How naturally good are you at what you do?

Some people assume that all of the important non-technical skills evidenced by successful accountants and partners can be developed merely by working alongside experienced colleagues or learning ‘on the job’ , through experience.

Another common view is that some people are naturally ‘good’ at things as though their experiences, background and training were irrelevant. Thus no more formal training is necessary. Older partners and long established sole practitioners didn’t have such training. Anyone who needs training or support in ‘soft’ skills is not worthy of progression – of running a successful practice or becoming a full equity partner.  Is this true actually?

Many people believe that these skills develop over time and that no support or assistance is required.They repeat the old mantra ‘Practice makes perfect’. Yet this is very misleading. ‘Practice’ alone doesn’t make ‘perfect’.‘Practice’ makes ‘permanent’. And this is not always a good thing.

If you develop bad driving habits and practice driving more and more, you won’t automatically become a better driver. You will merely reinforce your bad driving habits. Equally we have probably all experienced at least one senior professional who is an unpleasant selfish bully. They practiced their approach and ‘perfected’ it. But no one would suggest that such an approach is ideal. And I have certainly met many sole practitioner accountants who haven’t achieved the success they deserve. Typically this seems to be because they have adopted the ‘practice makes perfect’ philosophy. 

If you’re not naturally brilliant at something you need to be able to do well, do you give up or take more lessons?

Are you as successful as you deserve to be? Could anything be better in your practice? Will things change by themselves or do YOU need to do something different to bring about that change? And can you do it all by yourself? If so, why haven’t you done it already? Not enough time? Or is it not a sufficient priority? Or maybe you would benefit from some outside stimulus to support your endeavours. 

By |2018-07-12T07:29:41+00:00October 29th, 2013|Accountants, Key Business skills, Productivity, Servicing clients, STANDING OUT|

About the Author:

Mark Lee FCA is an accountancy focused futurist, influencer, speaker, mentor, author and debunker.


  1. Terry 31st October 2013 at 11:56 am - Reply

    I’ve said it before and I will say it again, the core foundation of being good at what you do is enjoying what you do and sadly most people are diluted by money or working environment to really sit down and understand what it is they would really like to do. The job that feels like a hobby is the best profession of all.

  2. Blair Illiano 15th November 2013 at 4:54 am - Reply

    I think that despite having a knack for something, one must make efforts to be better at it. We have to make sure that we’re doing things the right way. Besides, taking lessons and interacting with others who are learning the same may give us new ideas, new ways to approach whatever it is that we do. Just being merely ‘good enough’ is not enough, IMO.

  3. Rubina Anjum 1st September 2016 at 7:19 am - Reply

    In my opinion one should be open minded and learn new skills and refine the existing ones. If you have started your own business then you should have good communication skills (we accountants are not always natural communicators). We should be self-critical and analyse our own skill set regarding what we have and what we need to improve.

Leave A Comment