More than anything else, that is what I took away from this year's edition of Interchange, a gathering of state CPA society folks on the prowl for better ways to serve members.
Peg Neuhauser said as much during her session on avoiding burnout. Our mood is based largely on our state of mind, she said: Think positive thoughts and you'll be less stressed and more productive.
That theme carried over to the closing keynote by Dean Lindsay. His message, though, rings much closer to home.
It's all about dealing with change.
The MACPA's own Tom Hood has a formula for dealing with change:
L > C
That's shorthand for this brilliant nugget: To stay on top of things these days, our rate of learning must be greater than the rate of change.
“None of us is as smart as all of us,” Tom said in a previous post, “and in a world of faster change and increasing complexity, we need to rely on each other more and more to be successful. Collaboration can accelerate your rate of learning and allow you to ride the waves of change.”
Don't you dare call it change, though. According to Lindsay, that's your first lesson in changing your perspective.
“Do you want to motivate people to take positive action? Think 'progress,' not 'change,'” said Lindsay, an author, speaker and self-proclaimed progress agent. “This is not about change management. It's about progress leadership.”
So what do we need to know about becoming progress leaders? Lindsay has some ideas:
- The goal of learning is not knowing — it's action.
- The more we serve others, the more we are served.
- Nothing makes us happy, sad or stressed. Our attitude is a choice.
- Respect time. Don't try to find the time. Schedule it. Manage it.
- Think lovely thoughts. Remember your Henry Ford: “Whether you think you can or can't — you're right.”
- Internalize but don't personalize. Stay cool and unruffled.
- Keep learning. Maximize your personal potential.
- Care and listen. Then care and listen some more.
- Cherish and cultivate construction communication.
- Remember and use people's names. (Are you bad at remembering people's names? Lindsay has a four-step solution: 1. Prepare to catch the name. 2. Repeat the name to your target. 3. Repeat the name naturally in conversation. 4. Repeat the name at the end of the conversation.)
- Build priceless relationships.
That last one rings especially true. Everything we do boils down to relationships. Nothing we do — business, sales, marketing, membership, communication, collaboration — will work unless we take the time to build meaningful relationships. Without them, it's all just noise.
What did Lindsay forget? What are your tips for progress leadership?