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Allow your potential future to reach out to you

July 17, 2023

Gregory F. Pashke is President of Pashke Consulting, a strategic, tactical and business consulting resource. Greg is a generalist committed to continuous learning and his mantra is “to get a lot done and have a lot of fun.” Greg worked for an international accounting firm, served as CFO of an aviation enterprise, and was managing partner of a regional CPA firm prior to forming Pashke Consulting. Greg graduated from Gannon University, has an M.B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh, has lectured at Penn State University and attained multiple certifications in consulting, finance, accounting and business valuation. His articles have appeared in The Futurist, Strategic Finance, the Pennsylvania and New York CPA Journals, and Renaissance Executive Forum publications. Greg has also contributed chapters on Defining the Role of the Generalist and Organizational Evolution in the LexisNexis Canadian Financial Industry texts The T.A.S.K (The Trusted Advisor’s Survival Kit) and Advisors Seeking Knowledge.
I feel grateful that I had the opportunity to speak to Greg several times. We are both part of Hoshin Media published authors. Some weeks ago, I had a virtual interview with Greg and I'm happy to share with you his wisdom. Pause, read, reflect and take notes.

Question #1:

What are three important moments in your life that you would stop to tell us who you are?:

#1) Opening night for the musical “Annie” New Year’s Eve 1983 at the Erie Playhouse. A huge night for our family. Annie was the inaugural show for the newly renovated Erie Playhouse and THE event in Erie that evening. Our oldest daughter Kim had the leading role of Annie and our youngest daughter played one of the other orphans Molly. It was the culmination of a fabulous family journey. The show was a massive hit. It was wonderful to watch families with their young children enjoy the magic of the show. During this exciting period my  new identity was Annie and Molly’s father.

I was blessed to have the time to for family adventures while still enjoying a business career.

#2) CPA firm’s website featured in the 1996 Journal of Accountancy. I’ve always enjoyed a curiosity for evolving technology. In the mid-90’s I developed an internet website for our CPA firm to embrace this new communication tool. We were honored to have our site featured in the premier publication of the Accounting Profession. It was an unexpected blessing from the universe.

#3) Snippets in the life of the Pashke Family . A dozen years ago, I was privileged to attend a Marshall Thurber workshop on the Future of Business. At that conference I met Matthew Cross and we periodically communicated about our lives and projects. I mentioned that I had an idea to compile some family stories and Matthew gave me the encouragement to complete a collection of 70 plus stories that are brief reminders of the joy and adventure of life’s journey together. This collection documents some wonderful moments for me, my wife Jan and our two daughters Kim and Kristy. As a big bonus, the snippets project was extremely fun and rewarding. Precious family memories are captured in written form.

Question #2:

What led you to where you are now?:

After earning a BS and MBA degrees in the early 70’s, I worked for an international CPA firm where I was mentored by knowledgeable colleagues while obtaining the CPA and CMA designations. I then was CFO of a regional airline before moving back to my hometown to be a founding partner in a small regional CPA firm. I spent the next thirty plus years as managing partner focused on the management consulting service needs of the firm’s clients. I obtained multiple consulting, finance and business valuation designations and was privileged to have articles published in CPA Journals, Strategic Finance, The Futurist and Renaissance Executive Forum publications. I was honored to contribute chapters to LexisNexis Financial Industry Texts.

I have a passion for life-long learning and my mantra is “to get a lot done and have a lot of fun.” Early in my career I sought out mentors to learn the wisdom of my more experienced colleagues. Later in my career I was honored to be a mentor to the younger members of the profession. I stretched myself with a yearn to learn and tried to pass that on.

I was privileged to be active in multiple professional and community activities including the governing boards of the American and Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

I worked and learned from competent, supportive, and caring colleagues. I’ve been part of many supportive organizations. I’ve always tried to guide and improve the respective and collective circumstances of the organizations and populace I was privileged to serve.

Early in my career, I realized I thought a bit broader than some of my contemporaries. This enabled me to explore writing helpful articles for both clients and the general public. I enjoyed exploring and developing generalist skills along with the specialist aspects of my profession.

I’ve enjoyed a rich life of family, service, personal growth, and cherished relationships. I am extremely grateful for the path of my life journey.

Question #3:

If you were to meet teenager Greg, what recommendations would you give him for a harmonious journey through life?:

·      You are about to enter a multiple decade experience. Enjoy the ride.

·      Find a mentor. Be a mentor. Starting out, learn everything you can from your colleagues. Later in your career, return the favor and help develop and council those younger than you.

·      Seek balance between your professional and personal lives. This will not always be easy. You will have some missteps. That’s okay. It’s part of the process.

·      Try to exceed expectations. It’s better to under-promise and over-deliver rather than over-promise and under-deliver.

·      Aim to do everything well and with CARE. You should blend technical knowledge with a reputation for commitment and dependability.

·      Be persevering and patient. You will experience setbacks. You will be told no. Be willing to accept rejections. They can be superb learning experiences.

·      Be grateful for the blessings in your life.

·      Give back to your profession and community. Leave a legacy of  quality and caring.

Question #4:

How do you define courage? What about authenticity?:


·       Doing the Right Thing even when others don’t share the same commitment.

·       Perseverance during difficult times. Have the gumption to continue when the going gets tough.

·       Admit it when you are wrong.

·       Believe in and be true to yourself.

·       View and embrace the world as it is, warts and all.

·       Continue to Build your Legacy over time.


The words in your book (Accuracy, Uniqueness, Truth, Humbleness, Empathy, Natural, Transparency, integrity, Courage, Imagination, Trust and You) are all powerful descriptors of AUTHENTICITY.

Some other adjectives that come to mind are dependable, reliable, inspirational, consistent, committed, disciplined, optimistic, and willing to share the credit. It’s basically, “what you see is what you get” and what you see is a quality reputation in action. People are drawn to you.

Question #5:

Why did you write Quotes and Ladders?:

Pause – Reflect – Target - Execute

Every company has a story. What’s yours? More importantly, what could it be?

The future is an inward and outward journey for you, your team, and your organization. Nourish them all. Q&L is a simple yet disciplined process to explore your potential future. Let the Quotes inspire you. Let the Questions guide you.

The quality of your organization consists of both static and dynamic aspects. Static quality supports your mission with systems, policies, and procedures. Dynamic quality expands your perspective and potential. It can free you from your structural silos. The trick is to hone a harmonious blend of both aspects. Q&L can enable that.

One of my favorite quotes in the book is from Matthew Cross “Within us is a vast reservoir of genius and hidden talents, waiting to be tapped and unleashed.” One path to this inner resource is through the Q&L process. It’s a simple way to broaden your perspective and potential transformation.

As children we have an innate inner curiosity and a playful attitude about life. We experience and cherish the magic of every moment. We are relatively fearless, eager to learn, and to experience the world with fresh eyes. Q&L is a simple process to re-energize the creativity of your inner child.

Allow your potential future to reach out to you. Remember, work and fun are not mutually exclusive. They can simultaneously thrive. Let them.

Pause – Reflect – Target - Execute

Question #6:

Please share with us 3 of your favorite books.:

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (Robert Pirsig)

This book had a profound impact on my professional and personal growth. I’ve employed its quotes and stories in my writings and presentations.   Robert Pirsig captures a major theme of the book: “The real cycle you’re working on is a cycle called yourself.” It’s a book about quality, caring, thinking, craftsmanship, and analytical thought. It’s also a book about a father and son relationship both dealing with different stages of mental illness.

I had an article titled “Bring Back The Generalist” in the October  2004 issue of Strategic Finance and employed some of Pirsig’s insights into a discussion of the relative merits of Generalists and Specialists. This article evolved further into a few chapters in LexisNexis Canadian Financial Industry texts.

Cosmos (Carl Sagan)

This book and the related PBS “Cosmos” series in the early 1980’s was a remarkable learning experience for me. In school, I was not much of a student of science. Carl changed that. He had a remarkable ability to use provocative stories to convey complex concepts in a captivating and simpler way that even the average Greg could understand. Carl taught me the value and power of a story as a  communication device.

Presence (Peter Senge, C. Otto Scharmer, Joseph Jaworski, Betty Sue Flowers)

This mind-expanding book explores human experience and  the field of the future. How do we transcend from our habitual thought process to a broader perspective and more effectively explore the world of future possibilities? How to we better listen to the future that is trying to emerge?

The book employs compelling stories and examples of tapping into and help shape evolving futures. We envision futures that blend both a thought and listening process. It captures Buckminster Fuller’s observation - “a living system continually recreates itself.”


Thank you, Greg for being such an inspiration! I am looking forward to meeting you in the offline space, too, soon.
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QUOTES & LADDERS: A Weekly Quote & Question Journal To Fire Up Your Business One Spark at a Time

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