Lisa Kinsella, a Partner in our Tax department, provides insight into her career success, motivations and what it takes to become an influential leader and Partner at one of Ireland's leading tax, audit and advisory firms.
What sparked your passion and interest in your field of expertise that led you to pursue a career in it?
I've always had an aptitude for numbers and I enjoy engaging with people and finding practical solutions to their benefit. Having trained as an auditor in a small practice I had the opportunity to work across all service lines and quickly realised that tax was a career I wanted to pursue. I undertook the exams myself, these were not sponsored by my employer and to my surprise I managed to place first and second in my Part 2 and 3 exams respectively. Thereafter I made the move to a Big 4 firm to specialise in financial services tax, however shortly after I realised that I didn't want to limit myself to one area of tax so I took a job with Crowe and the rest is history.
How do you define and cultivate a motivating environment for yourself and your team?
I believe in honest and open communication and making sure that everyone has a voice. I was told recently that I am very direct. Not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing but it has always been my way.
How do you overcome adversity?
Having other passions outside of work is extremely important and knowing how to shut off from work is crucial to overcoming adversity. Accepting and being comfortable with failure is also very important. Taking each setback as a learning opportunity and not beating yourself up over it is something I try to practice.
In moments of stress or pressure, what strategies or practices do you employ to maintain your focus and composure?
To be completely honest, I have always found it difficult to manage stress. If I am feeling stressed I step away from what I'm doing, go for a walk or do a workout. Exercise is really important to me and if I miss a class or a training session, I really notice the effect this has on my wellbeing. The best advice I can give is, if you are feeling stressed, take a breather, go for a walk and always confide in someone else. It can make the problem seem less insurmountable and generally there is always a solution.
What activities or practices do you engage in to unwind and relax outside of the office?
Yoga, personal training, reading, listening to podcasts, spending time with family and friends.
What is one lesson you've learned from a failure or setback that has significantly shaped your approach to both your personal and professional life?
The best advice I have received is don't take failure personally. We are all human at the end of the day, no one is infallible. Anyone who is truly successful will have experienced failure at some stage in their life, be it professional or personal. Treat failure as a learning experience. Reflect on what could have been done differently, learn from it and then move on.
How do you encourage and support continuous learning and growth within Crowe?
Again, the best advice I've received is to be curious. At all stages of one's career, time and space should be dedicated to personal development and growth. Within the tax department, we encourage people to seek out CPD courses that interest them and we support them in pursuing additional qualifications. As we move forward I would like to be more actively involved in mentoring and helping staff focus on interpersonal and communication skills which I believe are crucial to developing talent within an organisation.
What are your aspirations and goals for the future of Crowe?
To bring fledging talent along and to help develop the next generation of Partners and senior management.
Looking back on your career, is there anything you would have done differently?
No, I tend to trust my gut when it comes to my career. I have taken opportunities and passed on opportunities where my gut has told me they weren't right for me. I try not to dwell on the past and focus on what I have learned from a situation.
What advice would you give to someone starting their career in our field, based on your own experiences and lessons learned?
Be curious and take chances. Don't be afraid to fail.
Should you have any taxation or business questions, our experienced team will be happy to share their insights with you.
To find out more about a career with Crowe, visit our careers hub.