Dsc00298_edited1I am writing this from a National Association of State Boards of Accountancy meeting in Atlanta. Last night we sponsored a dinner honoring Wes Johnson, a Maryland CPA, for his pending inaugaration as NASBA chairman.

Dsc00325 The setting was Ray’s of Downtown (Atlanta) in the wine room — 16 colleagues and friends of Wes and all connected to the Maryland Association of CPAs. All were leaders in the CPA profession, some were members of the Maryland State Board of Public Accountancy, some were past-chairman of the MACPA, some had moved into positions as national directors and committees of NASBA.

We started the evening with a toast, which quickly turned into a “rolling” tribute as we moved from person to person, each offering a toast and reflections on the relationships, friendships and connections everyone shared. Dsc00316_2

In every story there was a common thread: They all had learned leadership from their volunteerism in their profession. They all had achieved success through their relationships and friendships. Those relationships had spanned decades and were still important despite gaps of years in between.

How do you achieve success as a professional? In a world that inundates us with choices and information, it seems that we need to rely on trusted relationships and friendships more and more. Thus the formula Relationships + Friendships + Leadership = Success.

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