Simplicity Is One of the Keys to Leadership Success
I was slow to learn this lesson. I wanted to over-complicate things and move my agenda at a super-fast pace. Now there’s nothing wrong with executing your tax business’s strategic plan as quickly as possible. Again, issues arise when the execution is not broken down into simple, doable steps for others to accomplish.
Leaders have a clear vision where the organization is going (your tax business); and are equipped to oversee and supervise the people who are making this vision happen.
Supervision sees what’s going well and what’s not going so well. As the supervisor, if the wrong processes and procedures are happening in your tax office, it’s your job to straighten it out.
It’s Called Accountability.
Accountability seems to be a taboo word in many tax professional circles. But if you don’t have rewards and consequences (which is what accountability really is) you can’t be an effective leader. Holding the people who work for you accountable is the only way to systematically improve your office over the long haul.
Which brings us to management. A manager is someone who knows how to get things done through other people. When you’re wearing your manager hat, you’ll get your hands dirty in more of the details. But you’ll also know what’s missing in your process and what needs to change in order to move forward. Many times in your managerial role you’ll see a quality employee struggling. Chances are you have them in the wrong role. Use wisdom as a leader to match their gifts and talents with a job description your tax business needs the most.
Many times, being a good leader comes down to finding the right job that fits each employee. Once your staff is working in the best roles for them, providing clear expectations with agreed-upon follow-up benchmarks (for accountability) makes for an excellent office environment for everyone: The owner, the employees, and the clients being served.
Leaders Have Goals
The best leaders are excellent at seeing what needs to be achieved and getting people to help them get those desired results.
Obviously, goals are important. But being able to follow clearly defined action steps in order to reach those goals is where the money is. Most folks don’t achieve their goals because they do not simplify, and then perform the actions needed on a daily basis.
Helping employees focus on what’s important is how quality leadership mentor people best. Getting employees unstuck from side issues and locked in on the task at hand gets the team closer towards the desired goal.
The main reason tax preparers and office staff don’t reach their goals is because they spend their time working on the wrong stuff. Great leaders re-focus them on what they agreed to do and give them the tools and encouragement to keep going.
As you lead your employees, whether it’s tax season or not, make sure each person has allotted specific time blocks in their daily and weekly schedule to accomplish the tasks related to reaching the goals you’ve set for your tax office.
Everyone Needs Clear Goals to Work Towards
A goal is measurable and has a completion date. For extra motivation, write down the reasons why you want to accomplish these goals. For your tax practice, set goals for the person answering the phone. Same with the tax preparer. Don’t forget about the back office processors or people helping with administration.
And remember, all employee goals are just subset goals leading to your overall tax business goals. (Make sure they are in sync!)
Keep working on yourself as a leader.
You are a great investment for your tax business and the community around you!