Clive is president and managing shareholder at Grimbleby Coleman CPAs, an accounting and business advisory firm with headquarters in Modesto, California and a second office in Oakdale, California. In 1982, Clive acquired the current practice from his father, Roy. With a penchant for “big picture” projects, he focuses his efforts on complex issues, including business structures, transaction arrangements, and solutions for family‐owned businesses.
ConvergenceCoaching: Whose leadership style do you most admire and why?
CG: This is a tough question to answer since I have had the opportunity to observe a number of people from many walks of life that exhibit great leadership. The person I admire most is the one that walks the walk of servant leadership each and every day. I see that in Jesus Christ’s daily style. I saw it in a local pastor that used to say his job was to hold the umbrella to allow those under it to thrive. I have also seen it in the local bank president that was always looking for opportunities to take someone along with him when he visited a client. It is the everyday actions that tell the real story.
ConvergenceCoaching: What do you think the single most important leadership attribute or characteristic is and why?
CG: The most important leadership attribute is character that demonstrates that you can be trusted on a daily basis. You have to be trusted by those you work with and those you work for. Without trust, a leader cannot be truly effective.
ConvergenceCoaching: What do you look for in young up-and-coming leaders?
CG: I am looking for someone who wants to get better each and every day. I want to see if they are willing to put others before themselves. I want to see them helping others to succeed.
ConvergenceCoaching: How do you develop leadership in others?
CG: Leadership development is about expecting the very best, allowing the opportunity for success, (sometimes staying out of the way), and giving constructive feedback. Repeat.
ConvergenceCoaching: What advice do you have for those looking to step into a leadership position in their firms or businesses?
CG: Look at yourself. Be self-aware. Ask yourself:
1) How does your character manifest itself?
2) What truly motivates you?
3) What are you doing each and every day to improve personally and professionally?
4) How can you exhibit servant leadership day by day?
ConvergenceCoaching: What three words best describe your leadership style?
CG: Visionary, trustworthy and consistent. This is, at best, a description of how I am committed to lead. I am also honest enough to know that sometimes I fall short and must make amends and move forward.
Many people talk about “servant leadership,” but Clive passionately embraces this philosophy. Go to Grimbleby Coleman’s “About Us” page on their website and you will find a link entitled “In a service-based company, the people are all that matters. Meet our people.” But what’s more impressive is hearing quotations and testimonials from their employees like these:
“You know what’s different about this firm…the partners here have real integrity. They go to bed at night and they say to themselves I have all of these people, employees and their family members, depending on me. They see us as a family. They see this job as just one thing in a much bigger world.”
“They have a very caring environment here. They care about clients as much as staff. It is very apparent when you sit in on a staff meeting.”
“The firm IS the people. The partners set the tone and they are just good people. The job itself is the best job I never knew I wanted.”
We’ve seen firsthand that Clive Grimbleby and the rest of his leadership team truly care about their people! Thank you, Clive, for giving us some insight into how you manage your firm.