You can’t always get everything right!

June 2024

I hate this phrase.  Being a perfectionist, I want everything I do to be the best it can.  I want everyone else to do the best they can.  And my belief then is that everything should be right.

But it won’t… not always.

I promised a verbose, deep and meaningful post about my award win last week, following my initial words:

Oh, what a night!

I know several will be expecting a lengthy verbose, deep and meaningful post (maybe that will come later…) but for now, I just want to say how proud and extremely honoured I am to be named Accounting Leader of the Year at last night’s International Accounting Awards.

Russell Bedford International was also highly commended in the category of Network of the Year, narrowly missing out on the top prize.

I thank my current team and all those I have worked with in the past, along with so many who have supported me throughout my career.  This individual special acknowledgement and recognition means so much.  Thank you!

So here it is -

Winning an award for Leader of the Year in your profession means I must exemplify perfect leadership, right?  Unfortunately, no.  Perfection maybe doesn’t exist.  It’s something most leaders will inevitably strive towards.  For me, as I’ve grown older (and I’d prefer to say “wiser”), I’ve learnt to accept that not everything will go the way you want; and my “perfect” might not always align with others.  But a good leader will listen, will empathise and, with all that in mind, will look for ways to achieve the best they can for desired goals and objectives.  And when things don’t go as planned, a good leader will then work to fix that, in the best possible way to get back on track.

I’ve had bumps in my career but I’d never go back and fix those.  They led me to where I am today and I learnt so much from them.  In fact I’ve learnt a lot more from the things that went wrong, than from the times when everything went right and when I (felt like I) had reached perfection.

Good leaders surround themselves by people who will support them, through the good and the bad.  There’s too many people in my life to thank for that.  But you’ll know who you are if you’re reading this.  And don’t be afraid to show vulnerability; we are all human and it is the human side of our profession that we strongly promote as we, at the same time, embrace advances in technology and the emergence of AI.  To have people who support you when you really need it - that should be everyone’s “perfect”.

I’d also say - don’t take yourself too seriously; but do everything you do with complete passion, dedication and integrity.

When something goes wrong, try to smile and know you’re strong enough to fix it.  And if you’re fortunate to have good people, strong enough to help you fix it, then don’t hesitate to ask for their help.  And, since most challenges inevitably lead to opportunities, you may get the chance to show further talents and ability, resulting in even greater success.  Or, when you review and put it all into perspective, maybe it’s not so bad after all and, in the scheme of things, doesn’t really matter.

Like… winning Accounting Leader of the Year 2024 and holding your award the wrong way round!

(Right image: Fixed!) 


Author: Stephen Hamlet

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