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Birds of Paradise and Elections to Senior Partner

30/07/15

You could be forgiven for missing the connection between career development and the mating rituals of the Bird of Paradise. But they’re there. This peculiar display highlights the importance of visibility.

Accountants are renowned for being risk-averse and that can extend to wanting to keep a low profile at the office. That might seem like the sensible, cautious approach but you can’t be popular in your firm if you aren’t visible – and popularity can prove as important to your career as technical ability. 

Popular individuals receive more help and courtesy from colleagues and encounter less counter-productive behaviour (including rude reactions or withheld information) than those who are considered less popular in the workplace; sociometric popularity is one of the foundations of professional success. Even in a profession as profoundly cerebral as accountancy, popularity can pay dividends.

Think this is beneath you? A bit trivial for a thrusting highflyer such as yourself to worry about perhaps?

Think again.

Catch them off guard and those in the know will admit the 2008 vote for senior partner at the UK’s largest professional services firm wasn’t decided on excellent client management, strategic vision, or technical genius – it went down to popularity and visibility within the partnership. 

And in the world of accountancy, you don’t get much less trivial than that.

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