The Mind Behind Leadership

Thursday, September 3, 2020
Facebook Live Video from 2020/09/03 - Developing NextGen Leaders


2020/09/03 - Developing NextGen Leaders

[NEW EPISODE] Developing NextGen Leaders

Having been featured on the front cover of The CPA Journal in August 2014, the New York State Society of CPAs recognized this week’s guest Michael Durant, as one of their leaders in the NextGen Movement.

Michael is he is ideally placed to understand what is truly needed to make your mark – not just as a CPA but in any professional services profession. He believes future potential is measured by present preparation and is driven to provide the resources and support to make

We’ll explore what is needed for future leaders, how we put ourselves in the best possible position to take the opportunity when it comes our way and the value we bring to every professional situation.

Michael’s career has allowed him to pursue his passion of educating youth about financial literacy while exposing the world to the impacts CPAs make, every single day.

Tune in for this insightful conversation at or watch the Facebook Livestream by clicking here.

Show Notes

Segment 1

Tonight’s guest, Michael Durant, has been featured on the front cover of The CPA Journal in August 2014 when the New York State Society of CPAs recognized him as one of their leaders in the NextGen Movement, amongst many other accolades. 


Michael and Graham discuss Michael’s early life and what started driving him into the accounting field.  Michael’s experience with internships and office work at 16 gave him a unique perspective and inspired him to continue the pursuit of accounting in college and onward.  In addition they talk about what helps Michael relax which includes having coffee and traveling! 

Segment 2

Michael and Graham discuss what we mean by financial literacy.   He discovered through his work that not many clients knew the basics of financial literacy, which include basic concepts of budgeting, taxes, health insurance etc.  In response Michael began working with programs that taught financial literacy and thoroughly enjoys the experience of giving this knowledge to others. They also discuss Michael being named to the New York Society of CPAs ’40 under 40’ honorees.

Segment 3

Michael dives into his role as part of the NextGen committee, which is both a volunteer and leadership position that focuses on building leadership and camaraderie to young CPA’s in New York.  The program also has a focus on community service. 


They also talk about NextGen’s thoughts on the impact of COVID for accountants along with the impact on other industries and the responsibilities of giving the right advice as a leader during times of uncertainty like today and what you should do for yourself as well.  In the closing of this segment Michael discusses his pursuit of law school as the next challenge and whether others should pursue this degree. 

Segment 4

Graham and Michael dive into the challenges in the industry the NextGen committee faces.  These challenges include frustration to change, lack of communication and diversity; and NextGen is driving continuously to work through these challenges. 


Michael further talks with Graham about who he looks up to and who his mentors have been throughout his career.  They close out with Michael’s top 3 traits of being a leader. 


00:00:25.860 --> 00:00:32.220 Graham Dobbin: Welcome to the mind behind leadership life here on talk radio dot NYC. My name is Graham Dobbin

00:00:32.640 --> 00:00:45.960 Graham Dobbin: And every week we talk to leaders from a wide range of areas and industries, we've spoken to network builders heads of nonprofits TEDx Speakers gold command, even for emergency and contingency planning.

00:00:46.980 --> 00:00:53.820 Graham Dobbin: We all know this, that to become a leader is to have somewhere. We need to develop ourselves. And that's what we're going to focus on this evening.

00:00:54.420 --> 00:01:01.590 Graham Dobbin: This week I'm really delighted. We've got someone who's showing leadership qualities from a really early age. That's Michael Joanne's

00:01:02.190 --> 00:01:09.810 Graham Dobbin: Now those qualities have resulted in him being recognized this year as one of the 40 under 40 next gen CPS

00:01:10.350 --> 00:01:27.420 Graham Dobbin: He's also senior tax accountant and Prager and matters our director of business development at youthful savings. And if that's not enough, is a chair of the New York State Society of CPA is next gen committee, Michael. Good evening. It's great to have you here.

00:01:28.440 --> 00:01:29.910 Michael Durant: In and thank you for having

00:01:30.090 --> 00:01:34.770 Graham Dobbin: Now, you're welcome. Um, how do you find time to squeeze everything in

00:01:36.180 --> 00:01:36.870 Michael Durant: Just on sleep.

00:01:39.450 --> 00:01:40.800 Michael Durant: Sleep. That's the key.

00:01:42.060 --> 00:01:51.210 Graham Dobbin: I know that feeling. I feel that give us give us a little bit about just a bit about your background, Michael, how did you kind of begin to choose getting into finance.

00:01:52.200 --> 00:02:04.650 Michael Durant: So I, I was born in the Bronx at about five or six years old, my parents separated they agree that we moved to the suburbs of upstate New York outside of Albany.

00:02:04.950 --> 00:02:16.860 Michael Durant: And they felt that was going to be a better education opportunity and it was, I definitely learned a lot of different things. So when I came back to the city and I had to choose a high school in New York City. We choose from.

00:02:17.160 --> 00:02:25.770 Michael Durant: The variety of high schools that we have here. I chose a school that had programs such as the Academy of finance.

00:02:26.070 --> 00:02:37.560 Michael Durant: That program is part of the National Academy foundation which introduced me to accounting in high school, gave me an internship at 16 K p AMP g one of the four largest accounting firms.

00:02:38.010 --> 00:02:48.270 Michael Durant: And I stayed with them for over a year before going on to college and I just realized in college, how a common was natural to me.

00:02:48.990 --> 00:02:56.160 Michael Durant: And the fact is that I knew something that most of my friends. Most of the people are associated with and

00:02:56.970 --> 00:03:04.500 Michael Durant: Frankly, some of the clients I deal with today, just don't understand. And so that's how that's the path that led me. It was the exposure at 16

00:03:04.830 --> 00:03:10.050 Michael Durant: It was the opportunity to actually see the real work and not just the textbook and then

00:03:10.860 --> 00:03:22.020 Michael Durant: Going into school and just getting a lot of exposure meeting more accountants meaning different accounts public non public people that work for the IRS work for New York City Police Department. So

00:03:22.710 --> 00:03:27.480 Michael Durant: It was just seeing all of that made me think, okay, I can find something in this field to do

00:03:29.010 --> 00:03:34.620 Graham Dobbin: So that's a really early age we're beginning to get exposure to all these different types of people. Yes.

00:03:34.890 --> 00:03:35.850 Graham Dobbin: Yes, so

00:03:36.870 --> 00:03:39.060 Graham Dobbin: What kind of incidents, maybe standard then

00:03:40.110 --> 00:03:42.900 Graham Dobbin: You mentioned the IRS agent bit police direction.

00:03:43.980 --> 00:03:44.280 Michael Durant: You know,

00:03:45.180 --> 00:03:46.020 Graham Dobbin: Someone that age.

00:03:46.770 --> 00:03:57.570 Michael Durant: Yeah, so we just weren't seeing people that typical accountant. You know, I had the same idea that everyone else had little free visor hat on. You think they sell clothes anymore.

00:03:57.780 --> 00:04:13.320 Michael Durant: And a pocket protector time dude was accountants, or, you know, the only thing I could think of account was tax on. I didn't even comprehend that businesses had people keeping their financial records together. I mean that's 16. What do you know about bills to begin with.

00:04:15.510 --> 00:04:27.330 Michael Durant: So once I got exposure to that and understood that accountants really work as a part of the business of any business that got me thinking about. All right. I originally wanted to be a mechanic.

00:04:27.930 --> 00:04:36.240 Michael Durant: My grandfather owned a garage and I fast and furious had came out around that time. So at all these car magazines and that's what I wanted to do.

00:04:36.660 --> 00:04:44.370 Michael Durant: And then we're going into high school, getting that exposure and starting in college. I saw. All right. Maybe I won't be the mechanic.

00:04:45.120 --> 00:04:54.060 Michael Durant: I'll still be a part of the family business, but my grandfather made sure I never really learned that tree because he felt it was dying trade, and he was right. But

00:04:55.200 --> 00:05:06.720 Michael Durant: That part of being part of the family business is what drove me to continue with accounting. I mean, there was a couple of stock sidesteps I thought I might want to be a banker and a couple of other things but centered back that account.

00:05:08.310 --> 00:05:08.550 Graham Dobbin: So,

00:05:10.740 --> 00:05:11.400 Graham Dobbin: So recon

00:05:11.970 --> 00:05:16.320 Michael Durant: I'm sorry I didn't answer your question, you actually was the biggest thing that stood out to me so

00:05:16.320 --> 00:05:17.340 Michael Durant: Besides being

00:05:17.610 --> 00:05:29.160 Michael Durant: You know, part of the family business. The thing that stood out to me also was, you know, I was working at McDonald's. And so when they were offering me the internship which paid a lot more than what I was making at McDonald's.

00:05:29.700 --> 00:05:44.850 Michael Durant: I took it and I got to see what they actually did. And I had an associate at the time come by my desk with a corporate tax return a bigger than encyclopedia, but it's just huge. And he put it on my desk and he said, You know what, this is a

00:05:46.020 --> 00:05:56.310 Michael Durant: stack of paper. I'm an intern my guy could stack of paper. And he said to me, so this is someone's tax return for a corporation somebody's job was to spend all year working on

00:05:57.420 --> 00:06:04.110 Michael Durant: The client has hired us to review it to make sure everything was done right and then he explained to me he was going to go have dinner.

00:06:04.620 --> 00:06:13.380 Michael Durant: Is gonna come back to the office, he was going to review it and be home before midnight and relaxing and he just seemed so calm about it. Like if

00:06:14.070 --> 00:06:20.790 Michael Durant: He won the day. Now granted, he was a gentleman that started later in the day he wasn't an early riser but

00:06:21.300 --> 00:06:27.720 Michael Durant: It was just so amazing to see that no one ever really talked about their job, in a sense, like, yeah, I'm going to do this and it's

00:06:28.350 --> 00:06:36.630 Michael Durant: And then I'll move on and that that caught my attention because in my head. I was thinking will be a mechanic grease garages are hot.

00:06:37.500 --> 00:06:45.930 Michael Durant: In here, I am sitting in an office, you know, nicer clothes, not going home smelling like French fries at the time. And I thought to myself, like

00:06:46.650 --> 00:07:00.720 Michael Durant: Why did I ever want to do anything else, so that those moments, those two pieces I think really solidified me transitioning from what has been traditionally a blue collar work in my family and breaking away and starting something different.

00:07:01.650 --> 00:07:10.050 Graham Dobbin: So what do you enjoy most about to know that you're kind of more mature into it, you've got you've got some years on your belt. And what do you enjoy most

00:07:11.910 --> 00:07:18.450 Michael Durant: The moment when you help a client in, pull that stress, like you can literally see distress, leaving their face.

00:07:18.870 --> 00:07:26.310 Michael Durant: Those moments that that is the key to everything I find good about accounting. It's people don't understand money and

00:07:26.970 --> 00:07:33.870 Michael Durant: When you don't understand something you quickly get scared you get an easy nervous about doing things

00:07:34.230 --> 00:07:43.680 Michael Durant: Having someone you trust. And I think that's where the CPA role comes in the attorneys have their role bankers have their roles, but the accountants always look bad, like you don't want anything out of

00:07:44.070 --> 00:07:54.450 Michael Durant: I can trust you, which is true, the accountants entire purpose is to, you know, educate. That's the way I see the job is to educate, educate the client on what's happening and what they can

00:07:55.560 --> 00:08:02.970 Graham Dobbin: I know that you're heavily involved in financial literacy, we're going to discuss that a little bit later on. I know that that's something that's really important to you.

00:08:03.450 --> 00:08:16.410 Graham Dobbin: And when you when you're seeing the stress going off the, the, the client would you, is it fair to say that most business people don't understand finance themselves and maybe understand the business part their finances is very separate from them.

00:08:17.580 --> 00:08:29.400 Michael Durant: Yes, yes, that's 100% I see true lot of business people are they're good at what they do. That's why they created especially serial entrepreneurs. I work with a lot of entrepreneurs.

00:08:29.700 --> 00:08:39.690 Michael Durant: And serial entrepreneurs understand very little about finance and the budgets and all that. But you know what they do know is how to sell. What's a good product.

00:08:40.020 --> 00:08:47.670 Michael Durant: You know, whatever their niches. And so I do find that a lot of business people, they may understand. Oh.

00:08:48.180 --> 00:08:53.850 Michael Durant: If I bring in more money. I don't have to worry about the other stuff, and then they come to us and quickly show them like

00:08:54.300 --> 00:09:04.620 Michael Durant: We don't have to worry about bringing in more money you're already working 80 hours a week, we can show you how to, you know, take some of these expenses out or mitigate them so that way you can take a vacation.

00:09:05.730 --> 00:09:05.880 Michael Durant: Or

00:09:06.600 --> 00:09:10.770 Graham Dobbin: Okay, so what's when you when you know this is a generalization again.

00:09:11.340 --> 00:09:19.260 Graham Dobbin: I'm really curious about, um, for the biggest mistakes that business people make when it comes to find that in the company then

00:09:20.430 --> 00:09:34.290 Michael Durant: Some of the biggest mistakes are, you know, running personal expenses through the business what they believe can be, you know, not even intentional or what they believe can be personal what they believe to be business expenses.

00:09:35.310 --> 00:09:45.720 Michael Durant: You know, I've seen people, you know, run the business out of their, you know, separate bedroom and they are writing off, you know,

00:09:46.410 --> 00:09:49.560 Michael Durant: Weird percentages that don't really add up or people that

00:09:50.280 --> 00:10:00.150 Michael Durant: You know, they buy luxury cars because they want to look a certain way, but there's a different tax treatment for it. So there's those education's or some sometimes it's just simple where people just

00:10:01.080 --> 00:10:15.330 Michael Durant: They go with the first thing they see, you know, or they they quickly. One of the biggest ones I think of is, we had this guy who was constantly buying from his local store stationery stuff and

00:10:15.960 --> 00:10:28.170 Michael Durant: Then we explained to him, you know, you go into your local store and you're paying retail price, the quantity, you're buying you should be buying and in droves, like maybe go to Walmart would be a better option.

00:10:28.470 --> 00:10:33.750 Michael Durant: Yeah, you know, um, and that you know shaved about 3% off his expenses.

00:10:34.290 --> 00:10:45.090 Michael Durant: Wow. Yeah. I mean between. I mean, it wasn't just stationary stuff, but it was like office equipment and stuff. He was buying that he was buying at consumer rate as opposed to

00:10:45.150 --> 00:10:46.950 Michael Durant: A business wholesale value.

00:10:48.420 --> 00:10:59.310 Graham Dobbin: Um, so when you're not helping clients understand finance where you're not educating yourself and financial literacy and helping new leaders highly utilized

00:11:00.900 --> 00:11:03.000 Michael Durant: Undermined relax. First thing is

00:11:04.020 --> 00:11:23.100 Michael Durant: Surprisingly, it's not the keep me up. It's to give me a break from the day so I really like strong or even artists and coffees. So in the Hispanic culture we have booster pillow, which I make with an old fashioned call it or which is it looks like a stocking want to survive.

00:11:23.160 --> 00:11:32.910 Michael Durant: Okay. And, and, boy, the hot water and I sit there and wait for the tea pot, the boy to pour it in, and know Roma's as it's you know drip brewing.

00:11:33.510 --> 00:11:42.930 Michael Durant: And then that 1015 minutes that takes me to brew the coffee and enjoy it. That's, that's it. I mean, that could there's the charge me for about three hours.

00:11:43.050 --> 00:11:44.700 Michael Durant: Really, yes.

00:11:45.180 --> 00:11:51.240 Graham Dobbin: Do you know what though. I mean I we spoke about age, no doubt, well, speaking about age again. I remember when

00:11:52.320 --> 00:11:58.680 Graham Dobbin: When smoking wasn't such as such a bad thing. And people would take that break and it would be that moment, it was, it was almost it

00:11:58.890 --> 00:12:12.090 Graham Dobbin: The going away and doing it wasn't having a cigarette or something else would say like that with the coffee. It's just almost the process of doing it was the cam or the thing that we need to do quailed. What else do you do when you when you're not making coffee and you're not counting

00:12:12.840 --> 00:12:24.840 Michael Durant: So pretty cool that I used to swim and train for obstacle courses a lot so obviously again something close so it's been no swimming and I haven't with Oscar. I haven't been able to really get into

00:12:25.440 --> 00:12:38.580 Michael Durant: Doing any obstacle course training, but I send those for a few years part in top to monitor. So I like doing those and then I like traveling so I've traveled to Cuba Dominican Republic, Canada, Mexico.

00:12:39.240 --> 00:12:48.180 Michael Durant: Couple of cities here in the States. So I really like getting out and mostly following food. So New Orleans is probably one of my favorite

00:12:48.840 --> 00:12:58.650 Graham Dobbin: I right okay so New Orleans for food. Well, I think Jim's Jim's are kind of reopening. So do you have any plans, maybe to to to get back into them.

00:13:00.150 --> 00:13:09.630 Michael Durant: quite yet. We're going to kind of wait it out a little bit and see what happens. Even with school and work and everything else. It's been tough to get to the gym, so we'll see.

00:13:11.130 --> 00:13:15.870 Graham Dobbin: So, what will I will just about to go to a break after the break, we'll discuss

00:13:16.920 --> 00:13:23.460 Graham Dobbin: The financial literacy literacy site. If I could see like the financial literacy side.

00:13:24.180 --> 00:13:27.450 Graham Dobbin: Because I know that's really important to you. So what we want to kind of delve into is

00:13:27.750 --> 00:13:43.050 Graham Dobbin: Why is important. What does it bring people. And again, what's the difference that that can make my name is Graham dubbing you're listening to the mind behind leadership here live on top radio dot NYC we're speaking with Michael Gerard and we will be back right after these messages.

00:15:52.440 --> 00:16:05.760 Graham Dobbin: Welcome back, you're listening to the mind behind leadership, we're speaking with Michael Duran we're live from New York. And this Thursday evening, Michael, I'm financial literacy voice it. What do you mean by that.

00:16:07.530 --> 00:16:11.760 Michael Durant: Basic Education about the way our society works. I mean,

00:16:12.840 --> 00:16:27.450 Michael Durant: So I mentioned earlier had moved upstate in got a decent education, one day, my parents thought I should have in what I learned there, which was different from what any of my friends would were offered was home economics and

00:16:28.020 --> 00:16:38.820 Michael Durant: If they're really taught the checkbook understanding. You know what a budget is and I had that in junior high school. So when I came back to New York City for high school

00:16:39.870 --> 00:16:45.870 Michael Durant: And none of my friends knew what that stuff was because when we started with the Academy of finance and we went in there.

00:16:46.410 --> 00:16:59.520 Michael Durant: It is assumed that none of us knew anything and I actually had a little bit of knowledge from this home economics class also taught me how to make pizza. And so a pillow, but the financial part was what stuck. Um, and so

00:17:00.660 --> 00:17:12.300 Michael Durant: I always thought like, as I get more into the profession and I started realizing that even clients and quite understand and having parents that weren't as financially savvy. I always thought like

00:17:12.720 --> 00:17:23.640 Michael Durant: Why wasn't everybody took this same basic concepts and then realizing none of my friends had it, then you know younger brothers. They didn't have it.

00:17:24.120 --> 00:17:32.580 Michael Durant: In I started seeing all these volunteer organizations that were doing financial literacy and I was like, yeah, this, this is what we should do.

00:17:32.940 --> 00:17:42.030 Michael Durant: And so I started volunteering with some programs. And then I went on to partner with a natural High School here in the Bronx and with the Academy of finance as an alumni.

00:17:42.360 --> 00:17:48.630 Michael Durant: And working with them to create programs and opportunities for students to learn financial literacy

00:17:49.140 --> 00:17:55.380 Michael Durant: And then you know the biggest thing for me is giving the teachers that opportunity to step back for a minute.

00:17:55.800 --> 00:18:06.690 Michael Durant: And, you know, teaching a student how money works in their hands. So one thing I've done with middle school students is, I've given them a bag of change data.

00:18:07.590 --> 00:18:11.850 Michael Durant: And said, All right, let's imagine who here wants to make $100 an hour.

00:18:12.840 --> 00:18:20.400 Michael Durant: And yeah, I do minutes ago. Right, so forth. Let's assume this one dollars worth of change that's in front of you is your hundred dollars.

00:18:21.000 --> 00:18:29.100 Michael Durant: So, first thing you got to do is we've got to take out for tax and explaining to them that taxes are paid for your teacher they pay for the desk, you sit in.

00:18:29.520 --> 00:18:31.170 Graham Dobbin: The happy about that and be happy about it.

00:18:34.560 --> 00:18:38.070 Michael Durant: I've never heard a student say oh, they can have more

00:18:41.370 --> 00:18:53.040 Michael Durant: But I have heard students say when talking about taxes, which is a whole different topic that I have to tread into is I have heard them say, Well, I don't want to pay for that service. Oh, you know,

00:18:54.660 --> 00:19:08.910 Michael Durant: The garbage. It's like, well, why can't I just start my own trash. Why do I have to pay some now. Well, that's what taxes do and explaining to them that and how you know I leave that to the social studies teachers to explain how tax laws made

00:19:09.990 --> 00:19:11.280 Michael Durant: what that entails but

00:19:11.580 --> 00:19:28.080 Michael Durant: Going through that and teaching them all right you got to pay taxes and then you know you have health insurance, you gotta pay that you know your parents have to pay rent and all these things. And when they look at the their, their change and now they're down to 35 cents $1

00:19:29.280 --> 00:19:39.720 Michael Durant: And you see their faces. And they're like, well, how do I stop that. This is what you do. This is where, you know, being an accountant comes into play. Understanding putting you know

00:19:40.140 --> 00:19:51.030 Michael Durant: What I tell them it's pre tax money and that comes up before taxes in taxes equals less than they get excited about that. So teaching those things really, you know, encouraged me to go further.

00:19:51.300 --> 00:19:57.090 Michael Durant: Than I went on to high school students, college students. And I've done a few continuing education programs.

00:19:57.690 --> 00:20:00.540 Graham Dobbin: For each group do you enjoy working with most

00:20:04.290 --> 00:20:14.760 Michael Durant: The group. I love working with the most is the same group right I dislike working with the most. And it's the high school students. It's because in junior high school kids are very

00:20:16.380 --> 00:20:30.750 Michael Durant: They're interested in. So just having someone in the room, they immediately are like, what do you have to say. And so for me, going into high schools are as both a challenge because the students are preoccupied.

00:20:31.830 --> 00:20:37.770 Michael Durant: And also an opportunity because what I tell them in that classroom will shape them as it did me

00:20:38.400 --> 00:20:46.470 Michael Durant: For possibly the rest of their lungs. So I always try to relate it very person to students. I like working with small groups because with high school students.

00:20:46.890 --> 00:20:52.530 Michael Durant: Even if they don't want to be involved or what you're talking about. If you start talking to them about being wealthy.

00:20:52.920 --> 00:21:04.380 Michael Durant: Or having a nice car or figuring out what it is that triggers them, you know, nice awesome sneakers. They cost money. Let me, let me explain to you how you come home and Nike instead of just buying

00:21:05.250 --> 00:21:13.200 Michael Durant: And all those triggers and when I see them open up and like they start having a conversation, then the bell rings and they're like, wait, but one more question.

00:21:13.980 --> 00:21:24.840 Michael Durant: And I feel good about I feel good about. I feel like that. That may be the one that you know either becomes a CPA or at least is going to be, you know, look to controlling their finances for the future.

00:21:25.050 --> 00:21:31.860 Graham Dobbin: So it's not the kind of thing that is that something that drives you when you get someone just say one more question. Let's stay back for a

00:21:32.310 --> 00:21:41.550 Michael Durant: Minute. That is exactly what drives me between that and, you know, just the thought of students, you know, changing their lives like

00:21:41.880 --> 00:21:51.090 Michael Durant: Not, you know, understanding. Oh, going into college credit card debt. It's one thing when people tell you oh you're going into college. Don't get involved in credit card debt. It's another thing when someone

00:21:51.750 --> 00:22:03.810 Michael Durant: walks you through an example of yourself, where you decide, oh, I want to live, you know, in Brooklyn and how much is running in Brooklyn. You got an iPhone, right, pull it out, tell me what's the average print and then they put in there like

00:22:04.620 --> 00:22:14.190 Michael Durant: Oh, I kind of make x amount of dollars just to survive. Now, tell me what you want to do in life and that really helps bridge that connection. Well,

00:22:15.270 --> 00:22:22.890 Graham Dobbin: Again, because as much as you're you're touching as many people as you can. I think it's probably fair to say that most students don't get

00:22:23.400 --> 00:22:35.550 Graham Dobbin: That that financial knowledge that financial literacy for the missing out on. So we know what what shouldn't said getting can have that awareness, what's the kind of things that happen when we don't have it that knowledge.

00:22:36.480 --> 00:22:50.040 Michael Durant: Understanding simple budgets, having someone who, you know, living beyond their means. If you can, if you write down how much you make and then all your expenses you can visually see what's taking all your money.

00:22:50.790 --> 00:22:57.540 Michael Durant: But if no one ever taught you how to do that, you're probably not going to do it, you know, running up credit card debt understanding

00:22:58.680 --> 00:23:04.380 Michael Durant: Or just not being surprised by taxes you know that I think when I was in high school and I

00:23:05.490 --> 00:23:14.820 Michael Durant: My first job. I was like, all right, I'm making 575 an hour. I work 20 hours a week. This is how much money I'm expecting. And that's not what I got.

00:23:17.550 --> 00:23:21.780 Michael Durant: So I think that's one thing in this giving them and the thought process of

00:23:22.830 --> 00:23:32.160 Michael Durant: As you go ahead and life. Look at 401 k's look at retirement look at, you know, what is life insurance. Why would I need that, you know,

00:23:33.000 --> 00:23:42.000 Michael Durant: Other aspects savings bonds or CDs these opportunities that you don't need a lot of money to take advantage of you just need to know the paper.

00:23:42.750 --> 00:23:52.290 Michael Durant: And I think that is the biggest thing they're missing out on they're unaware of the little things they can do to set themselves up for financial future.

00:23:54.600 --> 00:24:03.780 Graham Dobbin: So you enjoy working with kind of the youth on teach them, but you're also involved with the Next Gen. You've been named

00:24:04.920 --> 00:24:09.000 Graham Dobbin: As one of the 40 under 14 next gen CPA so that

00:24:10.530 --> 00:24:11.970 Michael Durant: Was that was

00:24:13.710 --> 00:24:21.000 Michael Durant: very appreciative, there was. It was exciting. It was unexpected, when they announced them um

00:24:22.200 --> 00:24:39.510 Michael Durant: You know, I wasn't quite sure that I would make it like I felt like I would, because I do a lot, but I was like, maybe there are, you know, meet a lot of amazing young CPA and I'm like, if I had to pick 40 i don't know i might be 39 on the list, maybe for

00:24:41.340 --> 00:24:42.210 Graham Dobbin: What the rent.

00:24:42.390 --> 00:24:44.250 Michael Durant: It didn't rank them today. They were not right.

00:24:44.550 --> 00:24:45.900 Michael Durant: So if I had

00:24:46.860 --> 00:24:48.240 Michael Durant: Obviously your

00:24:48.570 --> 00:24:50.130 Graham Dobbin: Insurance. We know you better when

00:24:50.730 --> 00:25:04.770 Graham Dobbin: I was poking the criteria did they go into when we're choosing these types of things, how you're having you may have no system slightly over 40 so I've kind of given that up. I'm not gonna, I'm not going to get that chance. So could you tell us what's the criteria.

00:25:05.460 --> 00:25:16.320 Michael Durant: So for us it was based on leadership, you know, have you exhibited leadership in the State Society of CPS have you exhibit leadership in your firm.

00:25:16.860 --> 00:25:30.720 Michael Durant: In our head you exhibited leadership in your community. And as long as you checked. One of those three boxes. That was the leadership there was a bit of service to the society because obviously they're pointing you

00:25:32.100 --> 00:25:41.670 Michael Durant: And then there was also the criteria of WHAT DID YOU WHERE DID YOU impact to they had people who nominated, you had to say what they saw.

00:25:42.090 --> 00:25:56.880 Michael Durant: Both you as a professional and you as a person and I think that was a good blend it wasn't just. Are you a good accountant plenty of good accountants, but it was also you know your your leadership in your service to the society or the profession, so

00:25:58.530 --> 00:26:02.040 Graham Dobbin: It's really interesting. I think virtually every single week that they

00:26:03.030 --> 00:26:10.350 Graham Dobbin: Got a guest on here we get to the point of we can all be good at our skills. We can all be good at a wrote it, that's not that's not enough.

00:26:10.590 --> 00:26:16.860 Graham Dobbin: Leadership comes from, you know, comes from the heart comes from the mind comes from attitudes comes from how we approach things

00:26:17.220 --> 00:26:24.240 Graham Dobbin: So it's that difference. And it sounds like that's what. So, did you get any indication of the impact that they give you some of it, some of the ideas and feedback that people gave

00:26:25.560 --> 00:26:41.940 Michael Durant: Not directly, but I did the people that I asked to nominate me and some people who nominated me without me asking did reach out to say that they mentioned me and some of them didn't mention what they felt my biggest contribution was either to the society or profession.

00:26:42.840 --> 00:26:54.510 Graham Dobbin: It's interesting. I don't know if you feel this as well that that especially with good emerging as leaders with developing it's sometimes it's a surprise, how much we touch other people without realizing, yeah.

00:26:55.170 --> 00:27:07.770 Michael Durant: Yes, I, I got a lot of a lot of the feedback that I've gotten over the years, was I was at an event with you and you took this extra minute it to me, that meant it was the minimum is, I didn't even think of it.

00:27:08.490 --> 00:27:13.560 Michael Durant: But just that minute and I think that's why that one more question aspect really drives

00:27:15.510 --> 00:27:28.650 Graham Dobbin: When I was working with a client yesterday and we've not what since I think last November, and he said to me, something that you said was really prophetic then and it came. It came to fruition and we remember that. Oh, what did I say, and it was only

00:27:28.890 --> 00:27:31.830 Graham Dobbin: A throwaway observation that I

00:27:31.860 --> 00:27:41.130 Graham Dobbin: Come up with in the moment, said, well, I think this is might be what will happen. I need be dismissed it with a bit of a chat and they just moved on. I really forgotten about it.

00:27:41.820 --> 00:27:56.610 Graham Dobbin: And they said, yeah, in April this year. That didn't happen. And this is what we needed to do you remember the advice that you gave, even though we dismissed it at the time, and it is surprising just sometimes a little tidbits that we give of how important means other people

00:27:57.690 --> 00:28:03.390 Graham Dobbin: What we're going to do when we come back from the break. Michael is is really delve into the next gen. What does it mean

00:28:03.930 --> 00:28:10.140 Graham Dobbin: So what you're doing, somebody who's helping to develop those leaders kind of what they're going through as well at the moment.

00:28:10.530 --> 00:28:22.140 Graham Dobbin: How they're approaching things and maybe some of the things that I saw that people have forgotten about that we need to we need to bear in mind when we're talking about people who are developing their leadership skills.

00:28:22.770 --> 00:28:39.150 Graham Dobbin: And they're on that path. So you're listening to the mind behind leadership with me. Graham Dobbin we're speaking to Michael Duran who's the chair of the New York State Society of CPA is next gen committee, he is. He is business development at

00:28:40.200 --> 00:28:49.380 Graham Dobbin: Youthful finance and youthful savings rather and also see the toxic Avenger program mentors will be right back after these messages.

00:31:09.060 --> 00:31:25.620 Graham Dobbin: Welcome back, we're speaking with Michael giraffe this evening, Michael, I'm good. The role that we met in was you, as the chair of the New York State Society of CPS and the next gen committee just can you give us a bit of an idea of what does that role entail.

00:31:27.180 --> 00:31:37.380 Michael Durant: It's a volunteer role, and it's a leadership position at the same time. So my goal or my role is to both

00:31:38.490 --> 00:31:53.100 Michael Durant: Build programming and build camaraderie among young CPS under 40 is the category and throughout the entire New York state. So downstate which includes more than just the New York City.

00:31:54.210 --> 00:32:05.940 Michael Durant: All the way upstate buffalo Rochester area as high as Utica, so my job is to oversee 15 chapter committees that do to work on the ground.

00:32:06.540 --> 00:32:18.720 Michael Durant: And my job is to hear their needs and their wants and communicate that up and then also hear the needs and wants of the society as as a organization.

00:32:19.290 --> 00:32:30.240 Michael Durant: And what they need and push that down and do it in a way that one encourages my members to get involved and make it easy for us because we are

00:32:30.960 --> 00:32:41.910 Michael Durant: Young staff members. So there's a lot of work for us and very little play time and play time. We do have does not usually intent, we do not usually want more work.

00:32:42.390 --> 00:32:53.700 Michael Durant: But if you give it just enough bite size a tease. Yep. People do it because they do care about this profession. They didn't spend years in school. And for those of us that pass the CPA exam that

00:32:54.060 --> 00:33:02.970 Michael Durant: Part exams, just to say, okay, got the title. I'm done working at it. A lot of us do want to give back in a lot of our programming is focused around

00:33:03.390 --> 00:33:09.420 Michael Durant: Community Service and member interaction. So it's fun stuff like golfing and outings and

00:33:10.350 --> 00:33:22.350 Michael Durant: All pretty cool. But now what we're doing is which you were a guest on is our virtual Fridays at four. And so this is just a way for us to keep our members active and give them information that they want.

00:33:23.850 --> 00:33:24.210 Michael Durant: I'm

00:33:24.960 --> 00:33:32.730 Graham Dobbin: When I know one of the things we spoke, off, off air about was when we talk about next gen I've had so many discussion recently about

00:33:33.420 --> 00:33:40.080 Graham Dobbin: Well remember two thirds of the need. This is what happened. This is what happened to the economy of the bones bank or or whatever.

00:33:40.380 --> 00:33:54.780 Graham Dobbin: And yeah, everybody's saying that this is very different. But they've got some kind of have gained some kind of yardstick to to measure things by it's, I'm guessing that's not the case with next gen or with under 40 year olds don't

00:33:56.040 --> 00:34:13.170 Michael Durant: Know we mean for some of us do I entered the workforce right as 2008 hit. I graduated high school in 2007 so I was at KPMG when 2008 hit. And then I went on to work at a

00:34:14.190 --> 00:34:16.080 Michael Durant: Mid and large size.

00:34:17.130 --> 00:34:19.530 Michael Durant: Law Firm. And I got to see the impact of

00:34:20.850 --> 00:34:34.890 Michael Durant: They are so I did see a lot of it. Now next gen includes people slightly older than me and all the way down to I guess you call them Gen Z. Now, who are coming out of college or coming out of high school.

00:34:35.010 --> 00:34:38.010 Graham Dobbin: I've, I've lost. I've lost him anyway.

00:34:40.560 --> 00:35:00.990 Michael Durant: So when with those groups. Yeah. There, there's a significant amount of us don't have anything to measure by and it's a significant amount of us who have recent memory of 2008 and it wasn't just, you know, oh recession was over. Jobs came back, it didn't happen that way.

00:35:02.490 --> 00:35:18.030 Michael Durant: And I doubt that it will happen this way to, you know, firms have been able to operate with less people. I doubt, they're going to open back up and say, yeah, let's let's bring on more employees that we don't need. So I think the the fear for us, or the concern is

00:35:19.110 --> 00:35:30.210 Michael Durant: Where are the jobs going to be and how will we work them, you know, whether at home, virtually good thing for accountants is I don't feel we have as much fear.

00:35:30.960 --> 00:35:47.700 Michael Durant: Next Gen accountants have as much fear because a lot of firms had been hiring you know went coven our jobs didn't change that much. We were just as busy. I felt all summer we were busy, which was because our clients were scared. So they wanted to know what was going on.

00:35:48.840 --> 00:35:58.980 Michael Durant: In the legal round we were getting updates all the time. So I feel for Collins, we, we don't have that fear of, oh, there's not going to be any jobs and we are on the rise.

00:35:59.970 --> 00:36:05.550 Michael Durant: But for other industries, I have friends who are just about every industry. Yeah, there's a bit of concern.

00:36:06.060 --> 00:36:14.580 Michael Durant: I do think as the once the economy opens back up, we will have a pop of bubble of new employment that's guaranteed. I think so.

00:36:15.570 --> 00:36:22.350 Michael Durant: But I think long term firms that even struggle through the the remote session.

00:36:22.860 --> 00:36:31.530 Michael Durant: When they come back to full operations. They will then re evaluate things and look at, you know, what if this happens again or, you know, what were the benefits of that.

00:36:31.920 --> 00:36:42.330 Michael Durant: So I think there is a bit of concern, where companies are going to look to them in a jobs as accountants. I don't think we have as much concern because they're still that stuff that computers can do

00:36:43.800 --> 00:36:53.550 Graham Dobbin: Is now it's interesting because you're looking at your members, you're looking at your industry and looking at how that will survive or how to adapt and be flexible.

00:36:53.970 --> 00:37:02.130 Graham Dobbin: We on the other side, you're also looking at businesses, saying, here's how you can expand. Here's how you can, you know, do things maybe slightly differently.

00:37:02.370 --> 00:37:13.080 Graham Dobbin: It's good to have a positive financial impact is there is a conflict there any point where you turn around and say, No, you don't need to go back into the office or you don't need to have that other person.

00:37:14.370 --> 00:37:24.120 Michael Durant: It is a conflict in a sense that you know I am you know talking someone out of him playing another person, but I also look at it as

00:37:24.960 --> 00:37:34.050 Michael Durant: An opportunity here. I'm hoping this business owner, save what may be two salaries. Maybe he was looking to bring on a manager or something.

00:37:34.440 --> 00:37:46.680 Michael Durant: And that's two salaries, where now. He's saving that money and can invest it into his employees health insurance or invested into his employees retire, you know, in that side, you know,

00:37:47.460 --> 00:38:01.680 Michael Durant: He you know there's never a full balance but you try to wait it out and figure out weird. Oh man, I think, you know, my duty is to the client and to give them the best advice possible. And so that's what I'll do, and

00:38:02.400 --> 00:38:13.170 Michael Durant: My mentorship and my leadership outside will have me like, Oh, you can't find a job. Oh, let me help you get the skills. Are you ready to get the skills to get a job at something different.

00:38:13.950 --> 00:38:20.610 Graham Dobbin: I mean, maybe that was a bit of an unfair question because I understand. It's not linear in the somebody saves the money there, then it may save a whole lot of other jobs.

00:38:21.180 --> 00:38:23.760 Graham Dobbin: Or maybe the company, a little bit more stable, you can

00:38:24.090 --> 00:38:33.870 Graham Dobbin: You can see that going forward. I also think about the the when we're talking about emerging leaders, people who are developing themselves as business people and as accountants.

00:38:34.260 --> 00:38:45.300 Graham Dobbin: So a lot of responsibility there then to especially at a time like this which with so much uncertainty. There's a lot of responsibility they are moving to give the right advice and the right support.

00:38:46.980 --> 00:38:51.480 Michael Durant: Yeah, there, there is a lot of responsibility there it's

00:38:52.560 --> 00:38:57.510 Michael Durant: It's a balancing act you know between your obligations as an employee.

00:38:58.590 --> 00:39:07.080 Michael Durant: Your, your obligations to yourself, I feel like being a leader and emerging business development as an obligation to myself and my future.

00:39:07.470 --> 00:39:19.020 Michael Durant: You know, as my career prospers bringing in business developing a book of business showcasing leadership show casing technical skills, it builds my brand.

00:39:19.440 --> 00:39:30.780 Michael Durant: So the balance is really like as much as I get the job the office. I gave myself in that that counter intuitive. So that's why I'm going to law school because I felt like

00:39:31.980 --> 00:39:38.220 Michael Durant: Yes, it'll benefit the firm obviously a CPA GD is it's a powerful combination

00:39:39.120 --> 00:39:52.620 Michael Durant: But also for myself, I felt like I wanted to go to law school. Like I always wanted to see what was, you know, I worked at a law firm for six years. And I would say I saw some of the happiest and most miserable people at the same time.

00:39:54.420 --> 00:40:07.950 Michael Durant: But what can make someone so happy in miserable at the same time. And then I started reading you know going to law school. I started going to law school. I said, Oh, I know why. Now, it's very interesting stuff, but the volume of it's very difficult to handle. So

00:40:09.210 --> 00:40:19.290 Michael Durant: I think it is a balance of finding what you give to the firm. You also have to give yourself and the stuff that you give yourself should make you feel good, if that's, for me it's serving others.

00:40:19.740 --> 00:40:22.290 Michael Durant: Yeah. For other people might be bike riding.

00:40:23.610 --> 00:40:23.850 Michael Durant: So,

00:40:23.940 --> 00:40:26.490 Graham Dobbin: What's your focus in law school that what what's that you're doing that.

00:40:27.420 --> 00:40:39.330 Michael Durant: So the JD is a general degree it's similar to getting your bachelor's in liberal arts is just every bit of law right now I'm studying evidence and family law and torts, so

00:40:40.350 --> 00:40:49.110 Michael Durant: Very interesting and complex areas of law. My goal is to working as a CPA is the focus in tax law and economic policy.

00:40:50.820 --> 00:40:56.670 Graham Dobbin: So when I'm. Is this something that you would advise others to do, or is this a really this is a personal thing.

00:40:58.740 --> 00:41:01.980 Graham Dobbin: I see, I see. You know, because you're you obviously enjoy it.

00:41:02.880 --> 00:41:11.940 Michael Durant: I do, I do, but every attorney I've ever met when I told them I want to go to law school. The first thing out of their mouths, is why, like why

00:41:13.830 --> 00:41:15.000 Michael Durant: And now being there.

00:41:16.290 --> 00:41:27.810 Michael Durant: I see why. But I would say I would advise people who are interested in that aspect of the accounting field. There's a lot of blending. A lot of gray area.

00:41:28.380 --> 00:41:36.090 Michael Durant: My firm itself has an entire practice dedicated to tax controversy and those people are lawyers who deal with the higher risks.

00:41:36.360 --> 00:41:47.760 Michael Durant: And settling issues on behalf of our client. So there's a lot of interesting aspects to it. A lot of the partners at my firm that I work with directly or JD CPA as

00:41:48.030 --> 00:42:04.080 Michael Durant: I want to work in my hand networks space and trust in the state planning. So that just adds a little bit of credibility and also just understanding how those different mechanisms work not only for the financial part and tax preparer but also the legal part the

00:42:05.250 --> 00:42:17.580 Michael Durant: State Planning for the economy and understanding finding that balance and helping that the attorney who's drafting these documents find that balance because it's not always in sync. But the lawyer wants the same thing that account.

00:42:21.690 --> 00:42:26.220 Graham Dobbin: So what's your goal then as the chair of Hello. How long is your tenure on this.

00:42:26.820 --> 00:42:36.990 Michael Durant: So I have another nine months or so. So this. I've been a year and a half as chair and my goal is to continue to build on an infrastructure that we have here.

00:42:37.350 --> 00:42:45.660 Michael Durant: To, you know, we've gotten communication we've educated, some of my chapter members didn't even know that there was a statewide committee.

00:42:46.050 --> 00:42:59.100 Michael Durant: And bringing that into focus, giving them the knowledge that things that are going on in the background of the society that we've been asking for different you know areas of leadership and development.

00:42:59.730 --> 00:43:08.370 Michael Durant: That the society has been working on it just hasn't been communicated to us and I think that was a lot of frustration is developing the communication channels where it's a two way street.

00:43:11.370 --> 00:43:19.920 Graham Dobbin: So so big job at any committee or any company getting that getting those communication channels going both ways. I know where the experience isn't the easiest thing to do.

00:43:20.430 --> 00:43:26.850 Graham Dobbin: I'm relisting to are you listening to the mind behind leadership, we're speaking with Michael Jordan this evening.

00:43:27.570 --> 00:43:35.820 Graham Dobbin: After the break we're going to just dig in a little bit more about what the particular challenges are for those emerging leaders what's coming out what kind of support, they will need

00:43:36.240 --> 00:43:48.720 Graham Dobbin: And also I'm going to be asking, Michael, give them a little bit time to think about what's the three traits that he thinks you know a great leader must have and we'll be talking about that when we come right back after these messages.

00:45:47.610 --> 00:45:55.290 Graham Dobbin: So you're welcome back to the mundane leadership with me. Graham dog and we're speaking to Michael giraffe Michael just in the

00:45:56.790 --> 00:46:05.820 Graham Dobbin: Society and the next gen, we were speaking before the break about just some of the challenges that come up know if, you know, run leadership programs. I've done it with emerging leaders.

00:46:06.330 --> 00:46:18.600 Graham Dobbin: But I think one, sometimes there's a, there's a, there's a danger that we guess it what's happening there. So what's really happening, what's the kind of challenges that come up with some of your members, but do you here.

00:46:20.130 --> 00:46:31.080 Michael Durant: I think some of the biggest things are frustration change. I think in know hopefully if we had to look for a silver lining and covert I think it it forced a lot of

00:46:31.800 --> 00:46:41.640 Michael Durant: older generations to adjust. And I think for everybody changes scary, but once they did it. And, you know, we've been doing it for three, four months now.

00:46:42.150 --> 00:46:57.480 Michael Durant: People really start to look at it like okay if I did it. You know, it's always it's always difficult until it's done. And so I think the frustration that people you know there's an easier way I'm much more, you know,

00:46:59.370 --> 00:47:00.780 Michael Durant: Cheaper sometimes

00:47:00.810 --> 00:47:11.670 Michael Durant: Yeah, way of doing things. And I think there's been a lot of frustration and change. I think hopefully with that that will that that this era has changed that perception.

00:47:12.120 --> 00:47:24.240 Michael Durant: I think one of our other biggest things is that when it comes to that changes the progression and accounting is always is always been very linear. And what we're finding now with a lot of nEXT Gen.

00:47:24.810 --> 00:47:34.230 Michael Durant: Members, is that they're branching off like you can learn a lot from the internet and maybe I spend 510 years with a firm.

00:47:34.800 --> 00:47:42.060 Michael Durant: In building up towards that partner or manager track if I don't want to work 60 hours on meet

00:47:42.690 --> 00:47:53.850 Michael Durant: You know, I can go off and start a I have friends who have automation businesses friends who are accountants will become teachers I have friends who are professors

00:47:54.360 --> 00:48:05.700 Michael Durant: Recruiters there's you can be an accountant and inflict another aspect of it that you enjoy adding both that technical skill knowing when the accountants looking for but also

00:48:06.090 --> 00:48:20.010 Michael Durant: servicing an accountant. I think that's the the other aspect and then when it comes to leadership there are account into, you know, go out there and their job is to teach you know how to sell your business and how to grow your business and

00:48:21.090 --> 00:48:29.310 Michael Durant: Just how to operate your front firm in 2020 now. So I think the frustration with change the frustration with

00:48:29.850 --> 00:48:40.890 Michael Durant: The concept of a linear progression. I think those things are definitely some of the biggest and I think the lack of communication that you know some of the firm's also exhibit and

00:48:41.580 --> 00:48:53.250 Michael Durant: It's an it's a bottom up. Chuck challenge and a top down challenge as well. I think another another large issue that next gen has is the diversity and

00:48:53.730 --> 00:49:06.690 Michael Durant: I think they're seeing that a lot of diversity both minorities, women and also age, you know, there, there are a lot of things that firms do that younger people want to participate in

00:49:07.170 --> 00:49:17.430 Michael Durant: And I think a lot of firms are coming to terms with that and looking instead of saying, oh wait for them to say, oh, I want to get involved and now we're looking down and saying, Hey, do you want to get involved.

00:49:18.210 --> 00:49:25.980 Michael Durant: And having that person spawn. Yes, I've been waiting on my life for you to ask me this question. So I think that that's changing for us. I hope

00:49:26.550 --> 00:49:34.290 Graham Dobbin: So, too. So the next gen the positive drivers. When we look at diversity, when we're looking at things differently. So what we're saying.

00:49:35.070 --> 00:49:45.840 Michael Durant: I think it's both sides, I think. Next one is definitely pushing it because we grew up with friends all over, you know, especially here in New York City. But even people who are not from as diversity.

00:49:46.170 --> 00:49:54.030 Michael Durant: You know, the internet colleges every just being aware of the world around us, people are seeing diversity and I think from the top.

00:49:54.480 --> 00:50:04.260 Michael Durant: They're seeing diversity as both a leadership issue because as they retire. Someone needs to take the reins and I think they're also seeing it when it comes to business development.

00:50:04.590 --> 00:50:11.640 Michael Durant: You know, as more minorities are looking for teams that look like them, you know, if I'm a

00:50:12.240 --> 00:50:20.790 Michael Durant: Woman business owner, I want at least you know a woman on my team or if I'm a young person. I don't want to talk to the 60 year old partner.

00:50:21.120 --> 00:50:26.280 Michael Durant: Who's telling me the same stuff he's been telling people for 30 years. I want to talk to the 30 year old to

00:50:26.670 --> 00:50:38.790 Michael Durant: Is looking at the same stuff I'm looking at who feels the same way. I'm feeling so I think from the business perspective, they're seeing that and from just our own well being, I think. Next Gen Xers are really pushing that movement.

00:50:39.810 --> 00:50:40.050 Michael Durant: Really

00:50:40.140 --> 00:50:51.840 Graham Dobbin: really heartening to hear you using the word they're pushing it because I might have teams that I've worked with, you know, younger groups and it's about finding their voice, giving them, you know,

00:50:52.500 --> 00:50:59.160 Graham Dobbin: Letting them know that they've actually underwrite to be in the room is that at a meeting or something of that so that opinion matters and

00:51:00.120 --> 00:51:18.420 Graham Dobbin: It's vitally important for every business to understand the varsity on backgrounds minorities age everything brings it all into the next one of the biggest draws for me to come to New York was the diversity of it absolutely loved it so that that would, that was huge and

00:51:19.500 --> 00:51:32.310 Graham Dobbin: How we got it going. So looking at leadership, you're obviously extremely driven for yourself personally, but also for those around you. I know that you've had an impact on others. I know that I've seen it and I've heard that. Who do you look up to.

00:51:33.870 --> 00:51:36.150 Michael Durant: Who do either. Yeah, um,

00:51:37.500 --> 00:51:42.570 Michael Durant: I have a few mentors that I think you know when I started at the law firm. I had

00:51:43.230 --> 00:51:53.580 Michael Durant: My boss at the time, Larry. Emerson was from a similar background as me socially economics in he had achieved so much. And he did it his way.

00:51:54.300 --> 00:52:04.500 Michael Durant: And when he would sit me down and tell me how he achieved what he achieved. He always said, but don't do it that way. If I knew what I know now I will never do it that way again.

00:52:05.580 --> 00:52:21.990 Michael Durant: But he still didn't need the value of like always looking, you know, five years ahead, but, you know, living in the moment. So that's definitely one person should re Ford, who was a mentor for me at KPMG and we're friends to this day.

00:52:23.100 --> 00:52:28.650 Michael Durant: He just showed me how it could be fun to be an accountant like you can be all about business.

00:52:29.130 --> 00:52:46.170 Michael Durant: And then go back in still have fun at happy hour just be able to get up the next morning for that am meeting, you know, find a balance and I think he was a big influence and then the there. I mean, there are so many people that touch me, little by little arm.

00:52:47.280 --> 00:52:53.490 Michael Durant: You know, I've had in a society. I've had past presidents. I'm just thinking or my head. J. Michael and

00:52:53.970 --> 00:53:05.190 Michael Durant: Wrong. Be who you know they they still do that. You can go beyond this, even now they're encouraging me to go beyond next gen like what they they call me an email me and actually what's next.

00:53:05.280 --> 00:53:06.150 Graham Dobbin: What's next, yeah.

00:53:06.360 --> 00:53:07.770 Michael Durant: And that would be nice.

00:53:08.790 --> 00:53:19.230 Michael Durant: But as I wake up. So I think, I think that the people that I look up to our people to believe in me and push me. You know, I have

00:53:20.610 --> 00:53:32.160 Michael Durant: You know, even speaking wise I have our president I ensure from our Toastmasters who has pushed me to you know get more involved and do more speaking opportunities and

00:53:33.090 --> 00:53:45.780 Michael Durant: I think it's working out well. But I think it's for me, I look at people that push me and who I also see, you know, for me, looking at them as they're reaching down and pulling up as well as standing behind pushing. I think that's the key.

00:53:47.310 --> 00:53:58.230 Graham Dobbin: So it's an interesting thing I learned this very young. I remember with an extremely good boss I had asked him how he did it. And he said he surrounded himself with better people than him.

00:53:58.920 --> 00:54:04.200 Graham Dobbin: And it was always about killing people are having people that even pushed me rather than doing it the other way around. I

00:54:04.680 --> 00:54:14.370 Graham Dobbin: got in touch with. We don't have long. LAUGH I'm going to touch on just a couple of things I think we know each other well enough that I can ask you this question. I'm CPA. He said, it can be fun.

00:54:15.150 --> 00:54:26.610 Graham Dobbin: Would it be fair the CPS don't have necessarily the perception of the might be as boring or state or or maybe not that fun person, you would want to be with

00:54:27.990 --> 00:54:45.660 Michael Durant: I think that's the perception. Yeah, but I can tell you my first next gen event. It was a toy for top fun drive and we were at a bar and there were drinks for a certain price and donations and toy gifts and then after you know

00:54:46.680 --> 00:54:53.280 Michael Durant: The I would say the older generation stepped out but they weren't saying to 10 o'clock, and I

00:54:54.030 --> 00:54:57.600 Michael Durant: Once they start thought it was like, okay, now we can really have fun.

00:54:57.840 --> 00:55:06.030 Michael Durant: And I've been to so many of those events and we've actually changed them now where we're not going to start off trying to look like something we're not. We're going to start off with.

00:55:06.330 --> 00:55:17.640 Michael Durant: The party. So we've done ping pong nights and we've done all these other different types of events where it's like the party starts now. And I think that's when people realize oh captain's can be fun.

00:55:18.720 --> 00:55:33.660 Graham Dobbin: I've worked with enough of my team that I know it's not true. I also know what the perception is and kind of comes into mind just before we wrap up this evening and give you a time. What are the three traits that you think absolutely crucial for any leader.

00:55:34.680 --> 00:55:49.290 Michael Durant: So I would say first is service, you know, a leader is not someone who tells people what to do but encourages them to do things. I think that's we're working with the side. He has benefited most it's entirely organized by volunteers.

00:55:49.920 --> 00:56:02.250 Michael Durant: I think credibility. And with that, I mean, you know, including trust that you know you build this up over time. You can be all about service, but if you constantly fall short, people are not going to look to you.

00:56:02.970 --> 00:56:07.290 Michael Durant: And then I think the last part is humility and for me I've received a lot of

00:56:07.770 --> 00:56:19.500 Michael Durant: commendations accolades and oftentimes forget them but you know I'm always looking for. What's the next thing I can do for someone else. And I think as a leader. If you keep that that idea that

00:56:19.740 --> 00:56:25.890 Michael Durant: You know yeah you achieve something great. But what's even greater is the next person achieving it to or even better, so

00:56:26.970 --> 00:56:38.640 Graham Dobbin: So service credibility and humility. Michael john it's been an absolute pleasure to have you on tonight. Get your insights, get some views and see what really drives you, my guess is that

00:56:38.970 --> 00:56:45.930 Graham Dobbin: We will maybe have another conversation like this and a few months time and just see what else is changed. Thanks so much for your time.

00:56:46.260 --> 00:56:55.590 Graham Dobbin: Have you been listening to the mind behind leadership Live from New York and talk radio dot NYC. My name is Graham Dobbin and thank you for this evening, good night.

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