June 26, 2019 4:00 am Published by

Episode 12:

Kimpa Moss is a partner at Lurie LLP, a Minneapolis accounting firm, and is responsible for the firm’s operations and administration. Kimpa is an extraordinary leader and team-builder who has helped shape the organization by bringing and managing positive change. Kimpa balances her stellar career life with being a devoted wife and mother of four children, three of whom are following in her footsteps and becoming CPAs themselves. She is truly dedicated to growing her firm and helping employees advance their careers, all while providing exceptional service to her clients. Kimpa obtained her MS in Taxation at DePaul University, and her BS and MS in Accountancy at the University of Illinois. She is an outstanding woman leader whose dedication to excellence and skill in accounting offer her an incredible perspective for other women in leadership.

What You Will Learn:

  • Kimpa describes the tools and strategies her firm employs to help their associates get through the intensity of tax season, and she shares why it is important for her team to be able to take a step back and recharge through the season.
  • Kimpa shares how Lurie LLP is highly values-driven, and why the entire firm considers having fun to be a core value and a necessary trait for the work they do and the intensity of tax season.
  • Kimpa talks about how she came to work at Lurie from a Big Five firm, and she shares the ongoing dialog she had with one of the managing partners over the course of several months before she joined the firm’s executive committee.
  • Kimpa discusses the challenges she faced coming into an established firm with the intention of bringing culture change to the organization, and she shares how the firm being ready for change helped her get through those challenges.
  • Kimpa shares how being an extrovert married to an introvert has taught her to understand people who fear change, a skill that she has brought into her work at the practice.
  • Kimpa describes how most people are either people-oriented or task-oriented, and she shares how grace and truth are often at opposite ends of their own spectrum. She explains why it is important to consider people at both ends of the spectrum.
  • She shares stories of dealing with a male managing partner early in her career who asked her if she really thought male business managers would ever listen to her perspective as a woman and respect her as a woman leader.
  • She discusses adopting her fourth child after having three biological children. She shares the challenges and joys of adopting a five-year-old Russian child and having to learn to bridge a language and cultural gap.


Intentional Greatness as a Woman Leader in CPA and Financial Consulting

You’re here because you know that learning never ends. You’re the kind of entrepreneur, business owner or leader who realizes that the pursuit of a perfect life, while a worthy goal, is also an impossible one. You know there is no end to the race, and you’re ready to power through anyway. You know that the climb to the top is endless, and you’re going to make the climb anyway. In short, you’re ready to become an unf<kwithable leader.Intentional Greatness as a Woman Leader in CPA and Financial Consulting, with Kimpa Moss

I was recently joined by my friend Kimpa Moss for an episode of the Intentional Greatness podcast. Kimpa is a partner at Lurie LLP, a Minneapolis accounting firm, and is responsible for the firm’s operations and administration. She manages to balance the complexity of her role within her firm with her home life as a wife and mother of four. Somehow, she tackles all her various roles with enthusiasm and energy, giving each aspect of her life the attention it needs. Kimpa Moss is a remarkable woman leader who sets an example for other women in leadership, which is precisely why I was so happy when she agreed to join me for the show.

In this episode Kimpa discusses the work she does and the challenges that she has faced throughout her career, particularly as a woman in business striving to be a woman leader in the 1980s. She talks about how she has brought positive change to her organization while being respectful of people within the team who fear such change, and she discusses the rewarding challenges she experienced adopting her youngest child from Russia when he was five, and raising him despite an early cultural and language gap. Kimpa shows us that true passion, commitment, and resolve can allow us to succeed and thrive in all aspects of our hectic lives.

Being a New Leader on an Established Team

When Kimpa was brought into Lurie LLP, the intent was to bring an outsider into the firm to enable positive cultural change for the almost 80-year-old business. However, being an outsider to the firm’s executive committee wasn’t the only challenge Kimpa had to meet, as the established firm was a bit set-in-their-ways at first. Some team members took the perspective of “we’ve always done it this way”, and that was a hurdle Kimpa needed to clear to be able to do her job effectively.

During our conversation, Kimpa discussed the two spectrums of mindset people tend to be on. As Kimpa sees it, people are often either task-oriented (focusing on the goal at hand and tuning everything else out) or people oriented (forging relationships and using their outgoing personality to their advantage). On the other spectrum, people are either drawn toward truth (telling it like it is) or grace (using diplomacy and tact). By better understanding these personality types, Kimpa was able to enact major, rapid changes at her firm while still considering people who might be fearful of those changes. By seeing things from both perspectives, she was able to ease her firm through these major changes successfully.

Balancing Work and Family as a Woman in Business

As you can imagine, working at an accounting firm can be remarkably hectic, sometimes chaotic, and exhausting – especially during tax season, when everyone is working long hours with few opportunities to step away from the manic energy around them. Kimpa is remarkable at keeping her cool, and it also helps that one of the core values at Lurie is a sense of fun. The firm’s culture is committed to ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to step away and recharge during these busy times.

However, Kimpa’s home life hasn’t always been easy either. After having three biological children, she and her husband decided to adopt a then five-year-old Russian boy. Being a mother is already an extraordinary and complex task, but imagine doing so while dealing with a language barrier and strong cultural differences. Once again, Kimpa’s strong will, determination and ability to empathize helped her through. Today three of her four children, including her youngest son, are following in her footsteps and are studying to become CPAs.

For a long time there has been a silent bias against a woman leader in the workplace. This bias was founded on the idea that women can’t possibly be both effective leaders and devoted wives and mothers. Too often, we as women internalize this bias and think that we have to make sacrifices somewhere in our lives. Kimpa Moss had to power through that bias in her own career, and she shows us that a woman can be a remarkably successful business leader and have a healthy and loving home life at the same time.

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