Eight Rules to Amplify Impact with Rik Nemanick
On Episode 58 of The Unique CPA, Randy speaks with Rik Nemanick, the founder of Nemanick Leadership Consulting. Rik shares eight rules for becoming a strong mentor from his book, The Mentor’s Way. He discusses gaps in how firms currently structure mentorship programs and offers advice on how to overcome common pitfalls.
Today, our guest is Rik Nemanick. Rik is the founder of Nemanick Leadership Consulting. He is an organizational psychologist and board certified coach who helps clients maximize their organizational and leadership development efforts. Rik’s consulting efforts include strategic planning, facilitation, design, implementing and managing mentoring programs, executive coaching, leader training, management change, customized seminars, workshops and training, in addition to being a speaker and an author. Rik, welcome to The Unique CPA.
Thank you, Randy. And boy, that’s—did I send you that bio? That sounds pretty long.
I stole it from various places, but you do a lot of things. So I wanted to make sure and I didn’t even touch on a lot of it. A big part of what you do, and I didn’t mention speaker, but I’ve seen you at speaking events actually a few times this year. But I know you’ve been out on the speaking circuit for quite a while, right?
One of my favorite things to do. I can’t believe people pay me to do it.
Yeah, I agree. I just enjoy getting out in front of the crowd, that audience, so.
You guys are going to pay me too? I mean, that’s yeah, I was just going to talk, I do that all the time.
Right. So but you do a great job. The last one we were at I only got to spend about 10 minutes in because I had to go do a webinar. But the 10 minutes was riveting. So thank you for that.
Well after that went downhill right away and pitchforks came out. It was a great one—that was in Tucson, right?
That was in Tucson. Yeah, that was a good event. It was one of my—I was gonna say one of my first in person in a while. But I think I had been to a handful before that and a handful since, but I think I’m grounded now for a while, so we’ll see. All right.
So let’s jump into this. So obviously, we’re The Unique CPA, our audience is CPAs. You and I talked and I tell everybody, there’s a couple things we want to do. We want to have fun. You and I already started laughing. I’m having fun. So hopefully you are too. But we want to educate CPAs. And so I know everything you’re talking about probably can be, you know, generalized to every industry. But in general, I guess, every industry is having an issue with employee retention right now, with retaining employees, attracting employees, keeping employees. And public accounting has had this problem for quite a while, it seems like to me. It seems like longer than the general public has had and the general population of businesses has had.
You’ve written this book called The Mentor’s Way. Which mentoring employees seems like a no brainer, I probably, you know, have thought about but never thought about as putting like, hey, let’s put something real into action that we could do. The first time I really started thinking about this was when I had a guest on the podcast, it might be a year ago now. Skeet Haag, he’s managing partner of a CPA firm in Memphis. And he started telling me about this mentoring program they have in place and I was just in awe, it was just amazing to me what they were doing.
So I think just talking about mentoring, in general, it would be great if you can share your knowledge today. And I know in your book, you’ve got eight rules for bringing out the best in others. So maybe if we can, you know, go through those eight rules and tell us you know, in I guess we’re not going to be able to read a 150 page book right now, but give us a recap of highlights we need to know.
Let me just kind of go back and talk about when I started with all of this. I was a baby consultant. I was very young.
You started as a baby?
I was a baby. I started when I was five years old, it feels like. I’ve been doing it for 25 years. And I can’t be that old. But I was doing change management consulting with Anheuser Busch, and their IT department to CIO asked me to help put together a mentoring program. And I was like a couple years out of graduate school and like, I’ve never done that. But I did have friends in the accounting industry. And I knew that this has been a big thing for accountants for years.
And so I went and talked to several accountants, probably about a dozen or so across different firms. And I said, Tell me about your experience with mentoring. And what I discovered is mentoring is very popular among accountants, a lot of firms love mentoring, have mentoring programs. The problem was that they don’t tell people how to do it. And so like you said, it should be a no brainer, put two people together and off you go, except for what I find is some people have an amazing experience with no help—they just jump in and go. The person being mentored just kind of takes charge and runs. Or sometimes the person doing the mentoring takes charge. But most of the time in these programs what I was finding is well, we would have lunch, maybe once a quarter, and that was nice. And I said, What would you get out of it? Lunch? I got lunch out of it, right?
And so I was like, well, there’s got to be a lot more to it than that. And so what I’ve been doing over the last 20 some odd years with mentoring is trying to help organizations not just say we have a program, but you know, help people get the most out of the program, and teaching the mentors and teaching people being mentored, how to do it.
Alright, see that I would unfortunately be the guy that, hey, let’s go to lunch. And we got lunch out of it, so I need to be educated, I think, probably more than anybody listening. So why don’t you educate me.
Yeah, yeah, no, there’s a number of ingredients that go into good mentoring. And it starts with, what does the person being mentored want to learn? What is it that they’re hungry for? Now, when you’re fresh out of school, and you’re working with first jobs as a CPA, or maybe you’re still even studying for the exams, there’s a lot of technical stuff you’ve got to learn, this might be your first real office job. And so there’s all that stuff. And so you know, you’re already in that kind of hungry mode. And so it’s not difficult when you have first years, getting right out of college and getting your first CPA job. It’s just when they get further and further into it, the stuff that they want to work on, doesn’t come as quickly and is more long term stuff.
And so what I was trying to help firms do is when you have that person who’s maybe a senior now, maybe they’re leading a small team or whatever, is helping them, you know, get the most out of a mentor by thinking about, well, what is it that I want to learn? Where do I see myself in the next three to five years? What career trajectory am I on? And then what can this person who is volunteered to mentor me help me with? And so that’s the first thing is really creating space and creating structure for people being mentored to say, what can I get out of this so I can lead my mentor to help lead me? Does that make sense?
Yes, because you’re the one that should be getting something out of this. Not my mentor, although I’m assuming the mentor gets something out of it as well.
Oh, yeah. Mentoring, it is amazing how often like, I’ll be finishing up a mentoring program. And I’ll get mentors coming to me and saying I kind of feel guilty, Rik, and I said, why? I feel like I got more out of this than my mentee did. Like, oh, trust me, your mentee got a lot out of this. So don’t worry about that.
So the first thing is, make sure you’re, as the mentor, following what the mentee—is that the right word?
Exactly, or protege. I use both. And that’s why that first rule of mentoring I talked about is lead by following. So you got to empower the person you’re going to be mentoring to take the lead with you because you don’t know what they need. Like I said, when you’re fresh, and you’re just starting out, I probably do know more about what you need to learn because you haven’t done this before. But after a couple of years, I need to find out what you want and what you want to learn. So I can, you know, be the mentor that you need.
Nice. Okay, I get it. Alright, I’m one for one.
Alright, you are. And let me just take an even bigger step back and just talk about why do firms do this to begin with? And you mentioned in your initial question that a lot of companies, especially CPA firms, are struggling with talent. And even before the pandemic, before the great resignation, this is always one of the top five, you know, concerns that AICPA would get back in their studies of firms of all different sizes, the ability to find talent, and retain it.
And so, you know, when they do the research on mentoring, and mentoring programs, one of the biggest things that they find is, if someone has a mentor, they are that much more likely to stay with an organization or stay longer than they might have otherwise. And so it’s a big tool for retention, but also a big tool for developing people especially as they started acquiring some of those more leadership skills that aren’t necessarily taught in undergrad that are going to be necessary for you to start leading teams for you to maybe start making your way toward more senior practice roles.
Alright, alright, well, that—retaining employees is key. Although technology maybe is helping somewhat in public accounting, but the people are still the key.
Oh, you know what? That word you just said there, the technology. That’s the thing that actually is a side benefit. You asked one what do the mentors get out of it is you know, sometimes especially if a mentor has been in the business for a while, sometimes a younger protégé, especially around technology can do reverse mentoring, which is kind of opening their eyes to or demystifying or taking some of the scary away from some of the technology that you know the younger accountants are like, yeah, that’s second nature to me. And the older ones are like, Oh, God, I don’t know if I want to touch that.The research on mentoring, and mentoring programs, one of the biggest things that they find is, if someone has a mentor, they are that much more likely to stay with an organization or stay longer than they might have otherwise. Click To Tweet
Yep. So let’s move on to mentoring and mentee skills that we need to work on.
Right. So I talked a little bit about it from the mentor standpoint to lead by following and again, the flip side of that is for the person being mentor to kind of take the lead. But then that second rule is to chart a course, which is, where do you see yourself going? What, you know, how do you envision your career unfolding over the next three to five years? And mentors can play an important role by creating the time and space. Because how often do you, as a CPA, you know, sit back and put your hands behind your head and say, What do I want to be doing in three to five years? That’s a luxury if you do that at all. If a mentor is asking you that, now you have permission, and some time to do that. And so giving you some time to think about that, and then folding in the leading by following and now you have two of the most important components is the protege knows what she or he wants. And then the mentor knows, how can I help you.
And that’s a key question I had then. Because I still don’t know what I want. So what I want changes over time, what I want to be. I mean, three to five years ago, I wouldn’t have told you I was hosting a podcast, I wouldn’t have told you that I’ve been out doing you know, as many or more webinars and educating on tax aspects than anybody else out there, I feel. I assume there has to be some kind of flexibility in this charting them a course.
Exactly. And that’s the thing is one, it’s driven by the person being mentored. Two, it’s not written in stone. And I always have to tell the protege is that, so we’ll be doing a kickoff for, say, a 10 month or 12 month program, where they’re gonna be working with, you know, a more senior accountant who’s been mentoring them. And I tell them, sometimes the goals you set are really just three to six months out if that. Sometimes they’re three to five years out. But a lot of times, they’re three to six months. And let’s just get started. And see, well, what can I learn? Where can we go? And as you start on a journey, then the trail ahead of you starts unfolding. And then you get, you can get longer, longer vision. So sometimes I tell the people being mentored, just kind of focus on, you know, what the trail ahead of you for like, three to six months, and then see where we end up.
Perfect. All right. Flexibility. Key.
And I think about for the mentors, especially, your job is to create a safe place for this kind of exploration, for me to ask dumb questions or what feel like dumb questions, right? Where I won’t feel like you’re going to judge me, or I won’t feel foolish for not knowing something. And so the mentor really has to create that space where you know, I want to see you succeed, I want you to ask whatever questions you need, and I’m not going to judge you for the questions you ask. And also, just the part of the safe space is giving me time to think about this stuff, you know, and time to ask these bigger questions.
I was looking at an article a few days ago, and they looked at, they took an analysis of how many working hours are there in an average CPA’s year, and they started subtracting out you know, the billable time and the administrative time. And they asked how many hours a year does a typical CPA have that they can devote to mentoring? And when they looked at like, you know, your entry level accountants, it was something under 20 hours a year that weren’t already spoken for that you have. And so I might feel guilty taking that for myself and saying, Oh, let me think about my career with that 20 hours I get, unless a mentor is there kind of protecting that time and saying no, it’s okay. You can think about that.
Yeah, nice. And I’m assuming that safe place is just building that relationship too, you know, you have to feel comfortable with your mentor and your mentee, or you’re not going to be comfortable asking those dumb or what felt dumb questions.
Yeah, and that’s the other part of the safe place. And this is one where I see a lot of firms struggle is they put the person who is asked to mentor in an evaluative position relative to the person being mentored. And that creates a challenge because I want you to be vulnerable with me if I’m your mentor, I want you to ask dumb questions. But then if I’m also being asked to look at the engagements you’ve been on and look at the feedback, and I’m having to give you feedback and then report to the partnership on how’s Randy doing, that creates a difficult position for me and for you, because you’re like, Well, do I really want to tell Rik, everything I’m worried about because he also has to go talk to the other partners about me. So, whenever possible, and this is not always possible with some of the smaller firms. But if you can separate the role of kind of supervisor evaluator from the role of mentor, that creates more safety and opens up, you know, bigger conversations.
That makes sense. And then again, like you said, the bigger the firm, probably the more likely you can do that. The smaller the firm, you just have to work around what you have.
You do. And I see this work at smaller firms all the time, it’s just you have to go in recognizing the limitations and being conscious of those.
All right, well, what’s next? What are you going to teach me?
Right, so the next rule is, I think, the hardest for smart technical professionals, and I’m talking about accountants. But also, I’ve done this with scientists, I’ve done this with engineers, is a good question will always be good advice. And what does that mean? You have someone who’s coming to you, and they’ve got questions, right? They want to figure out, how do they do things better differently? Whatever it is. And your temptation, because you are a problem solver, is to say, here’s what you ought to do. And the rule I have here is find a good question to ask to get them thinking. Don’t just give advice. Don’t just say, well, here’s what you want to try. It’s like, well what if you tried it already? Right?
So if you like, let’s say that you have, you know, someone you’re mentoring. And they have a client who’s a pain, very demanding, but also unresponsive. And so you come to me and said, I got this client, who is always demanding things right away faster in some things. But when I come back with questions, I have to ask three or four times before I get any kind of response, what do I do? And the mentor is like, well, let’s talk about this. And let’s tell you what I’ve done before. And that’s tempting. But what are you missing in that? What do you think, Randy? If you’re the person being mentored, what am I robbing you of if I tell you what I would do?
Well, just the ability to think through the problem yourself and try to come up with a solution. And then let’s talk about that solution and see if that’s a good way to handle it. Does that make sense?
Exactly. See, clearly. And that’s a gift that you’re giving, and a lot of times, we’re just in that let me solve the problem mode, right? And I struggle with this rule myself. When I’m mentoring or when I do my executive coaching, I often have to remind myself, I have an answer, but not necessarily the answer. But what’s more important, is they’re more likely to own the answer that comes out of their mouth than the one that comes out of mine. So getting good at asking questions, as opposed to just telling.
I like that a lot. I like that. Alright, let’s keep going. I’m getting educated, and I’m getting excited.
Well, so, you know, once you’ve kind of established a framework, and you’re starting to ask questions, I think another big thing, is, I’m gonna skip a rule here. And I’ll come back to the other one in a minute, but is creating that accountability to do stuff that maybe isn’t your day to day job. And so if you think about your long term growth and development, you know, what would that entail for a CPA? Maybe I have to get another certification, right? If I want to specialize in an area, and if I want to be competitive, or maybe I need to do more business development? Well, those are things that, you know, are usually in addition to, on the side of your day to day job, and something that you’re probably not being asked about every day. And so having a mentor who can say, Hey, Randy, you mentioned looking into that certification and this training class you were going to sign up for, you know, have you done that yet? What I find is sometimes, having a mentor asking you about that, can really kind of close the gap on you doing it.
I’m going to tell a story of a woman I was mentoring, so not a CPA, but a fellow psychologist. I was mentoring her. And one of the things we hit on, was she wanted to get better at public speaking a lot. A lot of us do, right. And it’s something that I know for me and you probably comes pretty easily. But for a lot of folks it doesn’t. And the thing we had on was going to Toastmasters, which of course struck terror in her heart, right? Oh, my God. I couldn’t go to that. Talk about, you know, someone with a fear of snakes going to be a snake handler at the zoo, right?
So, it took her four or five months between, you know, the first time I asked her and we would meet every month. And I would say, Hey, did you have a chance to go to Toastmasters? And she said, Oh, God, no. And I said, you know, if you don’t think you’re going to go, I’ll quit asking. She said, No, no, I want you to ask me because I need to go. So here’s the funny thing. We were in a program, a formal program, and the program ended and she still hadn’t gone and I thought, you know, no big deal. You know, not everyone’s gonna do everything and, and then about a month after the program ended, I got a call out of the blue and she said, What are you doing Friday morning? I said, Well, I don’t know, what are we doing? And she said, You need to go with me. You need to or I’m not gonna go.
And so, you know, she really was leaning into that accountability. And she knew she needed to do it. She knew it was something that she’s afraid of. But she also knew that she needed someone there to kind of pull her along and so creating that accountability, not in the I’m going to write you up or I’m gonna give you a bad evaluation or whatever, that kind of accountability, but more, you know, the friend who asks you about something that you know you need to do. And that kind of comes back to the prior rule of—
I can see how you were transitioning into this next one that nice.She really was leaning into that accountability. And she knew she needed to do it. She knew it was something that she's afraid of. But she also knew that she needed someone there to kind of pull her along. Click To Tweet
Yeah, balancing empathy with action. Because when you’re creating that kind of accountability, you don’t want to just say, Have you done that? And if you haven’t, well, you need to, to say, what’s getting in the way? What are you worried about? What are you concerned about it, and demonstrating some level of empathy, because if someone truly is growing through mentoring and getting outside their comfort zone, outside your comfort zone can be scary, right? And sometimes it helps to let them be scared for a minute and talk about that and verbalize that. And not to just kind of blow it away, like, ah, that’s no big deal. To say, yeah, that’s legit, I get that, and, you know, what can we do to help you get more comfortable, or whatever it is.
So we had a webinar yesterday that we put on and it was about some new rules regarding research and development tax credits that some IRS rules and then some state rules. And so I actually had some of our internal experts on which normally I’m doing most of the speaking, and two of them I knew would be fine and comfortable with talking. And one I wasn’t sure. And so he’s very bright, he knows his stuff communicates real well, but has not ever done any public speaking. So I was with him. And I’m like, hey, you know, I don’t want to use his name now. But you know this stuff, I am more than happy to be the one presenting, but you’re really gonna communicate this better than I am. I feel if you don’t want to do it, I’ll do it. That’s fine. You just, you just set the stage for me, and I’ll do it. And that’s how it went. And then overnight, he thought about it. The next morning, he goes, You know what, I’m going to present this, I will do it. So I don’t know if I was doing one of these mentoring type skills. But I think that was great for him to get out in front of the people and do it.
Yeah. And I think knowing that you were there to have his back knowing that you wouldn’t let him fail probably created a floor under him that he’s like, okay, all right. Let me—I’m gonna give this a try.
Yeah, yeah. All right. Well, great. Alright, so I am mentoring a little bit, all right.
The thing is, you know, a lot of us have this capability and probably are doing some form, maybe even small doses of mentoring all the time. And we’re also getting mentored by other folks all the time. When I was writing my book, I reached out to another consultant. She does different kinds of consulting, she does not for profit consulting and board development. But she had written at this point nine different books. And I was still working on number one. And so having, you know, someone to report to, but also someone, you know, to help me think through ideas, and, you know, sometimes get some good advice. The piece of advice that she gave me was write every day. And so what I would do for a couple years is I would start, you know, my day, you know, probably three, four days a week, you know, spending half hour, 45 minutes writing. And that was a great idea. And really kind of helped me turn the corner.
Nice. Nice. I guess another thing that then when you just said that, that I got out of this yesterday. Well, we set the stage over the last few days doing this is, I wrote the presentation, at least the segments, and then they had their portions. And I in my mind had this idea, this is the way this should flow. And then when we all sat and talked about it, everybody was like, no, let’s do this. Let’s move this, let’s say this, and then I look back and go, that makes a lot more sense. I probably need to get more input on the flow of my presentations when I do them, because I have this mindset that this is the way it goes. And so I felt I guess now that I look at it, I was being mentored in that. And I think it worked much better than the way they suggested it, so.
Well that’s what I’m hoping is when folks take this approach to mentoring is, you’re co creating someone’s learning. The mentee is kind of saying, Here’s what I want to learn, here’s where I want to go. Let me figure this out. The mentor is trying some things out, asking some questions, maybe dropping in some advice, and approaches, you know, saying that does work, doesn’t work. And hopefully, and this is one that is more for people being mentored, is give your mentor some feedback on what is and what is not working. What you’re kind of describing is you had something laid out, but then you were open to their feedback. And then you’re able to make adjustments and adaptations.
A lot of times mentors get very little feedback on the mentoring. That’s usually one of the biggest gaps that I see is I’ll be doing an evaluation, we’ll do a big survey evaluation of a mentoring program. And the thing we’ll get back from a lot of the mentors is not that they had a bad time, but they didn’t get as much out of it. They didn’t enjoy it as much as the mentee unless the mentee had made a concerted effort to sit down and say, Hey, Randy, let me kind of go through the last couple of meetings you and I had, and here’s what I learned from you. And then that mentor was like, oh, okay, this was worthwhile.
Nice. And I think Skeet had mentioned that when I talked him that they do something like that, like the mentor is even graded on what they’re doing. And I’m not sure grading is the right term, but there is some accountability set in place for the mentor as well as the mentee, which was nice to see. All right, let’s see, I think we got two more things on the rules list.
So the second last one is to fill the toolkit, and what that basically is, don’t be afraid to assign homework, look for other things to bring into mentoring. And so I find a lot of times, once I know what you want to learn about, I have a new filter, if you will, as I look at emails or via as I listen to podcasts or things like that. And suddenly, I might be like, Oh, I’m listening to this episode of Randy’s podcasts. And I’m going to send this to a person I’m mentoring, because this is something that she’s interested in. And so, you know, assigning podcasts or articles to read, some job shadowing, things like that, some special assignments, those are things that are also part of mentoring that mentors don’t often think of as mentoring tools, but those are definitely part of mentoring. And so bringing in homework and bringing in those extra resources can be really beneficial.Mentoring has a natural cycle to it, right? This is both formal programs that have an end date, have an expiration date on them, but also just mentoring that happens on its own. Click To Tweet
Okay, sit in the toolkit, and the one key thing I heard you just say is, now I know who my one listener is. So that was you. So now I’ve solved that.
Because the advertiser’s like, Okay, what’s this guy’s name?
Exactly, you’re gonna start getting these very directed emails now that they found out it’s you. Alright, and then the last one, honoring the journey?
Yeah. So this is one and you know, the talk about feedback kind of setting this one up. But mentoring has a natural cycle to it. Right? This is both formal programs that have an end date, have an expiration date on them, but also just mentoring that happens on its own. And, you know, I always encourage mentors and protegees, when they come to the end, especially of a formal program, when you know what’s coming, is to reflect and to talk and to talk about the experience and have the protege really look at, what did I go into mentoring wanting to learn? What did I learn against that? But what else did I learn along the way? And then make sure I share some of that with my mentor. And I have a whole list of questions when I do my training on this. A whole list of questions or reflection ones, for the protege is to say when you’re coming up on the end, ask yourself this seven or eight questions. And then use that to prepare some feedback for your mentor.
Nice. Let me ask you one question. Because this whole time we’ve been talking, I’ve been thinking about this. I just had something I was just quoted in Accounting Today. I think it came out yesterday. I guess it ties in with this. But I think it was basically, it didn’t say it this way. But mentoring the next generation was the key of it—advice to the next generation. And one of the things that I talked about that I think is important, is helping people find their passion within the business. But maybe that passion isn’t within the business, maybe their passion is what they do outside the business, but is there a way they can take that passion and make it part of what they’re doing, part of their job, or at least take that same passion they have and bring it to something else.
So along this whole path, because in my mind, if you enjoy what you’re doing, if you have a passion for it, you’re gonna do it much better. And it’s just gonna shine through to everybody, hey, this person, she loves what she’s doing. Because one, she’s able to meld this passion with work, which is what I feel I’m at right now, which is just unbelievable. I mean, I never expected this in my life, to have this type of passion for what I’m doing. I always enjoy work, but the passion is there. So in this whole process, I’m assuming you’re helping identify these things, too. I don’t want to just be this generalist tax preparer. I love the trucking industry. And so if I can become the expert in accounting for trucking companies, you know, I’m gonna enjoy it that much more. I assume things like that pop up in here, right?
Well that’s part of charting a course. And so in charting a course, one of the things that I teach about is the different stages of what I call career exploration. Sometimes we’re in that I’m open for anything. Let me look around and let me try to figure it out. And so as a mentor, I can then say, well, here are the different niche practice areas our firm has, here are the different industry groups we have, and let me give you a tour and talk about that.
And maybe there’s one that’s just getting started that you may want to kind of grab on to and so there’s that but then there’s also the person who once they find their niche, once they find the thing they are passionate about is, that they become what I call a homesteader, which is like, Alright, how do I really grow my skills? How do I set myself apart here and not just be good enough, but be the person that, you know, clients keep coming back to, that partners want to work with, that people want to give me work, things like that.
And so it’s all within that charting a course is finding out what, what really clicks in for you, you know, and sometimes it’s the work itself. And maybe like you said, I really love the trucking industry, I want to go deep there. It might be that I really like business development. And I find maybe some of my peers aren’t as comfortable with that. And maybe I want to learn more about how do I do that kind of client development, and business development, knowing that I’ll be good at accounting, but if I’m great at building a book of business, I’ll be really valuable.
And then that’s part of that communication with your mentor, and then your mentor, helping you hone those skills or find areas you can hone those skills and not always giving you the answers, but helping you find the correct answers. All right, I think I’m catching on. I’m gonna have to go to the Rik Nemanick school of mentoring so I can get better at this. And speaking of that, obviously, this is something you do as a consultant. I can’t imagine people aren’t going to be interested because I could keep talking all day on this. But if people want to get more information on this or your other services, or you in general, you know, Rik Nemanick PhD. I didn’t say afterwards before, but I think that was implied. How do they get a hold of you?
So nemanick.com. Really easy. And you can look me up, read all about the stuff that I do. Mentoring is the one I’m most passionate about. You talk about finding your passion. That’s the one I’m most passionate about. I do a lot of other things on leadership development and executive coaching. But mentoring is something I really enjoy. And the great thing now that the pandemic has opened up, is the training that I do that historically had been done primarily in person is something that I’ve been delivering, you know, virtually online for—I’ve been doing it for a number of years. But boy with as good as zoom has gotten, it’s been so much easier to just drop into wherever folks need me and teach them about mentoring.
Yeah, well, that’s great. And then before we finally wrap up this and I’ve been saying this for the last three episodes, because I stopped for a while for some reason, I stopped asking this final question. And this goes back to what I just talked about with passion. So I’m putting this back in, is what are your passions outside of work? What do you like doing? What is, when Rik’s not teaching people how to be great mentors, what do you do for fun?
For fun? Well, one thing is I like running. 17 half marathons and one full marathon. And it’s something I just got hooked into by a friend of mine who was kind of my running mentor early on about 12 years ago, so there’s that. And I’m passionate about where I grew up and where I live. I live in St. Louis, and I serve on the airport commission here. And so, you know, I’m passionate about seeing, seeing the city really kind of continue to improve and continue to ascend.
And that is what—Lambert
Lambert Airport. In fact, that was our big announcement this week is Lufthansa is starting nonstop service between St. Louis and Frankfurt next year.
Oh, that’s great. That’s great. Well, hopefully we’ll all be opened up and there’ll be no issue traveling. I’ve been in that airport a lot. So I’ll think of you every time I walk through it. The next time I’m in town, you and I are going to go grab a beer.
I look forward to that.
All right. All right. Any final thoughts before we close it up here?
No, the only final thought I’ll say is and I didn’t, we didn’t really get to, is I know a number of firms are trying to start up or really lean into their diversity, equity and inclusion. And mentoring can play a really critical role in that, both when people are first starting out just to learn the ropes, and feel like they’re welcome and have a home at a firm, but also that longer term growth and development when a lot of times, you know, when you hit some of those middle years and people want to question do I stay in public accounting. Having a mentor who can say, yeah, you can find a way to make it work, and trying to make sure we’re especially paying attention to the diversity, equity and inclusion that a lot of us value, but sometimes don’t know what to do about it.
Yeah. All right. Well, that’s great. Yeah. So definitely look Rik up, see what he’s doing. See how he can help. And, Rik, I really appreciate you. We postponed this once, I think, on my end. I apologize for that. So thanks for being flexible. And thanks, really appreciate you being on.
Hey, thank you, Randy. It’s been great chatting with you.
Rik Nemanick on LinkedIn
About the Guest
Rik Nemanick is the founder of Nemanick Leadership Consulting, which offers customized programs and consulting to help clients optimize their organization and leadership development efforts. An organizational psychologist and Board Certified Coach, he has extensive experience in strategic planning facilitation, building mentoring programs, executive coaching, leader training, change management, and hosting customized seminars. He is also the author of The Mentor’s Way, a book on effective mentorship.
Rik is an adjunct lecturer at Washington University in St. Louis and was an adjunct assistant professor at Saint Louis University, teaching courses pertaining to leadership, strategic management, organizational behavior, and change management. He is a member of the St. Louis-Lambert International Airport Commission and has previously served on boards for St. Margaret of Scotland School and Chaminade College Preparatory, among others. Prior to establishing Nemanick Leadership Consulting, he co-founded and was a principal consultant with the Leadership Effect.
Rik earned his PhD in Organizational Psychology and Masters in Psychology from Saint Louis University.
Meet the Host
Randy Crabtree, CPA
Randy Crabtree, co-founder and partner of Tri-Merit Specialty Tax Professionals, is a widely followed author, lecturer and podcast host for the accounting profession.
Since 2019, he has hosted the bi-weekly “The Unique CPA,” podcast, which ranks among the world’s 5% most popular programs (Source: Listen Score). You can find articles from Randy in Accounting Today’s Voices column, the AICPA Tax Adviser (Tax-saving opportunities for the housing and construction industries) and he is a regular presenter at conferences and virtual training events hosted by CPAmerica, Prime Global, Leading Edge Alliance (LEA), Allinial Global and several state CPA societies. Crabtree also provides continuing professional education to top 100 CPA firms across the country.
Schaumberg, Illinois-based Tri-Merit is a niche professional services firm that specializes in helping CPAs and their clients benefit from R&D tax credits, cost segregation, the energy efficient commercial buildings deduction (179D), the energy efficient home credit (45L) and the employee retention credit (ERC).
Prior to joining Tri-Merit, Crabtree was managing partner of a CPA firm in the greater Chicago area. He has more than 30 years of public accounting and tax consulting experience in a wide variety of industries, and has worked closely with top executives to help them optimize their tax planning strategies.