How do young professionals find their edge?
Their what? Their competitive edge.
#MBSN. Collaboration curve. Network. Non-sales selling.
All at the AICPA EDGE Conference in Austin.
This is the third year for this new conference, which emerged from the AICPA Leadership Academy as an event to “sharpen the next generation of CPAs.”
I had the honor of opening this year’s conference. Tthis post is a recap and resource list for attendees (and anybody else who wants to sharpen their edge).
The best recap comes from the AICPA’s Heather O’Connor, who was live blogging from the session.
The big idea to kick off the conference is simply, “Life=risk. Take some.” (See the video here.)
To put it another way, Cinnabon CEO and Undercover Boss star Kat Cole said it this way: “Just because things could be worse doesn’t mean you can’t try to make them better. That’s what leaders do.”
We then covered the top seven issues and asked the group to brainstorm three to five ideas they can do to deal with these issues. That is where the collaboration and sticky notes came in.
Three major themes showed up in the questions and ideas:
1. The ability to sell, or “non-sales selling,” per Dan Pink’s latest book, To Sell is Human. Here are some related resources:
- Like it or not you’re a salesperson
- We are in the moving business
- Want to sell stuff? Sell yourself first.
2. Social media and technology were also common themes. Here is some help:
- The people CPAs need to follow on Twitter, by our own Bill Sheidan (yes, he is a must follow: @billsheridan)
- Slideshare deck on Social Media for Accounting and Getting an ROI from Social Media.
- Lots of short clips on our Youtube channel about social media
- CPA Success blog posts on social media
- Following hashtags, lists and other key sources: Hootsuite or Tweetdeck
- Keeping track of everything (my second brain): Evernote. You can clip from your brwoser, e-mail it, tweet to it, photo, voice record and more.
- Contacts: The Evernote Hello app
- Staying up on social media: Reading my feeds from Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn: Flipboard and Zite
3. Top 5 skills CPAs need now. More resources here:
- Here is the original post from the MACPA’s NYPN work: Top seven issues facing young professionals
- AICPA Insights and live blogging from AICPA EDGE 2013
- My presentation slides on my Slideshare account
I closed with my advice for these young professionals be like artists. As Seth Godin says, “An artist is someone who uses bravery, insight, creativity, and boldness to challenge the status quo.”
We really do need them to help lead us to the next generation of CPAs.