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June 24, 2020

What Has Changed for You?

CeCe and I have spent a lot of time at home together with the COVID-19 shelter in place orders, as I am sure you have with your family. So when the Governor opened up the restaurants for 50% dining capacity, we were the first in line at our favorite spot. It was delightful, and we reflected on how much we had taken this privilege for granted when we were able to go whenever we wanted.

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Topics: Growth, Positive Energy, Growth Mindset, CeCe

November 20, 2019

Practice Overcomes Fear

“Pull the trigger, Davis!” We chime in at the shooting range with my grandson Davis, who was nine at the time. As you probably know, we’re a hunting family, and the day before this happened, Davis had passed on a nice 8-point buck because he was frozen by the thought of the recoil even though he has successfully shot this gun before. His rifle is loud, but not deafening, and a great youth gun to learn gun safety with because of the size and limited recoil. So his dad, Brandon, and I took him to the shooting range trying to get him comfortable shooting again.

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Topics: Growth, People Development, Leadership

September 04, 2019

Number Crunchers

“Oh, a meeting with a bunch of number crunchers,” is ringing in my ears as I look into the eyes of this complete stranger who has taken the liberty of labeling our profession.

It’s the AICPA Major Firms Group meeting in Laguna Niguel, California, and we had just finished our afternoon session and I was briskly walking back to my room when I bumped into this beautiful family in the hallway.

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Topics: Growth, People Development, Anticipatory, Leadership

May 29, 2019

Why Our Best Kernels Don’t Pop

Popcorn is a favorite snack at our house. Pro tip: drop in a few M&Ms right after popping—delicious! CeCe, who hates to cook, has grown to love this snack, too, and one day a few weeks ago, she ambitiously decided to pop herself a nice fluffy bag of popcorn. She stuck the package in the microwave, hit the popcorn button and left the room as she usually does when "cooking."

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Topics: Growth, Full Potential

December 26, 2018

Pulling Back the Curtain on Growth

We’ve already pulled back the curtain on trends and opportunities to innovate by visiting strategies of Top 100 CPA firms as well as industry thought leaders. Now, let’s pull back the curtain on what appears to be the primary growth strategy for large firms and certainly for our profession. As we will soon see, there will be no surprises behind this curtain but we may be surprised at the opportunities and challenges hidden behind this strategy. 

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Topics: Growth, Anticipatory, Future Ready

May 02, 2018

Practice Makes a Star

I often hear team members refer to a star performer as having the “IT” factor or expressing the desire to be personally known for excellence. What stands between us and excellence or being one of the star players is DELIBERATE PRACTICE.

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Topics: Growth, People Development

October 25, 2017

Face Your Fear and Reach Your Full Potential

People ask me, “Joey, aren’t you scared of this massive fast-moving change and exponential technology transformation?” The quick answer is YES, absolutely! I really think a professional would have to be in denial to not be afraid of what is in front of us. It reminds me of the first time I jumped on a big street bike.

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Topics: Growth, Leadership

July 26, 2017

The Emotional Journey of Creating Anything Great

A few months ago at HORNE’s State of the Firm, we discovered together that most of us are swimming, wading, tiptoeing or running through the swamp of despair since we took a new direction in response to the transformation we see around us. We reviewed this insightful graphic, “The Emotional Journey of Creating Anything Great,” and each of us identified where we were on our journey. It was not pretty, big change never is.

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Topics: Growth, People Development, Leadership

May 31, 2017

Are We Getting Better or Just Bigger?

Ever notice the trend when we are faced with stagnation, less relevance, stiffer competition or slow growth—we’re quick to default to a “more is better” approach. An approach based on beliefs that bigger means being relevant and brings certainty for future growth. If we were bigger, more companies would choose us so we would have more growth. If we do more of any of our services, our relevance will grow also. These beliefs or approaches might be a very slippery slope that could land us at the bottom of a swamp infested with other non-distinctive commodities. 

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Topics: Growth, Leadership

March 01, 2017

How a Heart Scare Changed My Outlook on Life

Pop Joe is our family nickname for my beloved Dad, Joe Havens. Pop Joe is 79 and recently he had a mild heart attack which actually helped save his life. Pop Joe is high energy, works out 3 times a week at the gym, mows his grass, manages the landscaping, grows a family garden and serves in many capacities at Calvary Baptist Church. Mom says he can be a little stubborn at times which might truthfully be the only negative thing you will ever hear about this wonderful man. What an amazing dash he is living and so glad to share that he has been my greatest mentor, an amazing role model and loving father. 

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Topics: Growth, People Development, Leadership

October 26, 2016

Mistakes Can Hook Us

My wife, Cathy, has fallen in love with fly fishing (or at least the concept of fly fishing as our skills are lacking for sure). She loves the clear streams, colorful trout and wonderful scenery.

As you can see from the photo, (which I understand she posted on Facebook with the comment, “When I hooked my man I really hooked him.”), she did hook more than a rainbow trout on our recent trip to Montana. At the invite of our friend Tim Bartz, we were on the beautiful rolling Missouri River between Helena and Great Falls, Montana. Our mission: two fun-filled days learning how to fly fish while floating down the rumbling Missouri.

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Topics: Growth, Leadership

October 21, 2015

Are You Swimming in the Wrong Opportunity?

On a recent early morning trip to the gym, you can imagine my surprise when I came across these two ducks in the parking lot!  

I have to admit, at first, I thought someone had set decoys out to see if people would stop and look.  As I started walking towards the gym, I would just glance over, trying not to look right at them in case it was a joke.  I’m vain like that, I can’t stand for someone to trick me.  Then, the ducks started moving around so I knew this was the real deal.  (On a side note - what does this pool of water say about the parking lot?). This was so incredible, the ducks acted like this was their new home.  In places, the water was deep enough for them to swim around.  

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Topics: Growth, Opportunity, Leadership