There’s a lot of advice out there (including our own blogs and emails) about various methods you can use to try to improve your leadership skills. This leads to an obvious follow-up question – how do you know if all of this self-improvement stuff works? How do you know you, as the leader, are making a positive impact? And how can accounting outsourcing help with these improvements?
There are a couple of obvious measures of your success. The first is just plain old-fashioned money. Is your firm bringing in more revenue?
The only problem with using this as your stick is that money can come from a variety of directions. You might, for example, enjoy a bump to your intake because you let an expensive in-house specialist go. However, in the long run you’re probably going to lose money when you can no longer offer that specialised service to your clients.
(As an aside, accounting outsourcing can help you increase your services and reduce overhead, while allowing you to keep specialists in your roster.)
The next measuring stick is to see if you’re meeting your firm’s goals. If you don’t have any goals, you should make some, the sooner the better. Make a goal for 1 month from now, 6 months, a year, 5 years, and so on. Make them concrete and measurable, and write them down on a calendar.
Here’s one we’d obviously suggest – put accounting outsourcing down for your goal 1 month from now. Since the term “outsourcing” can sometimes cause employees some nervousness because they erroneously believe it’s a synonym for “downsizing” it will be a measure of your leadership skills to see if you can get everyone on board and seeing how the outsourcing will help your firm’s growth, including that of your in-house staff.
Goals are probably a better measure of your leadership skill than pure money, because the goals generally require you to inspire your team, getting them on board and rarin’ to pitch in. Plus, since your goals are concrete milestones, you have something to measure against instead of the vague “more” related to pure money.
You’ve probably guessed this measuring stick from what we’ve discussed above – your team is a measure of you as a leader.
Think of it this way – you wouldn’t ask your team to meet your goals if you didn’t believe they had any chance of meeting them. So take accounting outsourcing as our example again – you wouldn’t attempt to make this lofty goal if you didn’t think your in-house talent was capable of seeing and utilising the benefits. And you wouldn’t think them capable if you hadn’t been a good leader.
So you set the accounting outsourcing goal. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Are your people afraid to bring forward their mistakes?
- Are they reluctant to give you suggestions to tweak workflows?
- Have they personalised their workspaces (suggesting that they intend to stick around for a while)?
- Would they say that when they do fail they find you encouraging?
If your firm is struggling to meet your accounting outsourcing goal what happens? Are your people coming to you asking what can they do to improve your odds?
This, perhaps above all the other questions, is a solid indication that you’ve lead your team into being an effective and involved unit. “What can I do?” is someone asking how they can go above and beyond their regular run of duties to help improve things not only for themselves, but also for your firm as a whole. It shows that they are invested in the firm, which means in turn that they are invested in you as their leader.
And if they’re not quite at the point where they’re asking that question, well, we have all those other blogs and emails to help get your leadership skills to where you want them to be.