Window into Wipfli

The walk-up song and the power of being authentic

By Brian Blaha

When I joined Wipfli over 25 years ago, I was attracted to the human side of the firm and its emphasis on building close relationships with our clients in the mid-market space. Wipfli has never wavered from this approach — it’s part of the firm’s DNA. 

After a recent event to celebrate the promotion of 17 new partners and principals, one of them said to me, “Everyone on the senior management team has always been so approachable and accessible — they’re just normal people.” It was a great compliment, and I couldn’t agree more. It’s one of the central reasons why I chose to build my career at Wipfli. 

One of the ways we made the time with our new partners and principals real was the selection of a “walk-up song,” often linked to a baseball player coming to the plate. Selecting a song represented our own authentic self and the idea that we need to step up each and every day to live our own purpose and the brand promise of the firm. I chose Juke Box Hero by Foreigner as mine. It’s a link to my past when I ran competitively, but it also reflects my attraction to the sense of a journey and the great outcomes that can be achieved. 

It takes a bit of effort to put yourself out there, leaving the safety of anonymity, and be secure in yourself that your opinion matters and you have something to share. There is something in this simple act of sharing a private “walk-up song” that builds confidence, and this confidence allows us to share our individual perspective. 

When this individual perspective is combined with the perspective of colleagues and clients, everything changes. It creates an environment where people can share ideas and seek solutions to problems in a more effective and practical manner. It allows everyone to leverage their expertise and experience in a more creative fashion. It’s about being real, authentic and having a shared launchpad to use your skills in a rewarding manner — to the benefit of everyone.

In the months ahead, I’m going to share additional insights and perspective on Wipfli’s unique journey and the transformation underway at our firm and across our industry. I’ll touch on a variety of topics, such as personal and professional growth, the Outward Mindset, structured growth, the future of the profession and client experience. By bringing you along to share in my journey, I hope you’ll be motivated and share your related experiences as well.

Brian Blaha

Brian Blaha, CPA
Growth Partner

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