WIZARDS AND ACCOUNTANTS
1) a person who is skilled in magic or who has magical powers: a sorcerer or magician.
Now when you think of Wizards, you think of those guys with pointy hats, robes, and beards. Well, at least I do, but that is a side effect of reading fantasy and science fiction in my youth.
When I came here to Thriveal many years ago, the Yammer profile form asked for my title. I didn’t feel that Manager was an appropriate one for me, even though that was my job title. Well, I didn’t think it was a fun one, at least, so with a few minutes of contemplation, I typed ‘Wizard at Large.’ Silly? At the time. It was aspirational. But it mirrored one of my important beliefs at that time, now a core value:
Our craft was created for a higher purpose than what we are using it for today.
As a Manager, I will make sure we pump out that tax return, financial statement, or form that you need to avoid penalties and jail time. I will make sure my staff are well-organized and my partners are well-served.
As a Wizard, I could use my knowledge and my art to collaborate with others to achieve their goals and dreams. I could help the heroes of this world contribute to the betterment of humanity.
2) a person who is exceptionally good at something.
That describes all of you here today. Did you ever consider yourself a wizard? You should think about that a bit.
When I came here, I was just an accountant with the title of Manager.
Being here for a while, learning from and with others, studying, practicing, and thinking made me a Wizard. I do not care if we were debating things like the need for engagement letters, not billing by the hour, needing liability insurance and creating new business models that didn’t involve doing accounting work that sucked the life out of us: a lot of knowledge was shared and created in Yammer.
Knowledge can be magic, especially when applied artfully.
Part of the Wizardry is making sure we apply our knowledge in such a way that other humans value it and get some deeper knowledge or meaning from our work.
And the best news is, you do not have to do it alone. You are surrounded by those who are in the same shoes you are in….
We are a diverse community of firm owners, leaning on each other, learning from each other, and leading together as we lead clients.
Before joining Thriveal, I met a lot of other CPAs in my travels. Sharing and Caring are not two traits that I saw demonstrated a lot in the profession; in fact, I saw a crapton of the opposite.
A member who has left the profession to pursue another career path for a few years said to me last month, “I’m trying to find the Thriveal of the (insert profession) world, so far, I haven’t had any luck finding it.” When I describe to others what we have here, I get a lot of smiles and positive comments. This community is special.
There are three things about this group that helps make us special (*Adrian Simmons, former member, and philosopher, coined two of these phrases):
Fear hates Community*: Before coming here, I felt alone. Knowing that there was something more our profession could do for the world, but surrounded by people who really did not care to explore that. I joined around the same day the Yammer platform was introduced to the community. I spent hours poring through all the comments/thought-sharing that happened here when we first began. Every bold move I made after that was easy, knowing I had a group of talented, caring, and collaborative individuals at my back. Next time you are afraid, share it here, you will find that your fear will be addressed with possibility and hope.
We recognize we are needed now more than ever: Accountants have the gift of being able to bring Order out of Chaos, being able to cut through large/expansive concepts to explain things in a way that our customers can understand. As the world continues to evolve and change at a rapid rate, what we need to provide changes as well and Thriveal is a place to learn, grow, and develop what those things are.
R&D in Accounting is what we are willing to invest in each other*: I have been blessed in my professional career with at least six or seven mentors in the twenty-four years that I have been practicing. When I talk to other CPA’s, and I mention that I had strong mentors, they laugh and say, “I wish I had” and it makes me sad. Here we get to mentor each other. Ask each other good questions, share innovative ideas, collaborate on new things and genuinely do so in such a way that makes each other better. Even when we disagree, we build each other up and that is important. You do not find this everywhere.
I always chuckle when someone says I am the OG in Thriveal. Even after twelve years, it does not feel like it. When Jason and Julie mentioned we were moving to another platform, I took some time to think about that on my walk that day. There have been a lot of voices in this place, lots of debates, lots of celebration and a share of sadness. If you have been here awhile, I would encourage you to take a moment and remember who you were before you got here, how far you have come and the things you will look forward to growing into in the future.
Community has always been important to humans. Good communities are not always easy to find. Communities where magic happens, well those are even rarer.
Keep leaning on each other, keep sharing the best ideas that you produce and most importantly keep having each other’s backs.
Someone recently asked me, “are you sad that Yammer is going away?” And after thinking about it, my answer was, “No.” There are a lot of stories, experiences, knowledge, and magic contained here that for many of us are invaluable. Its going away does not trouble me one bit.
Quite simply: A new platform gives us an opportunity to create more stories, experiences, knowledge, and magic that will serve us better in this season.
And that is exciting!
Looking forward to seeing you all there.