Career, family and athletic passions: A perpetual balance
Tax associate partner, surfer and dad Todd King defines personal flexibility
Colleagues in his home base of Halifax know Todd King for his passion for surfing. And his personalized approach to work-life balance reflects a broader tidal shift toward personal flexibility at Deloitte.
The leader of Halifax’s 18-member Tax team, King serves a roster of tax clients that includes athletes like Olympic kayaker Karen Furneaux. He’s also the tax advisor of choice for award-winning Canadian musician Matt Mays – who recently used some of his downtime between tours with Sam Roberts and Kid Rock to perform at a Deloitte alumni event. And while King’s clients and responsibilities have evolved over his years with Deloitte, one thing has been constant: his quest to juggle client commitments and athletic pursuits.
The sporting life: Balancing professional and personal fulfilment
At the height of his fastball career, King would hop on a plane to play ball in Florida most summer weekends. But trying to balance weekend travel, a steadily developing tax career and married life, King decided to “go out on top” in 2000. That’s when his passion shifted to surfing – a pastime he began in the mid-1990s.
Staying connected: From a BlackBerry on the beach to après-surf emails
“I’ll often have a half-hour between surf sessions to check my BlackBerry, burn through a bunch of emails, and make a few phone calls,” says King, noting that on such days, people can expect late-night emails from him. “In most cases, you can stay connected without sitting at your desk in the office at prescribed hours. We’re all professionals, and it ultimately comes down to leaders trusting individuals to take responsibility for delivering on their commitments.”
Leadership is about earning trust and setting the tone
“At our annual planning meeting, we talk about how we could make busy season easier for our people to manage. We try to think outside the box – like something as simple as offering a concierge service for someone who needs to get their car fixed,” says King. “Basically, it’s about being a team, recognizing the realities of our clients’ expectations, and doing what we can to help our people find contentment.”
Balance – like parenthood – is ‘an ongoing journey’
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