Leadership / Management | Legislative / Regulatory

It’s getting hot in here. Let’s make some steam.

Our Board of Directors has adopted the 212 mantra as its theme for the coming fiscal year.

Not familiar with 212 yet? Check out this video:

The Reader's Digest version is this: At 211 degrees, water is merely hot. At 212 degrees, it boils ... and makes steam ... and can be used to propel a locomotive.

So the question is this: Where do we find the extra degree that will help us do great things?

There's no single answer that can be applied across the board. That missing degree is hiding deep within each of us. The motivation to find it is an intensely personal thing. No one else can stoke the fires; we have to do that ourselves.

So I was amazed -- simply, utterly amazed -- by what happened today in Maryland.

Today was CPA Day in Annapolis, an event the Maryland Association of CPAs (and, specifically, our own Mary Beth Halpern) had been planning for months. It's the one day each year when CPAs and their lawmakers meet face to face to discuss issues that impact the business community. Members had been registering for weeks. Meetings with legislators had been booked well in advance. Everything was set. This event was going to be held rain or shine.

But we didn't count on ice.

A nasty winter storm swept across the Midwest, dropping layer after slippery layer of freezing rain on the mid-Atlantic region. As the day of the event dawned, roads and sidewalks were coated with ice, making travel of any kind treacherous.

And still our members arrived.

Oh, sure, not in the numbers we had hoped. But they arrived nonetheless. They threw on their coats, scraped the ice off their cars, braved the bad roads and even worse sidewalks, and showed up to protect their profession and their clients. One of them even fell on the icy sidewalks and whacked the back of his head on the chilly concrete. His reaction? He picked himself up, walked into our morning briefing, asked for a couple of aspirin and soldiered on.

In short, they found that extra degree.

This is why America counts on CPAs. They don't let a little thing like an ice storm get in the way of progress. They do what needs to be done to make their profession -- and, in turn, their clients and Maryland's business community -- even stronger.

That's how we're going to claw our way out of this recession -- by picking ourselves up, asking for a couple of aspirin, and then doing what needs to be done.

By finding that extra degree and dialing it up to 212.


Bill Sheridan