Build a body of work you can stand behind

Written on May 11, 2016

Jennifer Rieman, CAE, manager, public relations

Todd HenryHow much work do you do every day that you’ll be proud of in 10 years? It’s a powerful question posed today by Todd Henry at OSCPA’s Business Excellence Symposium.

Henry challenged CPAs to think of every interaction and outcome as contributing to a body of work. CPAs must make sure that body of work represents them well.

“None of us want to be mediocre, yet many of us end up there,” Henry said. “Mediocrity sneaks up on us. It doesn’t just happen, it is chosen over time.”

“Follow your passion” is advice Henry thinks can be improved.

“Very few successful people love to do every task they do,” Henry said recently on OSCPA Spotlight. “What passion truly means is, I am willing if necessary to do hard things to accomplish this outcome because the outcome is more gratifying than my temporary enjoyment of the tasks.”

Henry re-emphasized the fallacy of ‘following your passion’ at the Symposium.

“What we should be asking ourselves is, what is the outcome I’m committed to? Let’s reclaim the word ‘passion’ in our organizations,” he said.

CPAs should also set aside time to check in with themselves and their teams and find out where they are ‘busily bored,’ or bouncing from task to task without being fully present.

“There are many reasons why we’re dishonest with ourselves, but in the end it’s always a losing battle,” he said.

Henry’s main takeaway? Don’t spend your life building someone else’s body of work.

“Notice the places in your life where you tend to engage the most fully, and then act in that direction,” Henry said. “They’re the notables – they’re the arrows pointing you in the right direction.”

Leave a comment

Upcoming Events