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Leadership is a positive quality that everyone should instill in themselves. It can be hard to define
and it means different things to different people. Leadership has nothing to do with a persons
position or titles but it is about imparting something into peoples lives. As a leader, you have to
lead by example

As we know, leadership, being considered one of the most widely discussed subjects today, has
emerged to be a complex phenomenon in modern society. The main reason for this could be given
as the numerous schools of thought that have emerged postulating different leadership models
which present day leaders are attempting to emulate. Current efforts at demystifying leadership
profiles have recognized the need to start an analysis at the individual level rather than at the
organizational level. With a personal leadership profile, one can analyze their capability and
crystallize their thinking as a leader. The results can be used to set a clear direction on the course
that the individual wishes to pursue.

This writing will discuss my firms partners leadership profile in detail. It will analyze such
elements as my leadership interests, abilities and the styles which she employs. I have conducted
an informal interview to gather the information of my partner and determine the leadership skills
that used influence the employees. This summarizes the leadership skills that being practiced in
my firm and designed to help understand what leadership entails and to gauge the effectiveness as
a leader. While focus has majorly been on the types of leaders and their level
of effectiveness within the organizational setup, emerging trends have indicated that there is as
much need to focus on the capabilities of the leader as an individual. As an individual, I can make
use of this personal leadership profile to describe my partners characteristics, leadership
behaviors, as well as the effect that the aforementioned characteristics and behaviors have on other
members of my group or organization.

The person that influenced me with her leadership skills is the Audit Partner of the firm that I am
currently engaged. Susanna Lim is the Partner in Ernst & Young Advisory, focusing on Assurance
and Advisory services. Susanna has more than 20 years of experience in providing risk
management and advisory services with specialization in Business Process and IT Risks,
compliance embedding and ERP Reviews. She has served public listed clients as well as
multinational companies from various industries.

She pursued Bachelor of Accounting and obtained a few professional qualifications such as
Certified Public Accountants, MICPA, Chartered Accountant, MIA, Certified Information
Security Manager (CISM), Certified in the Governance of Enterprise IT (CGEIT), and Certified
in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC). Aside to this, she is also the engagement
partner over Data Privacy Impact Assessment and Controls Implementation in global functions of
a multinational conglomerate. She is also main person in the review of banking system of financial
institutions covering controls review and assessment of the effectiveness and adequacy of security,
integrity and availability controls of application functionality, business functionality & support.

In order for me to complete this task, I have conducted an informal interview session with Susanna
Lim, Audit Partner of Ernst & Young (EY). This to get to know her journey in EY and how she
faced the obstacle in going forward with her good qualities. This session involves both question
and answer session to understand how she can lead this firm successfully. Besides that, I have also
gone through some of her achievement records throughout journey in EY.

Exploring the experience and leadership skills of Susanna Lim, Audit Partner

Initially Susanna Lim did not think being a partner was much different from being senior manager.
The first three months after she made partner she felt like nothing changed but she was still
primarily worried about executing her day-to-day work. Later, a director once she reported to came
to her office and said Im looking to you for direction on where the firm is going. Then it strike
her that Wow, Im really in-charge now. This is what gave her pause in terms of how she viewed
herself. This is what made her realized to shift her mindset from simply doing job to creating new
business and forming a niche for myself in a saturated market. Susanna strongly agrees on that one
cannot be successful just by working harder all the time but one need down time to regenerate.

Firms put much time and time into preparing prospective partners for their new role. According to
Susanna, the transition from senior manager to partner requires a significant change in outlook that
is not easy to completely digest until an accountant actually becomes a partner. New partners must
view themselves not just an employees, but as business owners. They are no longer responsible
just for themselves and their subordinates, but for helping set the direction of entire practice areas.
They are asked to create business, drive strategy, grow as leaders, act as firm wide role model, and
become more involved in their communities. After rising through the ranks from junior role to a
senior role to a management role, they are now tasked with setting and realizing their own career

The change in mindset required of new partners is so significant that them a year or two to settle
in to their new roles. Susanna Lim, CPA who has been an audit partner with Ernst & Young
Malaysia for almost 12 years, found she had significantly more responsibilities as a partner that
she did as a senior manager. She went from meeting the expectations of my bosses to meeting the
expectations of my clients, as she was now running business aspect of thins. She spent her first
couple of years coming to terms with her new responsibilities. Partners need to learn that they can
no longer handle both their new and old responsibilities and be successful. As driven, ambitious
people, they can find it hard to relinquish control over aspects of their jobs. Learning to delegate
is an essential skill for a partner. When you are given new responsibilities on top of your old ones,
you realize you have to hand a lot of your old duties over to others. You realize that certain people
are now better suited to handling aspects of your job than you are because they have different skill
sets, more time, or are ready to take on new challenges themselves.

Of critical importance to building effective leadership both at the personal and the organizational
level is defining the elements that make up ones personality. According to my Partner, as a leader,
she have come to realize that there exists no substitute to learning more about herself.

Her leadership interests majorly have to do with diversity rather than adaptability. Whereas she
understand that attempting to adapt organizational or group members to the present conditions can
help to streamline the process of achieving the task at hand, she have noted over time that she is
more interested in bringing out the uniqueness of individuals instead. By nurturing the unique
qualities of members and appreciating their different ways of achieving objectives, members feel
at ease with the organizational setup.

Creativity and innovation have also been among my key areas of interest as a leader. Over time, I
she have realized that creativity forms a formidable part of the organization. Whereas the
importance of creativity can be easily overlooked, it is worth noting that it has an effect on the
long run progression of the organization. As we know, creativity and innovation are the basis upon
which groups and organizations progress beyond the achievement of their objectives into growth
and self-actualization.
Other interests that I can see from my Partner is her leadership profile are influencing others and
team building. I understand that group and team dynamics play a crucial role in the organization
and partake to shape them in a positive manner. Influencing others involves pointing out a course
of direction and giving members the autonomy with which to chart their way into the desired goals
and objectives.

Aligning goals with firms objectives

In order to become partner, accountants progress through a strict hierarchy, climbing the ranks
from junior associate to manager to senior manager to director. Once they become partners, though
career milestones typically are not as clearly defined. As a partner, we have to determine our
objectives based on the things that the firms tacitly expects from us.

Some firms do have formal goal-setting procedures at partner level. At Ernst & Young, partners
report to a managing partner with whom they have regular accountability meeting. At these
meetings, we have fun and challenging discussions about our career paths, said by Susanna the
Audit Partner. We set goals for everything from staffing issues to process improvement, soft skills,
technical skills, marketing and client development and we track our progress on them throughout
the year.

Shifting focus from self to others.

The biggest mental shift of partners have to undergo is learning to concentrate on the firms growth
as much as they do their own. As a partner, their actions affect so many other people that their
priorities need to shift. Partners often find they need to focus on others professional growth as
much as if not more than their own. Partners role is more about leading and helping other deliver
on their expertise than being the expert themselves.

Soft skills are important

Accountants need to equip themselves with both technical and soft skills. Most partners have an
area of expertise they are known for, be it technical knowledge or business or staff development.
Partners concentrates on becoming better-rounded by improving their skills in other areas. Susanna
said that she need as a partner need to be more proactive with both staff and clients. The big picture
is changing in accounting and it is not just crunching numbers and dealing with software. We have
to work on improving our relationship with clients. Networking is another skills that is even more
vital to partners, who often work to become more visible and involved in their communities.

Besides running a firm, Susanna also said that one of the most effective ways of assessing
leadership is through monitoring the skills and abilities that a leader has. There are numerous scales
have been developed to measure leadership based on these constraints. As evidenced by her
personal leadership is mainly centered on my ability to influence the actions of others without
necessarily making any promise of reward. This has enabled her to influence the actions of others,
mainly through my ability to convince staff and client, without them feeling exploited. As staff
shift their attention from the reward to the completion of the task at hand, they are able to achieve
an optimum level of performance in audit, even when the reward in question does not measure up
to their expectations.

Susannas leadership capability has also been founded on my ability to nurture people
progressively and to help them think outside the box. Conversely, she have the ability to lead them
on and help them through the realm of their present circumstances such that they learn to question
their deep founded beliefs. This ability comes in handy since performance in organizations is often
hampered by the biased mindsets of the organizational members. As people dwell more on what
ought to be done, rather than what is usually done, their dedication towards a group or organization
manifests itself and performance is improved.
Additionally, Susanna also possess a level of creative energy that enables me to keep other people
motivated even in circumstances where she would not have the motivation herself. With the
numerous years that she have had as a leader in both formal and informal setups, she have also
gained leadership intelligence, which has accorded me the ability to solve different conflicts at the
individual and group levels. Her conflict management skills have been nurtured by the presence
of conflict in the numerous setups that she have worked with.

Personal Leadership Styles

Furthermore, Susanna has a personal leadership style that has significant influence on the staff of
her firm or organization and their performance. The different styles that are used can be explored
through organizational frames. These frames dictate how roles are performed, how different
responsibilities are delegated, and how success is achieved. They are necessitated by the fact that
clear roles, goals and relationships within the organization, as well as adequate coordination, are
paramount for the achievement of the set goals and objectives. By identifying and focusing on a
given frame, leaders are better committed towards the achievement of the organizational goals
rather than their personal agendas.

Listed below are the leadership skills that Susanna portrays in her daily routine as a leader by
holding the Audit Partner role:

Leadership: She has the leadership qualities where she leads the audit firm. The staff or
auditor in the firm are working under her leadership. She also have a communication
ability that she can motivate and control the audit staff.
Communication: This is the most important attribute of a leader. After all, if you cannot
communicate your intentions and expectations to your team, they will never be able to
achieve their goals. Communication, of course, goes both ways. Susanna demonstrates her
ability to listen as well as talk. Highlighting her communication skills is a great way
to showcase leadership experience in coaching her staff.
Teamwork: This seems like a no-brainer, but the ability to follow as well as lead is an
important attribute of any leader. Susanna always choose to work as a part of a team on
many occasions. As always, she demonstrates what she have achieved in quantifiable terms
to show her leadership experiences to the best advantage.
Competence: As we know, the more knowledge you have, the more valuable youll be
to your team. Susanna is a competent person. She has completed and thorough
knowledge of accountancy to understand the accounting. She applies her knowledge and
skills and by this she proves that she is professionally competent.
Vision: Her ability to see the scope and potential for everything from a single project to an
entire companys future is a soft skill thats difficult to demonstrate. She visualize her
vision of her firm by educating her staff the future and importance of the business.
Honesty and Integrity: Susana is an honest auditor where she is very particular in
certifying true and fair view of audit report. She will always make sure that only clean
reports are given unqualified report to ensure the integrity of her profession.

Commitment: Susanna also shows her commitment as at audit partner by getting

committed to the projects or clients in order to provide a quality audit review of the client.

Creativity: Susanna has her own creativity where she is able to convince client in attracting
new business by satisfying clients need in a creative way and innovative problem solving.

Innovation: According to Susanna, every organization has its own inner workings and to
be a successful auditing manager or compliance officer requires creativity. With a
combine innovation with current business processes to yield impressive results by using
audit software and continually up skilling your data analysis experience with cutting edge
audit techniques will ensure that her staff are able to solve business problems within the
organization that no-one else can master.
Patience: As an audit partner she always practice patience in her work where before
signing on any paper she would check the evidence and then sign it. She never checks the
papers in hurry because that may lead to wrong conclusion or judgmental.

Master of the Auditing : Not only that, she masters the audit techniques and must have
practical knowledge of law directly effecting her progression she should have up-to-date
knowledge about auditing. She also will ensure that her staffs also masters themselves
with the audit skills to produce a quality work and being independent.

Tactful : Morever, Susanna is always tactful and practical in her dealings with her
clients. She can be practical if she is approached for professional advice; she must
understand the piratical needs of her client and thus make recommendation which would
suit her.

Secrecy : We know that secrecy is the quality of an auditor .There is a keen competition
among the business unit leakage of business information can put the client into
difficulties. It is a must for the auditor to maintain 100% secrecy of all business matters
because this would be a sensitive issue under Privata Data Policy Act (PDPA).
In conclusion, Susannas overall personal leadership profile that sums up her leadership skills is a
combination of numerous variables. Her interests and capabilities help to define her better and
have enabled me to understand the type of leader that she is, as well as the potential that she
possess. As a leader, the styles that she employs influence my relationship with other people and
her effectiveness. As a budding leader, she have had the privilege to work alongside other leaders
who have helped to impart some of the abilities that she possess today and using in to influence
her staff. Although some of these skills point out the potential of being a better manager than a
leader, I feel more at ease with working with people rather than directing them. As such, she hold
the belief that she is well suited to be an inspirational leader or as a partner. Successful leaders are
those whose skills and styles match their position in the group or organizational setup. We should
believe that being well-rounded, not just in your professional but in your personal life as well.
Finally, from my observation form Susanna I got to understand that leadership is not only about
your past work experienceit is about how you present yourself and showcase
your life experience.