Who of your staff is a striker and who is a defender? As a business leader, focus on improving the department in your team that shows weakness. If your strikers are losing the balls in front of the goals, are unable to get the ball past the keeper, consider training them more or substituting them. If your keeper is making simple mistakes even not under pressure, consider putting them under intensive training if they show talent or getting them off the team altogether.
What is the essence of great leadership?
Identifying the best people with talent and skills and nurturing them to thrive while at the same time recognizing the people who are the weakest link in the business and helping them to improve or getting them off the team altogether.
Anyone who fails to do this role 0n-going does not deserve to be called a leader.
For that reason, great leaders are not afraid to undertake ongoing performance reviews of their teams to identify areas to improve, give objective feedback based on the quality of their work, and make decisions. Anyone who shows no improvement in areas identified as weak on their side, should not be left on the team. For that reason, well-managed organizations make it easy for people to come and go. The company should not be a prison. It should be the place to be.
No one remembers defenders!
In any competitive game, people remember players who score goals. Few people remember the best defender. If the person in the mid-field does not score, they rarely get the spoils.
It is for a fact; goalkeepers save more goals than those scored by the strikers. But no one remembers the work done by the keeper!
In Uganda vs. Senegal match, Uganda’s gifted hand’s keeper Denis Onyango saved a penalty and so many other close balls that would have entered into the net if Onyango had not kept the goal. But team Uganda could not win the match. Reason: no one scored! In the end, Uganda Cranes got eliminated from the Africa Cup of Nations at the round of 16 following that painful 1-0 defeat by Senegal.
No one talks more about people who save goals. That is why the CFO’s or an accountant’s role, Internal Auditors role, or administration staff in any company get back seats. They don’t focus on growing the revenue, which the business needs to thrive. It does not matter how much costs cutting initiatives you implement, if income is falling, you will soon have nothing left to cut, and the costs will eat the business to its demise.
Regardless of your position in the game, you should have a focus on the ultimate team’s objective: score as many goals and DO NOT CONCEDE. You must keep your eyes on the ball.
It is not enough to score ten goals and also concede ten goals. To win, you must concede fewer goals than you have netted. Whether you are an accountant, lawyer, or administration staff have a deliberate and conscious focus on examining your role in revenue growth and cost savings and try to quantify how your part adds value in those areas.
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The following lessons can help:
Lesson 1: Keep interacting with the prospect to gain trust
How does our company add value? What products and services do we sell? Who is our target customers? What can I do in my role to sell more?
For example, an accountant in a law firm should not just sit waiting to issue bills and process payments. He or she must take a proactive role in reaching out to other accountants at different accountancy forums to interest them to partner with the law firm in the specialist legal consulting areas they do. The accountant or CFO is the best person to introduce the law firm to his accountant friends. That way, the accountant will be seen as an equal among the partners.
Lesson 2: Never write a proposal before having the client pour themselves at you.
As an auditor, examine the sales processes for improvement areas. How many proposals has your firm sent out? How many of those proposals were successful? When a proposal succeeded, what was the process? Should the firm continue to send proposals in response to every request for bids received?
The internal auditor should shift to such strategic and business-critical areas in their audit approach and work plan to add real value to the business. It is so bad when you read an audit report with abstract ‘observations’ that look at the ‘ideal picture’ instead of the critical issues in the firm or business. That is what makes an internal auditor a key team player and a person of value to the company.
Lesson 3: The more you know about the client, the better
You don’t need to be in marketing and sales to know more about the clients. As a finance officer or accountant or auditor, who are your friends? Do they know about what your company does? Why not make appointments and reach them out. Send them brochures and the value you deliver. Take the first step to write to your colleagues that the following people are my friends, in case you need to approach them for anything, let me know so that I introduce you there.
If you know about your prospects, you can research online in your free time and provide information to your colleagues to ease their work. That is what teamwork is all about. And you will indeed become a team member who adds value on both the top line (revenue) and bottom line (net profit) – the two lines are critical for business success.