Step Forward and Serve This Year

By Benjamin R. Mulling, CMA, CPA.CITP
January 2, 2016

Every January most of us make personal New Year’s resolutions then break them before February rolls around. Most of our resolutions involve bettering ourselves. Some people want to lose weight by exercising, while others want to read books regularly. Some want to be a better parent, sibling, or spouse. I’ve made plenty of personal and professional resolutions during my lifetime, but I’ve broken most of them. Nevertheless, I’d like to challenge all IMA® members to make a resolution that can change our association and the profession as a whole. The resolution is very simple yet impactful: I want each and every member to become a leader.


It really isn’t as hard as people think. All it requires is a passion and a willingness to stand up and serve. The desire to serve others seems to be a dying mentality in our world today. There’s no shortage of opportunities to serve, just a shortage of those willing to step forward and take advantage of them. Willingness is the first, yet most important, step.


Looking back at my career, many of my most significant developments and advancements came as a result of my willingness to step forward and serve. Whether it was receiving an achievement award in college, getting that promotion to CFO, or even becoming Chair of this great organization, all came about simply by putting myself out there and becoming available for whatever was being asked of me. That’s what I’m asking our members at all stages of their careers to do.


At IMA, we’re always looking for members who are willing to serve in the organization. There are opportunities all over the world in a variety of different capacities. Whether it’s serving on an advisory committee, volunteering for local chapter board positions, leading your student chapter, being a campus advocate, or even serving on the Global Board of Directors, you can make a difference in your profession. For myself, what I didn’t realize were the personal rewards that came with serving. My strategic, project management, communication, and interpersonal skills all developed as a result of serving. These weren’t things a book could teach me. I had to simply put myself out there and be willing.


Today, 15 years into my career, I have truly come to understand and value the benefits and rewards of serving. One thing that I’ve learned is that leaders communicate and lead in various ways and with different styles. But the one commonality that I’ve discovered is that great leaders serve. That is my challenge to you in 2016: Serve somewhere today.


Please share your thoughts with me at bmulling@imanet.org.


Benjamin R. Mulling, CMA, CPA.CITP, is managing director of TENTE Casters, Inc. A former IMA Chair, he also is a member of IMA’s Cincinnati North Chapter. You can reach Ben at bmulling@tente.com.
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