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3 keys to a winning team

September 23, 2021
Humor, wisdom and strength. Coach John Abell was a class act. It was at his funeral service that Shannon found himself thinking about how Mr Abell used all those things during his coaching career... and how that approach might apply to CPA firms.
Renew Mindset for CPA Firms
Shannon Vincent

Vale John Abell coach and mentor

Abell in name and in deeds

One of my mentors died — John Abell — and I attended his service on Saturday. His obituary can be read here »

Mr. Abell (what I called him) was the basketball coach (and taught health) at Butte Community College in Northern California. He coached 19 seasons. Butte won 14 titles in the 19 seasons he coached including 2 state championships. They also had a conference record of 70 straight wins. Amazing results!

He was a class act.

He always had a joke ready, some wisdom and focused on people’s strengths. Mr. Abell used to tell me he never worked a day in his life… why? He got paid to do what he loved.

Mr. Abell played to win. He said there were 3 keys to a winning team:

A number of people from his coaching staff and former players spoke at the service. It was very touching and funny (at times). Mr. Abell had a great sense of humor.

Mr. Abell’s strategy got me thinking about running an accounting firm… I believe there are many similarities between running a firm and being a basketball coach.

What can we learn from his approach?

Questions and takeaways we can apply:

In closing, John said, “You only need three things…

RIP Mr. Abell. May we all live such fulfilling lives.

Taking Action:


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About the Author:


Shannon Vincent has dedicated his entire career to working with accountants in various capacities. He has consulted with Top 100 firms to Sole Practitioners, helping them create sustainable and profitable businesses. A member of the California Society of CPAs, he received a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics with an emphasis in accounting from University of California, Santa Barbara, and now resides in the San Francisco Bay Area. Shannon is passionate about helping accountants improve their mindset for success.


About Renew Group:


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