In my experience working with hundreds of accounting and financial planning firms, I am convinced that the leadership practised by a firm’s partners plays a critical role in achieving results.
Even within the firms who have taken steps to join my coaching program for accountants and financial planners there are profound differences in the effectiveness of leadership displayed. So, what are the great leaders doing differently? Here are some observations I’ve made as a result of having conversations with some of the more strongly performing firms that I’ve coached.
Great leaders are ‘hungry’ for success
The future belongs to those who have a plan to succeed in it. Dare I say there’s an element of the fanatic about partners who effectively lead their firms? They are excited by their business plan and determined to achieve it. Those leaders content to quietly see out their days, those who aren’t curious about better ways of doing things and those who are apathetic about achieving superior revenue growth need not apply.
Great leaders delegate
Yes, there’s a certain size required before a full-time manager can be justified. If your firm isn’t quite there yet, consider engaging a talented part time manager. Alternatively, you could contract a projects officer. Both options have the potential to take a lot of administration off a busy partner’s desk freeing up time to create opportunities.
Great leaders invest – often!
Investing in your firm can take a number of forms – from refreshing your website to regular marketing engagement; reviewing your systems or participating in business coaching. Your willingness to invest in one or perhaps all of these matters will be seen by your team as an investment in progress and a strong statement about your goals for future success.
Great leaders ‘nail’ the intangibles
There’s a cumulative effect in getting all aspects of your intangible assets right. This starts with a small but powerful collection of values, together with a clear statement of purpose. It flows on to understanding your client niche and areas of speciality. It also extends to branding that needs to be done just right and a versatile set of classy marketing collateral including a website that presents a compelling message to your firm’s target market.
There is a profound difference between developing a vision for your business that is filled with good intentions and actually achieving it.
Whether your firm is ordinary or great, it depends upon leadership. Your leadership.
In 2017 Scott Charlton has issued a challenge to accountants, asking them to step up “be the complete adviser your clients need you to be.” In order to meet the challenge. Scott understands that Accountants need to be bold. They need to have critical conversations with their clients; offer the sort of services clients may not know they need; and have the courage to accept that they may not yet have the skills or the knowledge they need to meet their clients’ requirement.