BDO Managing Partner: Becoming Active in Community Is Key to Leadership Success

Leon Fooksman
Leadership Palm Beach County
April 27, 2015

To be an effective leader, you need to recognize and embrace change and continuously strive to improve, says Morry Gottlieb, West Palm Beach Managing Partner of BDO, which is one of LPBC’s community partners.


We asked Morry Gottlieb to describe the key influencers in his leadership development and how he helps to create great ideas in his company. One of the ways he grew as a leader: coaching Little League.


He explains below.

1) What are you doing to make sure you continue to grow and develop as a leader?


Morry Gottlieb: In 2012, BDO embarked on one of the most extensive firm-wide strategic planning processes in its history, “CLIMB”. The “L” in CLIMB stands for leadership and accountability. One of the key areas to the growth & development of a leader is learning.  You can learn in many ways. Leadership training programs are a key way to develop as a leader. This is a more structured approach. In an everyday setting, learn from the people around you. Make sure you surround yourself with the best and brightest and listen and learn from your colleagues. Be adaptable to change.  In today’s business environment, change is constant. To be an effective leader, you need to recognize and embrace change and continuously strive to improve.


2) Who were the key influencers in your leadership development?


Morry Gottlieb: Early in my career I had several key influencers. When I first relocated to Palm Beach County, I was challenged with the task of opening a new BDO Office. This required me to become active in the community to develop business and personal relationships. I was introduced to a CEO of a local company who was an active community leader. He took me under his wings and assumed the role of mentor. Through his mentorship, I was guided to key community organizations, which as a CPA, found myself in demand for the Treasurer position. Being Treasurer, I was immediately part of the organizations’ leadership as a member of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee.  Becoming active in your community is key to your success as a leader. Another key influencer in my leadership development is the role of a coach. Through my years coaching Little League and watching my kid’s interactions with high school and college coaches, I learned a great deal about the importance of being part of a team.  Team sports teaches sportsmanship, how to interact with teammates and opponents and how to lead, motivate and compete. Presently, my key influencers are my firm through training programs and interactions with colleagues and other people in my organization in leadership roles.


3) How do you help create great ideas in your organization?


Morry Gottlieb: Back to BDO’s strategic plan, “CLIMB”.  The “I” in CLIMB stands for innovation.  You need to create a firm-wide culture of innovation.  This is accomplished by encouraging & challenging all levels in the organization to focus on creativity.  Last summer, firm leadership participated in a week long forward thinking brainstorming program. The focus was on the millennial.  We are a people intensive organization and recruiting and retaining the best & brightest talent requires us to be innovative as competition is fierce to attract this talent. The millennials will make up 70% of our workforce over the next 5 years. Our forward thinking session was geared around brainstorming creative ideas on how we recruit, motivate and retain millennials.  Brainstorming is a powerful tool to solicit creative ideas.


4) Why does BDO support LPBC?


Morry Gottlieb: BDO encourages its team of professionals to be part of the community by becoming involved in a leadership capacity with community and professional organizations.  LPBC is a community organization that offers many of the opportunities that enable our professionals to grow their careers in Palm Beach County.  We are proud of our successful alumni of the Leadership Program. Tammy Clarke, LPBC President and a BDO professional, is an example of why BDO supports LPBC. The Leadership Program is a great forum that provides our professionals with a powerful network to other business leaders, a way to learn about Palm Beach County and to learn how to be an effective leader.


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