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The Future Is Bright — If You Embrace Incompetence Today

By Joey Havens

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Why are firms and CPAs moving so slowly to do what it takes to move from transactional/technical/compliance work to serving as an advisor that actually helps clients redefine reality and discover what’s possible in their future?

Research shows over and over that clients are demanding and searching for proactive advisors to provide insights for today’s fast moving business environment. Rain Group recently published research that concluded the number one reason clients were not engaging CPAs and advisors more was that we were not having the right conversations with them. 

One of our greatest pain points (at least for me) is that dreaded feeling of incompetence. It zaps my confidence and energy. I don’t want to learn a lot of new skills, I like my old ones. I have been extremely successful doing what I have been doing. Why should I learn something new? As a partner at our recent retreat stated in response to our new initiatives, “What for?”  

Yesterday’s skills will not be sufficient for tomorrow.  Let’s embrace incompetence now to be competent and relevant in the future. [TWEET THIS]

Our brutal reality is that we must develop new or at least master some skills that allow us to play a greater advisory role for our clients. These skills might include:

  • Emotional intelligence
  • Anticipatory skills
  • Pricing skills
  • Collaboration skills
  • Critical thinking skills

I see these as some of the biggest and most painful gaps for me, our firm and our profession.

If we embrace our incompetence or lack of mastery around critical skills, we can wade through this swamp of pain to claim that mountain top experience of achievement. Let’s focus on how great we will feel, how much opportunity we can generate and the value we can deliver so we can quickly move beyond incompetence. Oddly, one of the first steps forward for our profession is into the swamp of incompetency. We must embrace incompetence today to be competent and relevant in our future!