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Leadership Stories-Values in Action and The Tale of The Quirky Accountants

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  • 1. Leadership Stories-Values in Action and The Tale of The Quirky Accountants
  • 2. Leadership Stories-Values in Action and The Tale of The Quirky Accountants Last week, just after I’d posted my blog on Values I met with my accountant Russell Smith for our yearly review meeting and lunch (thanks Russell!). Back in his office afterwards I met some new members of his team and he showed me the Values that were painted on the office wall (I loved this – part of the fabric of the building, not on a separate plaque or sheet of paper!)
  • 3. Leadership Stories-Values in Action and The Tale of The Quirky Accountants The company values are these: A. Innovate systems so that we never make the same mistake twice B. Do whatever it takes so our clients become raving fans C. Be passionate, fun and (sometimes) quirky* (now how many of you are surprised at that for a firm of accountants!)
  • 4. Leadership Stories-Values in Action and The Tale of The Quirky Accountants D. Care for people’s happiness, fulfillment and well-being E. Seize every moment as an opportunity to grow and learn so we always give our best I love these values – they mean something. They are inspiring and yet grounded in reality.
  • 5. Leadership Stories-Values in Action and The Tale of The Quirky Accountants Not like: ‘We aim to provide great customer service’ What does that mean? Now, some of these values can be measured quantitatively (an occasional client survey, for example) but as Russell says ‘just because you can’t measure something it doesn’t mean it’s not important’.
  • 6. Leadership Stories-Values in Action and The Tale of The Quirky Accountants A better question to ask is ‘what stories can we tell this month that show we have lived our values?’ No stories? You’re in trouble! Stories can be so much more powerful than data in bringing values to life. Never one to miss an opportunity, I asked Russell what guidance he would give to other teams or organizations looking to get real clarity on their own values.
  • 7. Leadership Stories-Values in Action and The Tale of The Quirky Accountants Here are his top tips; 1. As a leader/business owner be clear on your own personal values first. Write them down. This helps you see if you really are living congruently according to your values. 2. Spend time with your immediate team getting real clarity on what your organization (or your team) is really about (not what you aspire to be – what you are really like.)
  • 8. Leadership Stories-Values in Action and The Tale of The Quirky Accountants Russell’s team asked themselves: ‘ What are we actually like? Is that good or bad’? For Russell, this was a two day exercise involving heart searching, honest conversations and really getting under the skin of who they were as individuals and as a team. 3. This one I love – spend time as a senior team living and breathing the chosen values before sharing them with the wider team.
  • 9. Leadership Stories-Values in Action and The Tale of The Quirky Accountants The values have to really ‘hit the heart’ for everyone. The senior team did this for six months before introducing them more widely across the organization. 4. Values should be expressed in a sentence and five values is probably the maximum you need! 5. If you do this purely as a marketing exercise you’re missing the point.
  • 10. Leadership Stories-Values in Action and The Tale of The Quirky Accountants 6. Once you’ve got your values in place, review them quarterly with each team member but also ask yourselves ‘how are we living these values as a team’? Having values written down makes it much easier to: Recruit the right people – they ABSOLUTELY MUST share the same values (even if they are technically brilliant, if they don’t share the values they won’t get hired) *if you want to know how they are ‘sometimes quirky’ – Ask Russell www.rsaccountancy.co.uk but color themes and cupcakes might give you a clue.
  • 11. For more information on how to develop your Leadership Values please contact pat@lynnscottcoaching.co.uk
  • 12. www.lynnscottcoaching.co.uk