Who will you be in five years?

Sep. 11, 2017  |  Linda Wedul

August was packed with amazing MNCPA events. There was high energy amongst more than 100 women at Candid Conversations about Women and Influence, futurist thinking at Executive Exchange, and a restored hopefulness hearing Congressman Erik Paulsen speak to constituents at a Legislative Breakfast.

I know that the members who attended weren’t required to be at these events, but they chose to be there. Despite having a to-do list waiting for their attention, they decided to spend time with colleagues and inspirational speakers. That’s why every time a CPA attends an MNCPA event, we strive to have each CPA leave feeling re-energized and inspired, having added to their skill set or expanded their professional/personal network.

There was a noticeably high level of energy and conversation at the women's event, so I can confidently say we hit the mark. The women's event included a panel of exceptional women leaders: Rachel Polson, CPA with Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP; Beth Kieffer Leonard, CPA, CGMA with Lurie, LLP; Judy McNamara with Ecolab; and Sherry Smith, an independent corporate director. Their stories and insights into becoming women leaders were inspiring.

Here are four messages that stuck with me:

  • Rachel Polson: When dealing with failure, if it won't matter in seven years, spend no more than seven minutes dwelling on it and then move on.
  • Judy McNamara: Women personalize when they fail to advance, where men don't. Don't take it personally. 
  • Beth Kieffer Leonard: Be confident, tell yourself you are still capable. It is about your point of view.
  • Sherry Smith: Don't be perfect, but think about where you show up best and step up.  

I'm fortunate.  The course of my work allows me to meet many amazing people. For attendees, it’s a conscious choice to spend their time at MNCPA events to learn and meet new people. At the women's event, I shared a quote from Charlie "Tremendous" Jones: "You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read."

Who do you want to be in five years? Take a few minutes and find an event to attend and a book to read.

My event suggestions:

My current reads:

  • “Weird Ideas that Work,” by Bob Sutton (one of my favorite business authors)
  • “Do Nothing: How to Stop Overmanaging and Become a Great Leader,” by Keith Murnighan

I invite you to comment and share your recommendations. 

Topics: Leadership, MNCPA programs and activities

Linda Wedul

Linda Wedul is president and CEO of the MNCPA. She’s usually spotted at MNCPA events, introducing herself to members with a warm smile and memorable laugh. Mixed among the Footnotes, accounting journals, leadership books and three monitors in her office, you’d be surprised to see a dog kennel. Her unpaid job is volunteering as a foster family for service dogs in training through Can-Do-Canines. She and her husband have two adult children and live in Farmington. Linda can be reached at 952-885-5516 or

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