Archive for November, 2014

The leaves have turned and with the winter weather now nipping at our heels, it certainly enhances the feeling of the holiday season being upon us. And with that, I am excited to share about the fun and creative community outreach initiative Withum will be conducting during November and December.  It’s called #GiveHappierHolidays.

To celebrate the spirit of giving during this time of year, we are inviting our staff and families to spread some joy one act-of-kindness at a time through our #GiveHappierHolidays initiative.  Be it someone you know or a complete stranger, we are encouraging everyone to go out of their way to do something nice for someone, just to bring a smile to their face during the crazy holiday season. Buy a stranger a coffee; pay the toll for the car behind you; give a few extra dollars to a charity.  Whatever it is, we believe a small gesture of kindness can go a very long way.

And here’s how it gets even more fun. We’ve created ‘giving cards’ to share as a leave-behind when you conduct that act-of-kindness, if you’d like to let that person know he or she has just been touched by the Withum Way spirit (totally up to you if you want to leave behind a card). The cards display #GiveHappierHolidays on one side, and Withum.com/HappierHolidays on the other.  We then hope that you will share your story, photos and videos of your gesture with us through social media using the hashtag #GiveHappierHolidays, or through the Withum.com/HappierHolidays web page. 


So join the fun!  Withum staff have already begun the sharing and the social conversation, with recipients giving us a shout back! There will be stacks of giving cards placed at the receptionist desk of every office. Take one or take ten. There will also be a box of giving cards at the registration desk at today’s CPE.


Enjoy!….have a great week.


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“Honor to the soldier and sailor everywhere, who bravely bears his country’s cause. Honor, also, to the citizen who cares for his brother in the field and serves, as he best can, the same cause.” ― Abraham Lincoln

“I was just a kid but the Navy helped me become a man and hopefully a leader.”  Howard Aronson, WS+B Partner

“I started flying B24’s in the US and then flew B17’s in Italy, Germany, Austria, Hungry, and Romania. I had the job to eliminate as much German oil as possible by bombing their oil fields.” – Stanley Millner, WS+B Partner

As today is Veterans Day, please remember to take the time to thank all the men and women you know who serve or have served in any of our armed forces.  I’d like to extend our appreciation to those members of the WS+B family who have served in the United States military:

  • Howard Aronson – Navy 1942 -1946
  • Bill Cadmus – Air Force 1969 – 1973
  • Matt Goldsmith – Army 1963 -1966
  • Allan Gross –  Navy 1944-46
  • Al Lehner  –  Army 1958- 1959; 1961-1962
  • Wil Lissak –  Army 1954-1956
  • Ed Mendlowitz – New York National Guard 1965 – 1970 (federally activated in 1969)
  • Stanley Millner – Air force 1943 – 1945
  • Ron Petrics – Army 1961-1964
  • Jim Rockwitz –Army 1970-1972
  • Jay Sexton – Navy 1956-1962
  • Doug Sonier  – Marine Corps 1967 – 1969
  • Bill Stahl – Air Force 1987-1993

In preparation of this email, I have been privy to a few details about the experiences of these brave soldiers. On behalf of the firm, Gentlemen, it is a great honor to be able to thank you for serving our country.  We are grateful for your service, protecting the many freedoms we as Americans enjoy.

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I am thrilled to share that WithumSmith+Brown is the Audit Sponsor of CFO Studio’s inaugural CFO Innovation Awards, scheduled for May 12, 2015 at MetLife Stadium. The CFO Innovation Awards will recognize the area’s top finance professionals in the categories of Innovation, Leadership, Success and Industry Transformation. Awards will also be given in the categories of “CFO as COO” and “CFO to CEO Evolution.”  The awards program is the closing segment of the full-day CFO Innovation Conference.

CFO Studio and CFO Studio magazine deploy the best of new and traditional media to promote finance executives as business and strategy thought-leaders in our region. We are excited to partner with them on this program, promoting it to our CFO clients and contacts as best as we can. CFO Studio has built a loyal following with their magazine and exclusive events, having over 12,000 finance executive contacts in their database. Their promotion of this event will offer us a great opportunity for brand exposure to our core target audience in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Connecticut.

Award nominations are now open!  Deadline is Friday, December 19.

Click here for more details about the conference and a full description of each awards category and Qualifications for Nominations.

Click here to be directed to the simple online Nomination Submission form. You will also see a link on the homepage of www.withum.com.

Have a fantastic week!

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Today, I’d like to continue discussing Pat Williams’ book, Leadership Excellence: the Seven Sides of Leadership for the 21st Century, covering the fifth side of leadership:

  1. Competence. “A leader of competence displays the attitudes, skills, abilities, and behaviors needed to function at a very high level and to take the organization to increasingly higher levels of success. Competence is not a static condition.  It’s a state of one’s continual dynamic growth, both as a person and a leader.” – Pat Williams

The book outlines fifteen leadership competencies:

  1. The competency of problem solving – “If you want to be a leader, then you need to show that you are a problem solver.  Problems just come with the job.”
  2. The competency of selling – Leadership is selling.  And the first thing you must sell is yourself.
  3. The competency of continuous learning – John F. Kenney reminded us, “Learning and leadership are indispensable to each other.  If we stop learning today, we will stop leading tomorrow.”  Invest time in reading an hour a day about great lives, great events and great ideas.
  4. The competency of teaching – Our job is to take the complex and make it simple… if they don’t ‘get it,’ it’s because we failed to teach them properly.
  5. The competency of team-building – “Industrialist entrepreneur Andrew Carnegie said, ‘Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision – the ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.’”
  6. The competency of organizing and planning – “A leader of excellence starts with a vision and creates a plan to achieve that vision.”  That plan is the roadmap for teams to follow, while also pinpointing potential obstacles and strategizing around them.
  7. The competency of managing change – “A leader proves his or her mettle not in calm, stable circumstances, but in times of uncertainty and rapid change when the ground is shifting underfoot.”
  8. The competency of balance – Balance is “keeping all things in perspective, maintaining self-control, and avoiding excessive highs or lows that occur because of luck or misfortune.”
  9. The competency of charisma – “Charismatic leaders are personable and outgoing, carry themselves with an air of confidence, and are positive and optimistic in the face of adversity.”
  10. The competency of poise – “Poise is the ability to remain cool, calm and collected in emotional or stressful situations. A poised leader keeps such emotions as anger, frustration, impatience, and panic under control.”
  11. The competency of historical awareness – “History is filled with patterns that have a way of repeating themselves. The better we understand the cycles of past history, the more quickly we recognize the events that come our way.”
  12. The competency of authority – “Followers grant authority to leaders by agreeing to follow – and they can withdraw that authority by simply refusing to follow.”
  13. The competency of good judgment – “…the capacity for making wise, moral, effective decisions.”
  14. The competency of authenticity – “What does it mean to be authentic? Very simply, it means be yourself.” You are who you are. Embrace it.
  15. The competency of patience – “Pay your dues. Learn the ropes. You can’t come into a new situation and jump right to the top.”

I know there’s a lot to digest here, but these fifteen points certainly underscore the importance of being a competent leader. As it relates to our profession, I’d have to add a 16th competency – the competency of technical skills, which we as a firm strive to help you through our CPE programs, training programs, and technology and software tools. Those who are really great at what they do not only enjoy their careers the most, but also gain the respect of their clients and colleagues as experts, as well.  Continuing to grow in your competencies both personally and professionally will inevitably bring you to your pinnacle of leadership.

Have a great week.

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