Family First Member Spotlight: Meet Leslie Sims


Authored by RSM US LLP

RSM’s Family First employee network group (ENG) builds community around shared experiences and serves as a support system for the wellbeing and growth of its members and others so they can be their best at home, work and in their communities. Through our Family First member spotlights, we share stories about life experiences of some of our people. In this edition, meet Leslie Sims, who knows that with openness and honesty, you can tackle any challenge.

Leslie Sims
Audit partner
17 years with the firm
Also a member of STAR

Tell us about a challenge you are currently facing or have face.

COVID-19 restrictions, our remote environment and hybrid school education are definitely challenges. I feel blessed to be a part of a school system that has carefully thought out how to handle the next steps, but even at that, the current work-from-home environment is not ideal for most families.

What roles do family, faith and RSM play in the face of such challenge?

It’s everything! My families – both at home and at work – are everything to me! My work family – internal team and client counterparts – are what I love most about being at RSM. I’m fortunate to have RSM team members with whom I can honestly share what my day looks like and a husband who is also committed to his work and our daughter’s education. Communication continues to be our key to success for meeting our team and client expectations and feeling like our work is recognized and valuable.

What habits have you created over time that have led you to face such a challenge in the way that you are or have? Why were those habits important to you? How did you develop a commitment to those habits?

I feel like every day it’s about prioritizing. As a new manager at RSM, I had to really focus on prioritizing. None of us can be all things, all day, every day. But we can continue to prioritize and knock out the most important and urgent items on the list, at work and at home. Sometimes making a list of everything to get done is too much – so focusing on what’s important short-term, and then blocking off time later (tomorrow, three days from now, next month), will help protect the time needed for other responsibilities.

Tell us your day-by-day plans to move forward through this challenging time of life. How are others able to help and support?

Every day, make the list – work and home, or work and life. Don’t feel shy about communicating what you need or how your day needs to look to members of your team. Supportive teams understand the give-and-take that comes with challenges. I feel like some of us are hesitant to share what we might need, but especially in this time, we need to virtually “lock arms,” and know that everyone is trying their best, and that looks different for each one of us.

What message would you give to our RSM professionals who face similar challenges themselves or who have family members facing such challenges?

Although it can sometimes feel like it, you aren’t alone! New protocols have been pushed out with little time to adjust and, to me, it felt like families/individuals were sometimes on their own to figure out what works. I’ve found that the more open I am with RSM team members and clients about the challenges I might be facing, the deeper the relationship and understanding grows.