Andrea Gianni | Crain's Washington D.C.

In this ongoing series, we ask executives, entrepreneurs and business leaders about mistakes that have shaped their business philosophy.

Andrea Gianni

Background:  

Buchbinder, Tunick & Company LLP is a public accounting firm based in Bethesda, Md. They have specialized in labor unions and employee benefit plans for more than three generations.

The Mistake:

When you get promoted from one position to another and you leave a company, your [new] job assignments are very clear, but when you stay within the same firm it is hard to let go of that former position that you were holding onto. I noticed that I just continued to work on the same job assignments of my former role and then added to it the responsibilities that this new position was affording me.

What I thought I was doing was utilizing my knowledge as a staff member and helping the team by working as a staff and a senior, but in reality, the more I [hung] onto, the harder it was to involve myself in the role of a senior or the role of a manager because it slowed down my growth. I was focusing on those former tasks that I knew I excelled at and I wasn't opening myself up to focusing on new assignments and challenges. I think it maybe slowed my growth and my potential.

The more you challenge someone else ... the more they want to learn.

The Lesson:

By relinquishing the priorities of that prior position, it helped me focus more on the tasks that were necessary to help me be more efficient. I was able to free up myself for more advanced relationships with our clients and other areas that I was interested in. Ultimately, it gave me the chance to develop my team and open up opportunities for them to succeed.

The more I let go and mentored our team, the more I was able to advance in other areas and really invest in my career as opposed to document the things that I did well in my past position. I also learned that the more you challenge someone else and the more accountability you give your team, the more they want to learn.

Follow Buchbinder, Tunick & Co. on Twitter at @BuchbinderCPA.

Photo courtesy of Andrea Gianni.