October 23, 2019

Being a Day 1 Firm, Every Day

Jeff Bezos and Amazon have been extremely successful in driving disruption in numerous markets. He has defined the key to that success as being a “Day 1” company — not resting on present or past success but treating each day as Day 1. This is exactly the concept we need as a partner mindset throughout our profession.

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Topics: Forward Thinking, Leadership

October 09, 2019

Behaviors Matter for Strong, Inclusive and Diverse Teams

At a recent AICPA Women's Initiatives Executive Committee (WIEC) meeting in Seattle, we had a healthy discussion on our future view and how we can move the needle faster for women and overall diversity in our profession.

Research confirms that diversity is not only one demographic marker. Instead, it is an intersection of our many different lenses and personal experiences.

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Topics: Diversity, Team Building, Leadership

October 02, 2019

Confessions of a Hoarder

CeCe and I are unloading several packages into our closet fresh off one of my two trips a year shopping for new clothes. I hate to shop, but I do like having new things.

Just as I set the packages down, CeCe looks at my side of the closet and says, “You’re going to have to get rid of some things! Some of this is stained, you never wear this, and that doesn’t fit. Do you want me to go through it for you?” “Heck no, I will do it, I promise.” If CeCe went through it, I wouldn’t have a stitch left!

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Topics: Forward Thinking, 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

August 28, 2019

The Tea Runneth Over

With only 30 minutes until my next meeting, I call the restaurant downstairs to get my Colony Salad, which is a half salad with an avocado split and filled with chicken salad.

Eating at my desk (again)—which is not what I recommend, need or teach—and as I take the last bite I reach for my cup of unsweet tea. Oops! I tip the top of the cup and it’s leaning, spilling a little tea on my desk. I quickly grab the cup to catch it and to my dismay, it explodes. Tea is everywhere. I’m holding what was a perfectly good styrofoam cup that is now in a dozen pieces. Wow, what a mess and my Zoom call starts in seven minutes. Thank goodness for paper towels!

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Topics: Leadership

July 24, 2019

The Crabby Truth About Leadership

I can see the blood start to trickle down my finger and the pain is growing as I keep my hand hidden inside the sand bucket. It's our annual crab hunt on the beach with the kids and grandkids in Perdido, FL, and we have just caught the biggest crab of the night. He is about the size of a small post-it note but mean as a shark.

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Topics: Leadership

June 05, 2019

Oversharing Is Caring

In a recent collaboration meeting with several leaders from numerous organizations and firms, one of them commented, “I think I may have overshared.”  Actually, her thoughts, insights and feelings were exactly what we needed to hear. She had been very vulnerable with us and her comments were both relevant and insightful. After her comment, the word "overshared" kept ringing in my ears. Why did I love this term so much?

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Topics: Communication, Compassion, People Development, Leadership

May 22, 2019

Read My Book

CeCe and I were recently visiting Oxford, MS, to enjoy some Ole Miss baseball and some family time with my parents, Mom and Pop Joe, as well as three of our grandchildren. For me, it doesn’t get much better than watching the Rebels play combined with family time, so I certainly enjoyed the weekend.

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Topics: Life-Long Learning, Leadership

April 10, 2019

Golf Again? Please No!

In golf, your ability to play the “short game” is the quickest way to lower your score. You cannot shoot low scores in golf if you can’t chip and putt. Obviously, the pros spend hours refining this aspect of the game. And guess what skills go the quickest if you don’t play regularly? For me at least, it’s chipping and putting. This has never been more evident to me than last month ─ my once a year golf outing at Sage Valley. This year, I shot the worst score of my golfing career (108). That fantastic little score included triple bogeys on four holes. It was ugly, really ugly.

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Topics: People Development, Life-Long Learning, Anticipatory, Client Service, Leadership

March 20, 2019

What Matters Most Right Now?

I’m amazed by how easily I can become consumed with things that aren’t the main focus. I might have a presentation to prepare for, yet I will check Twitter or LinkedIn instead. What matters most  connecting on social media or focusing on giving my best in the presentation? Another example is when my grandchild wants to play at the playground 30 minutes longer than I had planned. What really matters most  my plan or extra time with this precious child?

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Topics: Focus, People Development, Leadership

February 27, 2019

Are You Really a Connoisseur?

CeCe, my wife, has a reputation for making outlandish and sometimes thought-provoking statements (being extremely cautious here) which at times leave us laughing for hours. Recently, our daughter Haley and I were talking about coffee and some of the brands and roasts that we like. 

CeCe, hearing the conversation, spoke up with a statement about her favorite flavored coffee. We explained we were discussing true specialty coffee versus some of the artificially flavored coffee which she enjoys.

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Topics: Life-Long Learning, Leadership

February 20, 2019

Are We Stacking Our Wood Too High?

Last fall, at the first crisp cool wind that I felt (we treasure things like this in the Deep South), I called and ordered a cord of firewood for our fireplace. We have an outside carport area with a fireplace that we drive through which CeCe calls a Porte-cochère (yes, I had to Google it). Now a cord of firewood is a lot of wood so I had to be pretty creative with where I stacked it. First, I filled up the spot right beside the fireplace which has a brick wall on the back side and a brick wall on the side opposite the fireplace itself. It makes a nice area to stack firewood. I had so much wood that I stacked it about five feet high which was at the very top of the walls. Then, I went around on the back side of the fireplace and put another stack on the back wall all the way to the top. I still had firewood left over so I put a stack at the end of our driveway.

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Topics: Leadership

February 13, 2019

You Can Do It!

A few weeks ago I was jogging (liberal use of the word) in Naples, Florida, around 9:30 a.m. It was a beautiful day and about 2.5 miles into my run I went into my self-talk rationalization. 

“30 minutes is really enough today. I know I wanted to do a full 40 minutes but heck, you can walk the last mile. Walking counts. And some say it is better for weight loss. As soon as you get to the top of this bridge, just call it a day.”

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Topics: Positive Energy, Leadership

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