Women, Wealth & Wellness recap: Conquering the behaviors that hold you back

Written on Jul 30, 2020

By Jessica Salerno, OSCPA senior content manager

Change can be difficult to pursue, but Lori Kaiser, CPA, said changing your behaviors is exactly what you need to do to get to the next level.

“Women have the necessary skills to become leaders but that doesn’t always translate to moving up in organizations,” she said.

Kaiser, the CEO and founder of Kaiser Consulting and the incoming chair-elect of The OSCPA Executive Board, presented “Taking Your Career to the Next Level – Learning New Behaviors,” on July 23 at OSCPA’s Women, Wealth and Wellness Conference. She discussed how recognizing and changing certain behaviors can propel your career forward.

She spoke about the book, “How Women Rise: Breaking the 12 Habits Holding You Back from Your Next Raise, Promotion or Job,” and was joined in a panel by other female professionals to discuss how they overcame their own behaviors to achieve growth in their careers.

Kim Zavislak, CPA, partner asset management at KPMG spoke about the desire to please, and how she said “yes” to every task asked of her. Unfortunately, this meant she often had to deal with competing priorities and thought working harder at everything was the answer.

“But this leads to burnout,” Zavislak said.

It also can distract you from your purpose, she said, and what you’re ultimately trying to accomplish. Zavislak said although saying “no” to things will always be a work in progress, she is better at mapping out her priorities and sticking to what’s crucial for her to get done, rather than trying to accomplish everything.

For Hilary Dodson, CPA and shareholder and director of client service at Kaiser Consulting, the behavior holding her back was rumination. She told the story of having a tough presentation where she couldn’t answer certain questions on the spot. Instead of letting it go she went over it in her mind for months afterward.

She said this experience haunted her and impacted her sleep and other work projects. Now she says she uses meditation and other tools to stop ruminating on things she cannot change, and instead uses them as an opportunity to grow and learn.

Even in retirement there are opportunities to continue your personal growth, something Lonni Dieck, senior vice president and treasurer at American Electric Power is pursuing. The behavior she was looking to conquer was building vs. leveraging relationships.

Over the course of her career she had developed countless great relationships but hadn’t always leveraged them to her benefit. Now that she’s retired and interested in other opportunities, she’s practicing leveraging these relationships she’s spent years working on.

“You alone are responsible for your career,” Dieck said. “It’s so simple but it’s the best advice I’ve ever received.”

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