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Get “Unstuck” in 2014

Fish-getting-unstuckLike so many of you, I am passionate about both leadership and learning. Recently, the thought struck me that on occasion, my desire for personal and professional growth might actually get in the way of my leadership and learning.

I’m sure you can relate to the feeling of “sprinting to the finish” on various projects. But how often do you really feel like you’ve reached the finish line? Instead, what if we’re actually like hamsters on a wheel, essentially stuck in one place? This was an “ah ha” moment for me—a realization that my logical mind had some trouble laying bare.

Over the holidays I began reading The Overachiever’s Guide to Getting Unstuck: Replan, Reprioritize, Reaffirm by William L. Reeb, CPA. Bill has been an informal coach of mine for years, and is a former member of the AICPA’s Board of Directors. While reading his book, I have learned that we often get stuck because our desire is out of alignment with our efforts and plans. Bill’s book helped me realize that I have a tendency to raise the expected performance bar before I’ve even completed a project. Talk about morphing goals!

As CPAs, we set the bar high and can easily call ourselves overachievers. There’s nothing wrong with that, but what we need to start paying more attention to is the balance and alignment between what we want to achieve and how we plan to get there.

My goals are to be a highly effective leader within the profession and balance that with my family and my health. I’m not sure that always raising the expected performance bar is aligned with that desire. Giving myself time to think, be strategic, coach others, grow, listen…that is alignment.

If this resonates with you, leave me a comment below. Here’s to getting unstuck in 2014!

Arleen Thomas, CPA, CGMA, Senior Vice President - Management Accounting and Global Markets, American Institute of CPAs.

Angelfish jumping image via Shutterstock

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