Future Ready | Leadership / Management

Twenty years now … where’d they go?

Today is my 20th anniversary with the Maryland Association of CPAs and the Business Learning Institute.

Twenty years ago today,  I wandered into my new MACPA office without a clue.

I wasn’t a CPA. I was a journalist. A sports journalist, to be exact. About as far from a CPA as you can get. But I knew how to communicate, and I was eager to learn, and my bosses were — check that … are — some of the best teachers on the planet.

And so, 20 years later, here we are.

The world I knew on Oct. 23, 2000 was different than the world I know today.

  • It was before Sept. 11, 2001.
  • It was before Enron, and WorldCom, and Bernie Madoff.
  • It was before Sarbanes-Oxley and Dodd-Frank.
  • It was before Hurricanes Katrina, and Sandy, and Rita, and Charley, and Irene, and Ivan, and Wilma, and Florence, and Michael, and Ike, and Irma, and Harvey.
  • It was before the iPhone changed the world.
  • It was before we elected our first Black president.
  • It was before we killed Osama bin Laden.
  • It was before artificial intelligence, and the cloud, and automation.
  • It was before Donald Trump, and the insane debate about what’s true.
  • It was before COVID-19.

The world has changed. I’ve changed, too. We all have. If you haven’t, you’re a relic.

Roll with the punches, gang. That’s the only way you’ll survive — the only way you’ll thrive — in a world of exponential change. 

What got you here won’t get you there. Keep learning. Keep growing. Keep searching for what’s next.

If I’ve learned anything over the past 20 years, it’s this: The world won’t wait for you.

What will you do now to make sure you’re relevant 20 years from today?


Bill Sheridan