[IMGCAP(1)]The hottest trends and topics today are practice management, workflow, process, technology and the cloud—all mechanisms by which firms deliver services. But that’s only the “What” of what we do. Where is the “Why”? The Why indicates our passion for the profession, why we do what we do. This is the core—the heart—of our practices. What drives us to go to work every day, to interact with our clients, to provide trusted client-level service?

Your “Why”—that’s what world-renowned thinker, visionary, leadership expert and author Simon Sinek calls it. It’s just the modern term for “vision statement,” and, as far as I’m concerned, a far better way to describe “why we do what we do.”

There are some firm leaders that say, “we know our ‘Why’ and we are working toward it.” However, I think even if we know it and can recite it, most often we don’t live it in our work lives. And that means we are stuck to some degree. Perhaps we’ve gotten tired, or stymied by clients’ needs and trying to keep up with the latest technologies. If this sounds familiar, it’s time to recharge.

Too often we are running at such a rapid pace that we forget to come up for air. And when we start to suffocate, so does our “Why.” To recharge and revitalize our “Why,” taking a vacation is one idea. Surrounding ourselves with like-minded CPAs—those that want to regain control of their “Why” and move their firms forward in a positive way—is another great alternative. In fact, I recently had the opportunity to attend a Thriving Firm workshop, a two-day retreat on “getting in touch with my Why.” The retreat taught me to let go of limiting thoughts; to clear my mind and really get to my true passion and back on track. The retreat was based on the concept of Emotional Intelligence (or EI)…which is a dominant factor in leading our firms innovatively forward—well beyond our skills as mere ‘technicians of work.”

I challenge you to work on your EI. Whether that’s with a personal coach, getting involved in a “Thriving Firm” group of your own, or attending an AICPA leadership academy—just do it. When you harness the power of your Emotional Intelligence and incorporate it into the fabric of your firm, you can once again rule with passion!

Jody L. Padar, CPA, MST, is a Certified Public Accountant experienced with Complex Federal & State Income Tax Compliance for Business & Individuals. Jody is an adjunct professor at Oakton Community College, where she teaches Taxation and QuickBooks Courses. She is part of Intuit Trainer Writer Network and speaks nationally on various Technologies and Taxation. She can be reached at www.newvisioncpagroup.com.