By Lauren Williams, CPA
The NCACPA recently provided me with the opportunity to attend the AICPA’s 10th annual Leadership Academy in Durham, North Carolina in October. Forty-one CPA’s from across the United States were accepted into the program which involved an exploration of self, leadership, and the state of the accounting profession in an open and collaborative environment.
I arrived at the historic Washington Duke Inn on a Sunday evening with an open mind and no expectations as to what was about to happen over the course of the next four days. At the opening reception, chatter filled the room as folks introduced themselves and began learning about one another. My top takeaways from the program are as follows:
Energy is a limited resource. It is up to you to determine how to expend that energy to its highest potential and best use so that the return far exceeds the energy invested. This means prioritizing the activities and people who feed your soul and walk away from those that don’t.
Effective leaders utilize their natural strengths. The best tool you have as a leader is understanding your skills and regularly using them. This enhances your happiness and also your effectiveness as a leader.
Adaptability is key in uncertain times. This has to do with continuous improvement and setting aside time to think strategically about the direction of your industry and your organization. It means staying up to date with current trends, and not being afraid to try new things.
We rounded out the Academy with Barry Melancon, President, and CEO of the AICPA and Eric Hansen, Chair of the AICPA for an enthusiastic discussion about the future of accounting. It’s clear that advancements in technology will change the roles of CPA’s in the future; in as little as the next two to five years. I left the Academy with 40 new friends in the accounting profession and lots of excitement for the next phase of the accounting profession. I’m certain the best is yet to come!