[IMGCAP(1)]Recently, my high school accounting teacher found me on LinkedIn, and then shortly after stopped by my office for a visit. He brought with him the first-place plaque that my high school accounting team won. Yes! I was on the accounting team. Once a dork, always a dork. I mean, look at that perm (below)!

It was so wonderful to reconnect with someone from my past who had inspired me to pursue my career in accounting. He reminded me of the impact that one high school class and my participation on the accounting team had on my career and life.

I remember Oprah (and various psychologists) saying that the feeling of gratitude can completely change your perspective…and in turn, change your life. I know the feeling of gratitude. It’s what I feel for people like my high school teacher; that’s where it all started. And as I think about it more, there were others—like my father, who is now my partner. I also remember observing a very special managing partner at one of my first jobs. My desk was outside of his office, so I was able to watch how he interacted with staff and clients; I overheard him on the phone and remember being struck by his level of professionalism and charisma. I learned a great deal by just observing this incredible leader.

Within the last few years, I’ve had the opportunity to interact and work with several leaders within various professional CPA associations. I’ve worked in partnership with these professionals to create events and products of which I am very proud. We learned from each other along the way, providing inspiration. And in the end, we’ve helped the profession continue to move forward and evolve.

If you happen to be feeling stuck in your professional life, maybe it’s time you found someone to truly inspire you. Look to join a winning, successful firm led by thought and feeling leaders who are active in the profession and who can inspire you to greatness. Then get involved. Don’t just pay your dues, but really become a dynamic team member. Currently, I’m working to develop a Virtual CPA Team through the Maryland Society of CPAs (MACPA). It may just be what you need. Reach out to me if you need that TEAM inspiration!