As a babyprenuer, I was an accomplished micromanager. I coordinated day long retreats and got my entire team fired up toward our annual goals. I would create BIG plans and set BIG goals. The team participated, sort of, but mostly they went along with what I wanted to do. After all, I was the Boss.
Our annual retreats ended with tons of high energy and enthusiasm. The next day, we were all back into our daily work. I “managed” our results with spontaneous data binges, digging into the numbers, productivity, receivable turns, margins, or pricing. Since I was always over the top busy, these data binges were late at night, ending around 11pm or later. Armed with my conclusion about what was wrong, the next morning, I would have a talk with the appropriate team member. No one ever knew what to expect, because they never knew when the late night data binge was coming or who I was going to pounce on the next day.
As the year progressed and our results grew further and further away from our goals, the energy and enthusiasm of the retreat became a faded memory. We would end the year below goal. I would blame my team, sometimes openly, but mostly I had late night talks with myself about others not performing.
“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Albert Einstein
Out of my frustration came a burning desire to do it differently. What followed next was years of devouring business books, gathering advice and wisdom from others and trying out new tools.
Here is the big secret I learned, big goals without department and individual accountability systems to support them are poison to your culture. It creates a win/lose environment. A negative culture is like a dirty river, nothing thrives in it. It creates a ceiling or blind beyond which your company cannot achieve. A positive culture uplifts everyone creating fresh energy and enthusiasm. It builds momentum and brings everyone along together.
Solid accountability systems support a positive, uplifting culture. Everyone thrives when they know what is required of them and what to expect. Without accountability, your team becomes a group of victims, finger pointers, martyrs or all three. Someone on the team is always doing more than their fair share because what their fair share is isn’t clear. Your team feels put upon or taken advantage of because expectations aren’t clear.
I often hear entrepreneurs say things like, “No one works as hard as I do.” “No one cares about my company like I do.” “I have to work longer and harder than everyone else because I am the leader.” These realities are a direct result of unclear systems of department and individual accountability.
As we built The Prosperity Experience for Business process, I knew from my own experience that an accountability system had to be an integral part of the process. To create a prosperous organization, there can be no victims or martyrs or finger pointing. Prosperity is about bringing joy and money together and it only thrives in a positive culture.
As we implemented our accountability system magic began to happen at Mackey Advisors.
Team members took new, unexpected initiative. Results improved dramatically. My work load got lighter and more joyful. If these are the kinds of results you’d like in your business, below is a step by step of how we did it:
- Start with your annual goals. Set them in five key big picture areas described in this blog post.
- Engage your team in fleshing out a detailed budget based on your big picture goals from step 1. Make it a collaborative experience, with information flowing both up and down the organization.
- Bring your departmental leaders together to look at the 1 to 3 measures they must deliver on to achieve the company wide goals. This is harder than you think. It is easy to arrive at a ton of metrics but really honing in on that is really important is hard.
- Develop a weekly reporting format for your department leaders to report up their progress. The distribution list for this report should include you as the CEO of course, but also your entire management team.
- Develop a weekly meeting agenda where results are reviewed and course corrections implemented as needed. At Mackey Advisors we use the free, downloadable EOS L‑10 format.
- Watch the magic happen as your entire team gets on board and fired up about your results.
Love the idea and need help? At Mackey Advisors, we are committed to creating a prosperous world, one business and one person at a time. We are accepting new clients and would be honored to help you achieve your prosperity goals. Call us at 859–331-7755 or email Lisa@MackeyAdvisors.com to set up a free initial consult.