions. The subject of flexibility is a key theme in this spotlight – from Barry’s ability to lead the AICPA through a sudden and challenging event in the profession’s history, to Krystal’s thoughts on the importance of being dynamic to supporting emerging leaders as they take on new roles and need guidance while learning what they do best. I think many of us can agree from personal experience that trying to maintain too much control in how we like to get something done can stunt growth and lessen the ability to see other perspectives. Flexibility allows us to “roll with the punches” and adapt more readily than others who remain steadfast in the way it ‘always has been.”
What role does flexibility play into your work life? What strategies do you employ to embrace flexibility or help others embrace more flexibility? Share with us in the comments box!