Tuesday, June 29th, 2021

High Regard

“People who end up as ‘first’ don’t actually set out to be first. They set out to do something they love.” – Condoleezza Rice

I am reading The Pioneers by David McCullough. I love historical books and McCullough has provided many.

Living in Ohio, The Pioneers is of interest to me cause it is about the first settlers that crossed the Ohio River and settled what they then called the Ohio country. It was really part of a larger area called the Northwest Territory where the states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan would thrive.

Manasseh Cutler, a 45-year old pastor from Ipswich Hamlet, a tiny Massachusetts village led the “Ohio Cause” seeking to be able to buy land and settle in this beautiful and plentiful country.

At that time, Congress met in New York. The Constitutional Convention was still meeting. There was, as yet, no President, and Cutler had to bargain with Congress directly to get permission about the Ohio settlements.

Cutler described meetings with many influential people, including James Madison, Benjamin Franklin, and Alexander Hamilton. Eventually, he met with William Duer, secretary of the Board of Treasury.

I am early on in the book but a certain passage brought CPAs to mind. What do your clients think of you? What kind of person do they think you really are? What do your employees think of you, honestly? What would they write about you?

Cutler’s description of Duer:

“He is a gentleman of the most sprightly abilities and has a soul filled with the warmest benevolence and generosity. He is made both for business and the enjoyment of life.”

Of course, for some of you, replace “he” and “gentlemen” with the feminine reference. Then, as a CPA, would people say something similar about you?

Interestingly, there is more to Duer’s story.

  • "What does it take to be the first female anything? It takes grit, and it takes grace."
  • Meryl Streep

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