Strategizing International Tax Best Practices – by Keith Brockman

Archive for the ‘Leadership’ Category

Leadership development ideas

In today’s ever-changing complex environment,  leadership development should be a top priority, with technical abilities being an inherent assumption via relevant training.  The referenced article succinctly illustrates the difference between positive attributes of leadership development versus the potentially stifling technique of leadership training.  It is a topic worth contemplating, as evolving leaders will be a win-win opportunity in an innovative environment that is stimulating and successful for all.

Tax Risks: strategic personal development objective

The subject of international tax risk for multinationals is growing exponentially every day, although there does not seem to be a significant focus on the commitment in personal development plans for the identification, assessment and / or monitoring of such risks.

Tax risk management is an integral part of all tax professionals focus, although this objective may not be identified to measure accurately and consistently.

For example, if the tax professional is communicating in an audit or appeals process, does the individual have the relevant training for interpersonal skills and understanding the negotiation process to develop a win-win opportunity for efficient resolution?

The timing for next year’s development plan has arrived, thus it might be the right time to consider tax risk with a new focus.

Introverts / Extroverts: Leadership Planning

Suzanne Bates publishes a highly recommended blog including leadership ideas and books to share; a reference to her Blog is accessed by the following link:

Power Speaker Blog by Suzanne Bates: Thoughts on Leadership and the Power of Communication:

A book recently recommended by Suzanne is entitled: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, by Susan Cain.  It highlights the importance of introverts, including differences in how they work with extroverts.  This book is also included in my Leadership Page: Books to Share.

Several ideas quickly materialize when talking about this subject:

  • Do you present ideas at a meeting necessitating immediate action for introverts and extroverts?  Do introverts have time to reflect and consider such actions prior to solution steps being introduced by extroverts?
  • An analogy for introverts vs. extroverts should also be considered for different cultures and how they work; some being more collaborative while others are more direct.  In a world of increasing diversity, this leadership trait should be practiced, and understood.
  • Are different personality characteristics of the team members understood by the team leader to ensure effective alignment?
  • Is this topic discussed among the team, allowing each member to understand different approaches by different individuals?
  • Are different responses by an introvert and extrovert embraced, including the phrases “I need a little time to think about this idea” and “Great, here is what I think we should do, when can we start?”
  • How do you effectively plan additional time for introverts to think about leading a meeting, or making a presentation?
  • How can introverts be extroverts in certain circumstances?
  • Are different people leading meetings?

Leaders need to understand the power of effectively communicating with different cultures and personalities, including introverts and extroverts.  This skill is often assumed and / or overlooked in career development.  It may be a good time for self-reflection to understand Best Practices, thereby becoming a more effective leader.



Talent challenge, a time for extraordinary leadership: PwC global CEO survey

This timely survey concludes that it is time to take control, due to a required change in the existing mindset within many organizations.  The survey included 1,330 interviews with CEOs in 68 countries.  The traditional approaches to engagement, performance, reward and people issues are becoming less relevant in today’s changing environment.

Observations from the survey include the following:

  • CEOs in Africa are very confident about growth in 2013, although availability of skills is a problem.
  • A coherent talent strategy, building on the employer brand, should be embedded in the organization’s DNA.
  • Key growth areas for operations: Latin America, South East Asia, Middle East, South Asia and Africa.
  • 77% of CEOs will alter their approach to talent management, and 23% were planning a significant change.
  • Existing people strategy is not fit for purpose.
  • Employees should feel involved in the business as a key pillar of engagement, although 66% of staff were not actively encouraged to be involved in decision-making.
  • Today’s business leaders need to cope with crisis, understand risk and be comfortable with change.
  • Rebuilding trust with employees by creating the right culture and behaviors is a fundamental pillar for shaping the business.

The survey provides valuable insight into today’s leadership challenge for developing, and retaining, superior talent.



Meetings: team collaboration for success

Meetings are designed to be collaborative and solution oriented, with all members of the team aligned going forward.  The author of this article, Fed Kofman, has provided a valuable approach to meetings, with all attendees actively participating and contributing to the overall objective.  The article is thought provoking and insightful to further Best Practices.

Fred Kofman, Ph.D. in Economics, is Professor of Leadership and Coaching at the Conscious Business Center of the University Francisco Marroquín and a faculty member of Lean In. He is the author of Conscious Business, How to Build Value Through Values (also available as an audio progra

Presentation Skills, A Valuable Leadership Attribute

Presentation and negotiation skills are two critical factors that  distinguish an exemplary leader.  Emphasis on these valuable personal attributes should be addressed by everyone continually, and formally reviewed once or more annually to measure success.

This post will address some ideas for the use of presentation skills, with recommended sources of reference.  My prior post, 14 August, discusses negotiation skills and tools for development.

Suzanne Bate’s books and personal coaching camps are highly recommended, with a link provided to her informative website.   I have also updated her power speaker blog on my Recommended Links page. I can personally attest to the valuable lessons learned from her personalized classes.

Suzanne is author of Speak Like a CEO: Secrets for Commanding Attention and Getting Results (McGraw Hill), which went to #6 on the bestseller charts on in 2005. The book has also been published in 5 languages including Chinese, Russian and Indonesian.  Suzanne has since published two more books, Motivate Like a CEO: Communicate Your Strategic Vision and Inspire People to Act!, and Discover Your CEO Brand: Secrets for Embracing and Maximizing Your Unique Value as a Leader, with McGraw Hill, and both books have become business best-sellers on

Some ideas for improving presentation skills include:

  • Different participants should present topic agenda items at meetings.
  • Formalizing presentation training goals in a personal development plan.
  • Organizing presentation exercises / workshops.
  • Practice telling a powerful story, starting with individual passions.
  • Review effectiveness of Power Point presentations for lessons to be learned.
  • Provide a mentor relationship.
  • Encourage individuals to sign up as presenters at relevant conferences.
  • Discuss Best Practices in company publications, providing encouragement for others.
  • Develop a source of Best Practice presentation resources, including those of Suzanne Bates.

The above references and ideas will hopefully provide inspiration for current and future leaders.

The Art of Negotiation: Improve your leadership skills

Negotiation is an art and acquired skill; as such it should be a continuous journey for every tax executive.  Negotiation is used by everyone every day, personally and professionally.  For example, it can be used to develop a win-win result in cross-functional issues with a geographically diverse team or equally in discussions with tax authorities to concisely explain transfer pricing concepts.

In today’s world of tax subjectivity and controversy, negotiation is a requisite (and often neglected) skill for local, regional and global tax teams, as well as other leaders in the business.  Conveying technical tax terms and complicated transactions simply, succinctly and convincingly is a leadership skill that becomes more important as one’s career progresses.  Notwithstanding this necessity, negotiation is a skill that is not an integral part of everyone’s development program.

Books, presentations and conferences are focused on negotiation, and I will pass along some tremendous resources I have used that are easy to read and implement daily.  It is also fun to see  the results!  Gerry Spence, a U.S. renowned trial lawyer, has written the following two books for your consideration:

  • How to Argue and Win Every Time – At Home, at Work, in Court, Everywhere, Every Day
  • Win Every Case: How to Present, Persuade and Prevail – Every Place, Every Time

I highly recommend the above resources, related articles posted herein, and look forward to your ideas on this important leadership topic.

Cover of "How to Argue and Win Every Time...

Cover of How to Argue and Win Every Time

Please ensure you, and your teams, have a negotiation goal for 2013!

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