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PODCAST: Committing to be an authentic leader

Written on Jun 12, 2019

By Jessica Salerno, OSCPA senior content manager

CongroveDarciA leadership role brings highs and lows, an Ohio accounting leader said, but you’ll find success by remaining honest with yourself and those around you.

“I think early in your career you’re cautious about how much of yourself you bring to work and how honest you are with people about who you are and how you see the world,” said Darci Congrove, CPA, managing director at GBQ. “I’ve gotten to a place where I’m unapologetically honest and authentic about everything. And what I have found is people really respond to that.”

Congrove joined us on the most recent episode of The State of Business podcast to discuss her career journey, her straight-forward approach to leadership and learning to grow and tackle new challenges.

“I think fundamentally leadership has nothing to do with title or position or experience,” she said. “We see leadership happen at every level of our organization on a regular basis and it’s the basic ability to influence others and guide them in a direction.”

Leaders should remember not to get so swept up in their own vision that they forget to check if people are still following them, Congrove said. It’s valuable to expose yourself to new leadership and collaboration opportunities, especially for young professionals.

She said having team members get involved in initiatives such as nonprofit boards give them exposure to governance, consensus building and leadership in a way that is different than inside the organization.

Congrove believes in giving back outside the workplace, and she takes an active role in Columbus philanthropy efforts. She’s the chair of the Women’s Leadership Council of the United Way, chair of the Workforce Committee of the Columbus Chamber, on the board of the Columbus Franklin County Finance Authorities and is involved with the Women’s Fund of Central Ohio. She was also recently named a 2019 YWCA Woman of Achievement.

“I think the pride comes cumulatively through lots of little things,” she said, when asked of the more memorable moments in her career. She mentioned receiving thank you notes from clients, offering meaningful advice to colleagues and speaking at events where the GBQ story resonates with the audience as all particularly significant.

“I don’t think so much anymore about what’s work and what’s life and where’s the balance,” she said. “I’ve mostly figured out a way to integrate it all and I think that is my current definition of success. That I’m able to do the things I want to do and manage my own schedule and have one piece of my life inform the others and try to just stir it all together.”

Hear more from Darci at our upcoming Women, Wealth & Wellness Conference on June 27, and listen to the complete podcast episode now.

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