Ep. 79 – Ryan Parker: Adding Value to Your Organization (as You Grow as a Leader)

Ryan Parker is the President & CEO of Endicott Clay Products and the newly installed chair of the Nebraska Society of CPA’s executive board.


Our conversation focuses on the process of adding value to your organization as you grow your career, what you should be thinking about if you aspire to be a leader within your organization, and the challenges of replacing a seasoned CEO.


Before we get to that, check out these images of the beautiful tiles at Yale Medical Center, mentioned in the podcast:



How can you add value to an organization & grow as a leader?


  • Some work is necessary, but doesn’t add value. “When you’re in a public accounting role, the trick is to really become an advisor. A consultant pays the pills, but it doesn’t generate revenue.” When you turn that corner and become an advisor, in any industry, you start to create work for your organization.


  • Many people in technical professions understand their job, but they don’t necessarily have a comprehensive understanding of the business or industry: sales, marketing, human resources, regulations, and daily operations all matter. You need a complete understanding of a business if you want to be a trusted business advisor.


  • “A lot of times, being a trusted business advisor really boils down to having conversations about people, pricing, or customers that nobody wants to have.” You have to be willing to ask questions that are difficult but, in the long term, matter a great deal.


  • “You have to be willing to go out on a limb and embrace change and the unknown, and it doesn’t come easy. But if you’re not willing to embrace it, you’re going to fail… The easiest thing ever is just to react to a situation. The second easiest is when you just respond. The absolute hardest is to initiate it.” Once you can initiate change, for your own personal self-development or for the company, you can start to become what you want to become, as a professional.


  • Find a mentor that you hold in high regard, whether they are in your organization or outside of it. Find out how they climbed the ladder, the values they embraced, what level of work they’ve taken on, and be honest with yourself: is that what you really want?


  • “If you really want to become an executive or a partner within your firm, do whatever is needed when it comes to understanding all of the issues – don’t leave a stone unturned… You’ll be surprised at how many times you pick up the stone and look underneath of it and there’s an opportunity.”


  • Accept failure as a learning opportunity – not as a punishment. If you want to grow, you have to constantly push yourself past your comfort zone, and sometimes you will fail in the process. That’s okay. So, what have you failed at today?




  • Connect with Ryan: LinkedIn | rparker@endicott.com

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