Not all CAs are decision-makers
Chartered accountants who are born decision-makers must be given room to make a large-scale positive impact on business, education, the economy and the public sector. How do we identify them?
The CA journey is a gruelling and testing one; it’s rigorous and pushes individuals who embark on it past their emotional, physical, financial and psychological limits. If you are fortunate and gifted enough to make it through to the other side and can add the designation to your email and other signatures, you have proven to yourself and the world that you are quite a remarkable individual. But that’s just the beginning.
The CA journey might be testing but is similar to an obstacle course: it is guided and finite with a lot of support along the way from lecturers, fellow fighters, and organisations trying to pick out the best recruits. The post-CA life involves faster speeds, higher stakes and no more training wheels: you are on your own. Now you must make decisions, create your own path, and devise your own way out of obstacles. Most CAs are not capable of adjusting to the shift because they think that ‘after such a gruelling climb, surely I can continue on the path provided and reap the rewards of the tough climb?’ These are not the decision-makers, game changers and agile early adapters.
These are the reliable, certain, consistent and accountable safe-zoners. They play a vital role in the business space by keeping everything sturdy.
Unfortunately, sturdy isn’t the order of today’s world. We are being shaken from every angle and the only thing that is setting us apart as CAs are the invaluable skills learnt in the seven-year CA programme. Without adaptive changes, our position as business and corporation leaders is being challenged by marketers, lawyers and techies who dare to colour outside the lines and create a bigger and better picture in the world of business.
There are depressing statistics out there that show how South Africa is a small player in the global game of growing economies. The fact that Miami is a larger economy than the whole of South Africa is one of them. I believe that the Jeff Bezos’s and Jack Ma’s of the South African economy have the CA badge on their chests and they should be let loose in their roles so that they can bring much-needed imagination to the already trusted and relied upon CA profession.
The decision-makers are the unruly ones, the ones who cannot shut up, who incessantly ask questions, the ‘you’re so different for an accountant’ types. They need to be given room to impart their knowledge and implement their ideas; they must be given a shot to try, fail and be held to account for their victories and defeats.
I have decided to alienate myself from the safety net of the tried and tested career trajectories in the profession. I have decided to create a new path. I am a decision-maker. Are you?