The No. 1 issue facing the CPA profession is a lack of leadership.

Listen to AICPA past Chairman Paul Stahlin as he facilitated an i2a: Insights to Action session with Maryland CPAs from our 2010 CPA Summit.

He specifically addresses the issue identified by the group as, “The impact on our profession of the lack of young professionals' expression of desire to take leadership positions.” 

Paul says, “That is one thing the profession is changing right now and has changed significantly in the last few years with the work of the AICPA and many state CPA societies.”

I could not agree more!

Through leadership academies and young professionals' networks (see our own NYPN), we are all working to develop the next “varsity” squad of leaders for the profession.

Having worked with the AICPA team to design their Leadership Academy and our own in Maryland and another in Utah, I am in awe of the talents, enthusiasm, and willingness to step up to leadership by these young professionals. But they will not just show up; we have to ask. As Paul says in the clip, we, as current leaders, are responsible for cultivating the next crop of leaders in our profession.

Is it working? Since Paul made these remarks, look at what these young leaders are saying and doing:

  • The AICPA's Leadership Academy Doesn't Sound So Awful After All, by Going Concern blogger Adrienne Gonzalez
  • Then there is our own MACPA's 2011 Leadership Academy's whitepaper on the future of leadership in the CPA profession and Adrienne's take here, where she says:

    “The interesting part about the MACPA's project is that opinions and visions are a dime a dozen in this industry, but Leadership Academy participants went beyond postulating about the future to map opportunities from a future CPA leader's point of view complete with action plans, timelines and desired results. This isn't simply a report on the state of the industry at some point in the future but a report on how young leaders can get us there in the here and now.”

  • The MACPA Leadership Academy video story, by Bill Sheridan
  • Reflections on the AICPA Leadership Academy from Joshua Partlow, partner at Johnson & Lambert
  • Then there are the numerous Facebook postings, links, and e-mails talking about how these young leaders are actually applying their new skills at work to inspire and mobilize their colleagues. 

Listen to the Season 1 graduates of the AICPA Leadership Academy in their own words, then tell me: Do they sound like they don't want to lead?

Another myth busted!

Applications are being accepted for Maryland's spring 2012 Leadership Academy, scheduled for May 7-9, 2012 in Timonium. Get details and apply here.

For more information about bringing a Leadership Academy to your organization, see our BLI information page.

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