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In the News: Learning to Lead

Derek-jeterThroughout my career in communications, I’ve sought out every opportunity to develop the skills that will hopefully help me become an effective leader in the future. Almost all of the dedicated and successful professionals I know - in every field - have done the same. Some people, like Derek Jeter and Winston Churchill, are viewed as being great natural leaders – the kind of individuals who can motivate and bring out the best in the people around them. But the vast majority of individuals – even successful leaders - have needed a little guidance along the way to develop and refine the qualities that may eventually allow them to help steer their organizations to great heights.

To help develop the future leaders of the accounting profession, the AICPA recently announced the 2013 Leadership Academy class. This group of 38 rising stars will attend the 5th annual Leadership Academy, held in Durham, N.C. this fall. The five day program will be an opportunity for participants to learn leadership theory and strategic planning techniques, while developing tools for handling complex management challenges.

As a recent article in Accounting Today notes, CPA leaders, including AICPA Chairman Richard Caturano, CPA, CGMA, and Barry Melancon, CPA, CGMA, the Institute’s president and CEO will engage the participants, all under the age of 36, and discuss the issues currently facing the accounting profession.

“Being selected for the AICPA’s Leadership Academy means being part of an elite group of the best and brightest young minds in the accounting profession,” said Caturano. “These young CPAs are poised to make a positive impact in the profession, and the training they will receive will serve them well as they take the next steps in their careers.”

The AICPA selected these 38 Leadership Academy attendees from more than 120 candidates recommended by their employers, state CPA societies or both. Candidates submitted resumes, which included work history, licensure information, professional volunteer activities, community service, and awards and honors.

Tim Lyons, CPA, a supervisor with Mauldin & Jenkins, LLC and a graduate of the 2012 Leadership Academy was one of many past participants who benefited from the program. “The Leadership Academy showed me that there is more to being a leader than a vast knowledge of technical skills. Collaboration and communication are the skills that define successful leaders, and the Institute has done a fantastic job bringing together experts in these fields to share their knowledge with us,” Lyons said.

Applications for the 2014 Leadership Academy will go live in February of next year. In the meantime, the AICPA’s Young CPA Network has a dedicated website with leadership resources for CPAs.

The CPA Practice Advisor reports that female CPAs and financial professionals who want to put their careers on the fast track should consider attending the 2nd annual AICPA Women's Global Leadership Summit.

“One of the most essential elements in leadership development is access to new ideas and learning opportunities combined with strong role models,” said Mary L. Bennett, founder of MLBennett Consulting LLC and chair of the AICPA Women’s Initiatives Executive Committee. “This conference gives participants both.”

The conference will feature an array of skill-building sessions, dynamic keynotes and networking opportunities. It will be held Oct. 24 to 25 in Washington, D.C. and is co-sponsored by the American Woman’s Society of Certified Public Accountants and CPA Canada

, AICPA Staff.

Daniel M. Silva / Shutterstock.com

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