One of my favorite Wise Firm building blocks is windshield view, but probably not for the same reason it may be a favorite for others. Some people look at windshield view with solely a client or firm-centered focus—being anticipatory, knowing the challenges the client or firm has previously faced and those that may be soon to come. While agreeing with this viewpoint, I, however, like to look at windshield view a little differently. I like to think of windshield view introspectively—knowing the road I have traveled and roadblocks that have hindered me or slowed me down, but focusing on what is ahead of me and not behind.
It’s no secret that the metro Jackson, Mississippi area has some of the worst roads one may ever see. There’s nothing like traveling on a road, which appears to be relatively smooth (by Jackson standards) only to quickly come up on a pothole before you realize it. You attempt to swerve or slow down, but you hit it anyway. Now if you’re anything like me, the words said at this point aren’t “rated Lori” as my dad used to say when a movie or show we were watching had some foul language. But after hitting the pothole, you have a couple of options. You can think about said pothole and complain about why the pothole was there in the first place or you can continue.
This was where I struggled. Early in my career, I hit some potholes, and boy, did they hurt. I would hit the “pothole,” stop, sit and wallow in despair about how wronged I had been and how it was everyone’s fault but my own. In my “woe is me” moment, I would be so stuck on the pothole that I wouldn’t see the other potholes ahead—and I’d hit them too. But when I switched to a windshield focus, this all changed. Did I still hit some potholes? Of course! The road didn’t miraculously get better. However, it was my reaction to them that changed. I didn’t choose to let the bumps in the road hinder my progress forward.
Sometimes, even while firmly focused on what is in front of you and paying attention to the bumps in the road ahead, things can still get in the way. A couple of weeks ago, while driving to work, it finally happened—a rock hit my windshield. I heard the ‘ting’ of the glass shattering, and then, the crack began spreading like wildfire. I was doing nothing wrong. I wasn’t driving at an excessive rate of speed nor following too closely behind a large truck that could throw a rock my way. Besides, rocks hit my windshield all the time. What made this rock so different? Well, this rock hit me in the exact place needed to cause damage—the unprotected corner.
The same holds true for life and careers. Even when looking forward with a windshield view, cracks happen. So next time this happens, ask yourself this question: has the crack obstructed my view? No? Then, it’s purely aesthetic and you can continue the course per the usual. However, if the crack has caused you to see less clearly or maybe even blurred your vision, the windshield may need to be replaced or repaired. HORNE offers numerous opportunities for those who may no longer see as clearly as they once did. By offering a culture that ensures each team member has the ability to reach their full potential, though they may form, the cracks in the career are repaired or adjusted accordingly.
About the Author
Lori Liddell, CPA/ABV, CFE, is a fraud, forensic and litigation services senior manager who performs business valuation and litigation support, including general business valuation and company financial analysis. She is committed to being an advocate for diversity and inclusion within the firm and the accounting profession as a whole.