It's the eye of the tiger...do you still have the thrill of the fight?
Updated: Jan 29, 2020
The thrill of running a business, creating employment, providing a valuable service....or has it all become less of a thrill and more of a bore!
What keeps leaders passionate, energetic and enthusiastic to keep growing their business and celebrating new successes, day in, day out, year in, year out?
In accountancy I see two types of leadership teams.
Type 1 - those who look serious & overwhelmed. Often head-down, hamster wheel types, reluctant to look up any more to see what the competition and wider world are doing. As we approach ‘tax return season’ the burden of work makes some teams temporarily morph into this type of behaviour; or
Type 2 - eager to learn from the best, to adapt to new ways of thinking and doing, to explore a new world. Less hamster wheel & more giddy puppy! But being accountants, never too carefree and crazy, always with a touch of healthy skepticism & assessment.
As the mix of personalities in leadership teams change over time, so will the balance of serious & eager. And this is less dictated by age than you might think. As I have seen many firms with really innovative senior partners in the past, who have grown a firm using exciting marketing initiatives but have still grounded that firm in common-sense approaches to high quality, efficient service & nurturing, encouraging relationships with their staff.
And then when they retire, and the next generation of leaders take the reins, some have actually become less innovative! Weighed down by the pressure of attempting to keep up with rapid change in the market, often forgetting the basics of running a solid firm. The ‘old-heads’ could actually have more youthful enthusiasm & spark than some younger teams! Not all it has to be said, I know some brilliant younger managing partners too!
So what does define the more successful firm in my experience? For me it boils down to CAPACITY:
capacity & desire to change (a personality trait, I think you’re either this type of person/leader or you’re not);
capacity to be nimble in their decision making (a skill of leadership, which can be learnt);
capacity to have a budget for spend on marketing/tech/training (a practical necessity, you must be able to invest if you want to grow)
The focus for me here is the ability of firms to make decisions. Firms whose leadership teams procrastinate, who won’t release any control or delegate authority to empower others to make smaller decisions, firms who sweat the small stuff because they’re scared to take a leap into the unknown with bigger stuff, these teams will always struggle to embrace change. They’re the firms with the most stressed-out partners/directors, who seem to lurch from one client/staffing/financial crisis to another, who don’t seem to be feeling the thrill at all!
I will only work with firms in this programme who have the ability (or the strong desire to learn how) to make strong, swift decisions. This is why this programme isn’t a ‘hard-sell’. Firms will only ever receive 3 introductory & explanatory emails from me inviting them to take part in this programme. If by the third email, firms haven’t requested more information, I’ll leave them be. The participant firms in this programme will be self-selecting. Because I’ve learnt over the years, you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.
If this programme sounds of interest for your firm, please don’t hesitate to contact me for more information & a no-obligation discussion.