11 January 2024

Audit for Excellence with Johann Diener

Our MGI Bass Gordon Partner Interview focuses on our partners’ success stories, and intimate windows into their personal journey of trial and triumph.

Today, Johann Diener, head of MGI Bass Gordon’s Audit department, gives us insight into what the idea of success means to him while recounting some of his poignant career successes.

“Success to me is the continuous pursuit of personal growth and the realisation of your full potential. It’s when you’ve tried your very best at something and feel proud of what you’ve done.”

When asked to elaborate on this statement in reference to his greatest success at MGI Bass Gordon, Johann didn’t hesitate to respond that reaching partner at a young age is his greatest achievement to date. In terms of how this directly impacts staff and clients, he replied: “It helps our team realise that a lot can be accomplished in a very short space of time. That age is just a number. Since I’m so passionately involved with the team and desire them to succeed, our clients have great peace of mind that our firm’s leadership is heavily vested in the services they receive.”

Cognisant that mistakes are unavoidable, Johann takes a practical approach – he points out any mistake to the relevant team member while simultaneously collaborating on a plan that ensures the team’s end goal is still reached. Johann has a firm belief that when staff witnesses a leader accepting mistakes while inspiring learning, it boosts confidence. And when confidence is high, the entire team has the best chance to succeed.

In terms of missing the mark with clients, although a very rare occurrence, Johann commented: “I’m immediately honest with our client, assuring them that the issue will be resolved as quickly as possible.” Looking to the future, Johann shared some powerful insights around MGI leadership’s general attitude towards steering the firm through the turbulent economic climate and volatile world events: “We have a variety of resilient, quality clients. Together with our highly qualified staff, we, as joined forces, can pivot and adapt in the face of anything that the road ahead throws us, gearing us to even greater success.”

Johann responded to the following questions, wrapping up this compelling interview:

What is your next big goal at MGI Bass Gordon?
To continue building an Audit team that is confident in their own abilities and that truly cares for clients while remaining positive despite any challenges that come along.

How will you measure the success of this goal, when reached?
By the department’s overall happiness, staff retention, and number of positive client reviews.

What is the main thing you learn from your competition?
To be an expert at what they offer. This powerfully helps MGI differentiate ourselves.

In terms of the way you deal with people, what do you feel your top three personality traits are? 
When dealing with people, I value giving respect the most. This is followed by attentive listening, then open honest communication. I believe these traits greatly assist in building long-term relationships for the highest good of all.

How do you celebrate your successes?
I always celebrate mildly, but no matter the instance, seek out those who have contributed to my successes and thank them wholeheartedly!

What lessons have you learned about people in your career as a leader?
Leadership is about acting decisively and making tough decisions when necessary – which was very much the way I held my ground during the COVID-19 pandemic. I would give any person this advice, be they a leader or not.

Any books that you recommend and why?
Richard Branson – Screw It Let’s Do It. There are many invaluable lessons one can take from Richard’s story, but one that stands out most is how he never gave up on his dreams to succeed – despite past failures and naysayers.

Finally, we asked Johann for his advice to young professionals currently figuring out their financial careers:
Keep an open mind in the business world – while learning as much as you can. Then, remain positive even in difficult times. This may be easier said than done, but I truly believe that when you have your own outlet, it relieves tension and helps you forget about negativities. For me, it used to be squash after work, but nowadays it’s a bike ride to clear my mind. You just need to find your outlet.

To explore more about MGI Bass Gordon as a firm and the vast range of services we offer our clients, please visit our website