This week’s “lighten-up” post is more of a reflective nature. I continuously urge you to READ, READ, READ.
It doesn’t have to be books specifically about business. I get much of my inspiration for my writing and speaking from brief passages I read in books of all genres. I read historical fiction, lots of mysteries, some contemporary horror (think Stephen King). Read some books that make you laugh. I cannot read Dave Barry on an airplane because I can’t help laughing out loud (people give you strange looks).
As for business, on the right-side of this page you can select a month from the archive. Go to May, 2013 – Beginning on Monday, May 20th I feature business books on a “book week” post.
In a speech years later Wilbur would remark that if he were to give a young man advice on how to get ahead in life, he would say, “Pick out a good father and mother, and begin life in Ohio.”
The brothers were printers/publishers before they became aviators. They published a small community newspaper and selected items from other publications that they judged worthy of the readers’ attention such as “Encourage Your Boy” from Architect and Building News:
Do not wait for the boy to grow up before you begin to treat him as an equal. A proper amount of confidence, and words of encouragement and advice… give him to understand that you trust him in many ways, helps to make a man of him long before he is a man in either stature or years. If a boy finds he can make a few articles with his hands, it tends to make him rely on himself. And the planning that is necessary for the execution of the work is a discipline and an education of great value to him.
It is interesting how the above item, from the Wright Brothers’ newspaper published in 1889, applies to how you treat your young team members as they enter the profession of public accounting.
We were lucky enough to grow up in a environment where there was always much encouragement to children to pursue intellectual interests; to investigate what ever aroused curiosity.
A great client, Richey, May & Co., put together a fun video to attract top talent. They featured kids of Richey May’s employees. It will make you smile and that is what you should be doing this weekend!
I often hear people describe their managing partner as a “Type A” personality. I also hear people describe another partner, a tax partner for example, as a “Type B”.
Hubspot’s blog post on this topic is helpful and amusing. I know inside accounting firms, there is a real mixture of personality types and they, hopefully, all work together as a well-oiled machine. If everyone were alike, nothing would get accomplished.
So, this weekend enjoy Hubspot’s explanation of A and B.
Here’s how the two break down:
Type As are the “go-getters.” They tend to be more ambitious, organized, time-oriented, impatient, and tend to stress themselves out by taking on more than they can handle.
Type Bs, by contrast, are more relaxed and low-stress. They tend to be more patient, steadier, more creative, enjoy achievement more, and don’t get wrapped up in details.
You probably know I am a Star Wars Fan. Why else would I dress up like Princess Leia for the opening of the AICPA PractitionersTECH+ a few years ago?
I remember when we took our young son to see the first movie. I didn’t expect much…. but life in our family changed. Star Wars toys became a Christmas must and our grandson must have scores of Star Wars Lego sets. His dad sometimes still gets Star Wars gifts.
This week I watched some of the teasers and trailers for the new episode coming out in December – Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens.
Here’s the official Teaser Trailer #2. Escape the “everyday” and become part of the Force. Today’s quote is one every leader in a CPA firm should embrace.
So many CPAs do not take nearly all of the vacation that they officially have coming. Many tell me, “I’m too busy.”
If you are one of the many who tell me, “I’m too busy” as an excuse for almost every suggestion, don’t use it when it comes to “sharpening the saw,” per Stephen Covey. If you are not taking time to renew (and take vacation), you are missing out on an opportunity to broaden your horizons and experience things out of your usual daily routine. Guess what? Clients really won’t miss you for a week or even a month.
I like to see partners use their vacation as a time to really test the relationship skills of the up-and-comers and the experienced managers. It also reinforces the fact that your firm is much deeper and more skilled than just one person – you. It just might make YOU a more interesting person.
This weekend I’m just sharing some photos of my vacation. I hope it has made me more interesting and knowledgeable.
My husband and I drove from Ohio to Colorado Springs. We stopped in Abilene, Kansas to visit the Eisenhower Museum, Library and final resting place. I did learn a lot more than I knew about WWII and the cold war. I found it very interesting and it was a beautiful setting in the small town of Abilene. We also visited historic Fort Hayes on our journey and spent 3 days in Manitou Springs, Colorade. We took the cog railway to the top of Pikes Peak. On Wednesday we began “roughing” it at one of the Broadmoor’s “wilderness experiences” – the Ranch at Emerald Valley. We checked in at the Broadmoor and they transported us up the mountain (approx. 8,200 feet) – it took 40 minutes on gravel, curvy roads.
It was far from “roughing it”. There was fly fishing, canoeing, hiking, horseback riding and the constant attention of individual guides to help you do all of that The food that was out of this world. No TV or cell coverage (but they did have wifi). I had lots of time to read, write and think while enjoying one of the most beautiful places in Colorado.
When I was around four years old, I told everyone I wanted to be a cowgirl. I finally made it to a ranch.
Below: Mountain trail ride, Darrell fly fishing, Cowboy Coffee or City Slicker Coffee by the fire every morning.
I usually share with people that I am a little weird. Good weird. I think differently than a lot of people working in public accounting and over many years I have connected with others… soul-mates who could possibly be classified as slightly weird. Those are MY people! I love them!
One way that I am weird is that I love to be very busy. When I was working inside a growing CPA firm I especially enjoyed tax season because everyone was hustling, focused, working-hard, no-nonsense and a lot of the daily pettiness disappeared for a few months. We also got to see and chat with our clients more during this busy time. I am pleased when there is no idle chit-chat, time wasted loitering over lunch in the break-room, etc.
Being very busy with lots of priorities makes me happy, however, many of our employees in public accounting find it all very stressful, especially Millennials. You need to help them adjust and cope!
Here’s something that might help, it’s an App called DeStressify. It helps all ages of people but is especially important for Millennials. It offers Millennials 5 ways to cope with work-related stress:
Focus on the present – don’t worry about the past or future, stay in the present.
Reframe the story – If something happens, don’t over-analyze or over-react. Simply restate the facts and remove the speculation.
Learn to let go – Don’t let things build-up, learn to release emotions in a healthier way.
Set attainable goals – Perfectionism can cause a tremendous amount of stress. Strive for excellence instead of perfection.
Do what makes you happy – One of the best ways to decrease stress is to do something that makes you happy. Run, hike, listen to music, wind-down with friends, etc.
I am currently using an App called Headspace. It’s a meditation App. I like it… simple and easy. Be sure to explore other options and Apps that might be helpful – for yourself and for your team.
We live, in fact, in a world starved for solitude, silence, and private... therefore starved for meditation and true friendship.
Yesterday, on my local TV station during the noon-time news/talk show, the two hosts took part in a trivia game about Independence Day conducted by a local trivia expert. It was a LIVE show, they failed miserably, not even knowing the city where the Declaration of Independence was signed. So, because I have been amazed by the stories of so many Americans not knowing why we actually celebrate the 4th of July, here’s the scoop via Wikipedia:
Independence Day of the United States, also referred to as Fourth of July or July Fourth in the U.S., is a federal holiday commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, by the Continental Congress declaring that the thirteen American colonies regarded themselves as a new nation, the United States of America, and no longer part of the British Empire.
May the sun in his course visit no land more free, more happy, more lovely, than this our own country.
“Our greatest happiness does not depend on the condition of life in which chance has placed us, but is always the result of a good conscience, good health, occupation and freeedom in all just pursuits.” – – Thomas Jefferson
“Freedom is never dear at any price. It is the breath of life. What would a man not pay for living? – – Mahatma Gandhi
“Only our individual faith in freedom can keep us free.” – Dwight Eisenhower
“There, I guess King George will be able to read that.” – – John Hancock
“Then join hand in hand, brave Americans all! By uniting we stand, by dividing we fall.” – – John Dickinson
I had learned already never to empty the well of my writing, but always to stop when there was still something there in the deep part of the well, and let it refill at night from the springs that fed it.