I have worked with a quite a few people in recent years on developing leadership skills. Many people look to us for leadership, and the biggest single thing they are looking for is “consistency”.

Our children need our leadership through their growing years. My children are now all in their 20’s and still yearn for leadership in the form of guidance and consistency. I remember when they were little, they would look with adoring eyes at the things Mum and Dad did for them, and said to them.

Our work environments are no different to our home environments – we have people looking up to us, and watching every move we make. Our leadership obligation is not optional. We are “on show” wherever we go and whatever we do.

As we come to the end of another year of business we start to think about unwinding and enjoying a break with friends and family, but still people are watching.

There is a difference between “unwinding” and “unravelling”. There have been some spectacular “falls from grace” when people have unravelled in the public eye.

Stephanie Rice had established a great persona as an Olympic Swimmer and was setting herself up for a career in the media spotlight. A little too much to drink brought it all undone. A controversial rant on Twitter led to most of her major sponsors dumping her overnight.

It’s not up to the “minders” to get us through these situations, it’s up to our own leadership to recognise the perils, and take appropriate action.

Just like our businesses have a brand (which we are careful not to damage the brand) we each have a personal brand that needs to be protected.

Grant Hackett damaged his brand when the police were called to his luxury apartment after a big day at the Melbourne Cup recently. Kyle Sandilands lost more than $1 million in Sponsorship when he damaged his personal brand after having a rant on the radio this week. Both the French and Italian Prime Ministers have damaged their personal brands in recent times.

Imagine if you saw any of our last five Prime Ministers at the local shopping mall dressed in a blue singlet with footy shorts and a pair of flip flop thongs on their feet. That would be incongruent with their brand or image. It would also destroy all the efforts they had made in providing leadership to their followers, regardless of your political beliefs.

Religious leaders and corporate leaders have the same responsibilities. Their leadership is always on show and in uncertain times people look for consistency and leadership.

The late Steve Jobs built the Apple brand to what it is today. He didn’t do it singlehandedly, he did it by having a great leadership model with an impeccable image. Do you think that if he regularly “let his hair down” with Friday night drinks that went too far, or showed his team any other shortcomings, that his leadership would have been so compelling?

Was he perfect? ………….No.

Did he “let his hair down” in the privacy of his own home?……who cares!!

 

Leadership is a 24/7 Role, just like Parenting is a 24/7 role. Our kids look to us for leadership in all areas of their lives. They mimic us, they watch our every move. They become “a chip off the old block”.

Surprisingly, our staff have similar needs to our children. They need a consistent, caring approach to their relationship with you. Even when we’re relaxed they are watching us, and desiring leadership. A small chink in our leadership armour now will undo all the good work that we have done in the past eleven months, or longer.

Party and drink responsibly, maintain good judgement, and show your team why they look up to you.

If your life was a documentary film, which parts of it do you wish you could reshoot? If it was going to be used as a training video for your staff, which parts would you like to edit out?  Don’t let your leadership end up on the cutting room floor!

UNWRAP your presents, UNWIND your pace of life, but don’t UNRAVEL your leadership.

{ 0 comments }

Work Life BalanceAccountants often struggle with getting the balance right.

If you have worked for a Big 4 firm, or a Second Tier firm, you will have been indoctrinated at a very early age that the only way to the top is by putting in big hours, at maximum productivity.

You see the financial benefits this provides for the Partners, and the “future partnership” carrot is often dangled. Once you become accustomed to, or dependent upon this model it is hard to imagine that there could be a better way.

Many Accountants just accept that the long hours are part of the price of success, but it doesn’t have to be. Time IS money, when you work in six minute units.

Some people say “Do you live to work, or do you work to live?” This oversimplifies the idea of Work Life Balance as just being a two way choice. It is actually a seven or eight way street, and work is only one of these demands.

Think of it like a bicycle wheel with eight spokes. To have true Work Life Balance all eight spokes of your wheel should be the same length, otherwise your life will be a very bumpy ride.

Consider how balanced your wheel would be if each of the eight spokes represented your life in the following areas –

  • Your business;

  • you as a spouse;

  • you as a parent;

  • you as a colleague;

  • you as a friend;

  • your health;

  • your community;

  • your spiritual life.

Like many Accountants, my business used to take priority over everything else, because my business paid for everything else.

Then I found a better way to run my business, making all the money I needed (and much more) in half the time it used to take.

This gave me the time, and the money, to get all the other areas in my life back into balance.

If you would like to discover how to get true Work Life Balance back into your life, contact me here and I’ll arrange to catch up and have a chat about it. Or come along to our next workshop and learn more.

 

 
 

 

{ 0 comments }

Does this sound familiar? One of your clients has just brought in his information for you to prepare his annual Taxation Returns. You notice that there is a new name on the top of his Bank Statements so you ask the obvious question. He replies by saying that he started using a new company during the year (but he still maintained only one set of books).

The client doesn’t think it’s such a big deal. You try to explain to him about potential Capital Gains Tax issues, trigger events, value shifting, etc, etc, but he just says “I know you will sort it out for me”. Or he may say “You shouldn’t have let me get into this position, I expect you to fix it at no cost to me”.

Either way, you’ve got a problem. Your choices include look for the bottle of scotch, go for the blood pressure tablets, or advise your P.I. insurer, among other things.

So why is this your fault? Because you have positioned yourself at the wrong end of the communication chain with the client. I know you are busy, ………..and tired, ………….and stressed, but are you really too busy to do your job properly?

Your clients need to see you as their Business Coach, not just their Accountant. You need to be more than just their “compliance guy”, otherwise all you will get from them will be compliance “issues”, and the stress that goes with it.

So how do you rewire your clients to think of you before they have a problem, rather than after they have a problem or, worse still, not think of you at all. The answer is simple. Follow the 7 step program I have developed which will elevate you in your clients’ eyes. It demonstrates to your clients that you care about them, and understand them, and have the answers to anything they can throw at you.

I’m not asking you to throw away all your Accountant’s Training and Prestige, become "just a business coach". I’m suggesting you elevate yourself above the rest of the Accounting Profession by giving your clients what they really want.

Would you rather your clients describe you as:-

a.       My business guru, the first point of contact in all things business, (and a good bloke as well) or,

b.      My Accountant is someone who solves a problem I didn’t know I had, in a way that I don’t understand, and then charges me for the privilege.

If you’re ready to reposition yourself at the top of the tree, and massively improve your job satisfaction at the same time, contact me here or call me on 1300 199 757and I’ll help you to get started.

 

 

 
 

 

{ 0 comments }

According to the U.S. Department of Labour, Employment and Training Administration Business Coaching and associated services are expected to be the biggest growth industry in the next 7 years (83 % growth), even bigger than health care for our baby boomers. It is expected to grow four times faster than Accounting and Tax Preparation Services (estimated to be only 21% in the same period).

Doesn’t it make sense to be in a growth industry? Don’t limit your thinking to what you think you know about the industry.

There are endless opportunities in the emerging industry of Business Coaching.

I remember starting at University in 1974 and being introduced to Data Processing and Computer Programming. We used to type up punch cards and load them into the hopper on the mainframe computer. I thought “I can’t see the relevance of these subjects, because all I want to do is run an Accounting Practice”.

Little did I know that by the time I graduated three years later every Accounting Practice was buying a computer, and I was put in charge of what turned out to be the “heart and soul of the business”.

Now everyone has a PC to do their work thanks to Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and the like.

The market is becoming more aware of what benefits a Business Coach can bring to a business.

The modern day Business Coach is like a “McKinsey for the masses”. In 1926 James McKinsey expanded his budgeting and finance skills into Business Coaching, although he called it “management engineering”. McKinsey & Co. work at the very top level for global multinational companies, but the modern Business Coach can have the same impact on any organisation, regardless of size, or culture, or location.

The revolution that took computing from Mainframes at the big end of town, to PC’s and laptops for the masses, is now happening in the world of Business Coaching.

What was once available to only the largest of companies is now being made available to all businesses, and it is the role of the modern business coach to provide the service.


 

 
 

 

{ 0 comments }

What would your clients answer to this question? Are you game enough to ask them? Or is there an elephant in the room?

Accountant to Coach, Peter Fehon

How would an outsider see it? As an Accountant you have spent many years learning your craft. It probably started with a Uni Degree in Commerce, Economics, or Business Studies.

You may have studied part time and had excellent on-the-job training from senior members of the profession. In fact, you have spent your whole adult life honing your skills, just so you can be “second best”.

You probably spend all your available time tending to the compliance needs of your clients so that you just don’t physically have time to offer them additional services.

Enter the Business Coach.  He probably comes from outside the Accountancy profession. He has bought a franchise, got some marketing training, and is knocking on your clients’ doors.

He is not qualified to offer compliance services. He is not even interested in offering compliance services. Why would he be when he can come in and take the cream? The parts that the Accountant is too busy to provide.

Sounds like the easy road to the top, if you ask me.

When you look at it that way, maybe Business Coaches have outsmarted Accountants. Whose fault is that? The Government for increasing the compliance burden? NO, it is our fault as Accountants for becoming complacent.

How do you think Business Coaching as a profession came into being? Someone saw a need that wasn’t being met, and met it. It’s that simple. Accountants were not meeting their clients’ needs, other Accountants were also too busy to attract clients away from their competitors. So, as a profession, Accountants became complacent.

This created a perfect opportunity for a predator to attack the industry. And the Business Coach was born. The Business Coach now does the quality “high impact” advice, while the Accountants fight over the compliance work.

Round 1 to the Business Coach.

If you would like to know how to bulletproof your practice against Business Coaches give me a call on 1300 199 757  or contact me here if you have any questions whatsoever!

 

 

               

                               

                               

                                               

                                               

 

                               

                               

                               

 

                               

                               

 

                               

                                               

 

                               

                               

               


{ 0 comments }

Are your Clients really Satisfied?

Have you ever entered your local Business Awards competition? The winner is determined by votes registered by their clients or customers. This is really a very public survey of client satisfaction. Are you prepared for such a public viewing of your practice?   Strangely, you could score well on a client satisfaction survey, but still not giving […]

Read the full article →

Is Your Business Safe?

Your Accounting Practice is under threat, but you might not even know it. You might have told your clients’ to “protect your business”, but have you applied the same principles to your own Practice? If you did a S.W.O.T. Analysis on your Practice right now, what would it look like? The “Threats” would include things […]

Read the full article →

Do Accountants have good People Skills?

Have you heard the latest Accountant Joke? There are so many around, and they all seem to have a common theme. They all seem to indicate that accountants lack people skills, which is not true. Sure, you are great with all the numerical stuff, but you have got so much more to offer. . If you […]

Read the full article →

Compliance Work vs Job Satisfaction

Is there a future in a “Compliance Based” Accounting Practice? Anyone that preaches practice growth and profitability would say “No”. I have been hearing this story since 1981 when I first became a Partner in a six partner CPA firm, yet compliance based practices still exist.   More to the point, is there REAL job […]

Read the full article →