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Home Explore Dare to Lead - 2017 Spring - Spectrum Magazine

Dare to Lead - 2017 Spring - Spectrum Magazine

Published by communications, 2018-06-04 17:32:34

Description: Dare to Lead - 2017 Spring - Spectrum Magazine


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By Kimberly Ellison-Taylor, CPA, CGMA, Chairman of the Board of the AICPA and global accounting strategy director for Oracle, a multinational computer technology corporation.The theme “Dare to Lead”— is aligned with my own personal recipe for success,the ingredients of which include Acknowledgment, Accountability and Aptitude.These ingredients, instilled in me as advice from my parents, have formed thefoundation of my “Winning with Your ‘A’ Game” framework. This recipe hasworked for my career, and I hope that it will resonate with you as well.8 SPECTRUM | SPRING 2017

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT me,“You can do better.”If I got a 95, he would say,“You can do better.” When I got a 100, he said, “You can do better.”Acknowledge and appreciate the hard work and sacrifice Really, Dad? I was at a complete loss as to what to do.of those who came before you. We don’t achieve success When I graduated from my high school as valedictorian,alone — it truly does take a village — and it’s important my dad finally said, “I’m proud of you.” Believe me when Ito recognize that the lessons and best practices we learn say that this was a big deal for me; one I will never forget.from others guide our personal and professional steps in I learned to not rest on my accomplishments of yesterdayintegral ways. I grew up respecting my elders, and that has and to understand that knowledge is not destiny, it is aremained central to every interaction I’ve had throughout journey on which we should pursue all opportunities tomy life. Who knew that this life lesson would benefit “level the playing field”— formal classes, books, webcasts,me in such significant ways? Over the years, members articles, credentials— whatever it takes. I am in a constantof my expanded network (men and women across state of learning, and I’m not afraid to admit I don’t knowraces, religions and geographic locations) were there something or to ask questions. I can learn from anyone,to encourage me, support me and recommend me for anywhere. Recognizing the many things I don’t knowamazing opportunities. They were what are now known definitely helps me avoid the “big head” my parentsas mentors, coaches, advocates and sponsors. These warned me about.“Kimberly champions” did their part, and I needed to domine. I had to “Dare to Lead” and step out on faith and There are many A’s in my ‘A Game’ framework, but aconfidence in my capabilities. I gratefully acknowledge really key one is Ask. Over my career, I have asked forthem and always do my best to pay it forward. opportunities to reach, stretch and grow. A “closed mouth doesn’t get fed,” I heard my mom say, and it is absolutely A C C O U N TA B I L I T Y true. But as you grow, it is important have a great Attitude — a willingness to learn and accept feedback and to beAccountability fuels a strong work ethic and strong self- authentic yet appropriate for the environment.assessment to make course correction. Growing up, myparents would tell me that I shouldn’t expect to be given I am proud to say that this recipe has yielded amazinganything that I didn’t work for. If it does happen, it’s a bonus results for me. Today, I am the chairman of the Board of thebut certainly is not the norm. When mistakes happen, and American Institute of CPAs, a past chair for the Marylandthey most certainly will, it doesn’t mean you stop taking Association of CPAs and a proud Lifetime Member ofchances and stepping forward. When disappointments NABA in the Baltimore Chapter. I didn’t get to this positionoccurred in my career, like initially failing the CPA exam, it by myself. My parents and members of my network allwas important for me to not make excuses. I didn’t change dared me to lead and be a role model for others. In turn, Imy goal because it was hard. I didn’t give up on my dream dare you to:because it was going to take longer than planned. InsteadI heeded the advice of those who passed the exam and • Step forward and raise your hand.made foundational changes. I changed employment,resigned from a community service leadership position, • Seek new and sometimes uncomfortableattended an in-person review course, attended thereview course boot camp, and told my family and friends expect to not see me. The next time I took the exam, Ipassed! So I was accountable for my failure and took a lead • Meet new people — both those who are like yourole in my journey to become a CPA. and those who are not. APTITUDE • Stay focused on your dreams without excuses.Aptitude is the notion that we are all “a work in progress.”I can still hear my parents telling me that “education • Keep trying when disappointments occur.levels the playing field.” They dared me to be as smart aspossible and to not rest on my laurels—to keep learning • Pursue credentials like the Certified Publicand always strive to be the best. It wasn’t until I was anadult that I understood my dad’s approach to teaching me Accountant or Chartered Global Managementto do my best. Growing up, if I got a 90 in a class, he’d tell Accountant. To use the phrase I grew up with, “I triple double dare you” to step forward and lead. You can do it! Dare to Lead! ▲ SPRING 2017 | SPECTRUM 9

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