Have you heard the expression that “life is a journey, not a destination”? Well, when it comes to setting goals for your law firm, accounting firm or professional service firm, life is a journey on the way to a destination.
Destination goals (such as revenue and staffing targets and other specific outcomes) are important, but you’re not going to reach them without specific stepping stones. Journey goals (such as improving your skills and relationships) are those steps that will get you there.
If you find yourself rushing to the finish line and then wonder why you and your people keep falling short on your goals, here are five key accountability points that will bring your attention back to the journey:
- Development – If you donʼt develop your people, at best they will only be as good next year as they are right now…at best! How can you break the stagnation cycle and help them be better?
- Ask versus tell – How can a person grow if you tell them what to do and how to do it? If you help your kids with math homework by giving them the answers, they WILL fail their next text. What do you need to be asking instead of telling?
- Enabling – Give a man a fish he eats for a day; teach a man to fish he eats for a lifetime; it’s no different in business. If you keep enabling your people by doing things for them, they will keep letting you. The change must come from the top. No change = no growth. How are you enabling your people and what are you willing to stop doing for them RIGHT NOW?
- Tolerating – It takes two to tango. Allowing and tolerating unproductive results and behavior leads both parties to “you know where” (nowhere, no accountability). Are you contributing to your people’s success by challenging their shortfalls, or contributing to their failure by tolerating them? What is one thing you can stop tolerating today?
- Lead the journey – Your job as accountability leader is to help your people identify their journey goals and support their development. Run alongside them so they can reach their destination goals, and so you can reach yours! When will you schedule a conversation with each team member to discuss their journey?
Each of the Key Accountability Points above contains an action question, giving you a great start for increasing your workplace accountability. Not only that, but by focusing on the journey, and not just the destination, you greatly improve your chances of reaching your goals and targets.