“Now is a time for improved leadership in our communities.”
Treasurer Swan may think the economy is OK but many of us in SME-land are finding it tough going right now. The banks are tightening up on overdrafts; cash flow is a challenge with debtors growing; sector change is being driven by the internet and changing consumer priorities; competition comes from new sources; government red tape grows and grows; staff want greater employment flexibility; and our families cry out for our involvement!!!!
Accountants play a critical role in assisting SME’s within communities and ensuring the vitality of those communities. So how can we help our clients survive and step up in their leadership within their businesses?
Management is essentially about matters such as processes, systems, resources, finances and associated policies and procedures. It involves planning, organising, controlling and evaluating activities within the business.
Leadership is about creating the environment in which team members work willingly together to achieve common goals. It involves superb inter-personal skills such as questioning, listening, clear communications, coaching, counselling, giving productive feedback, creating direction, delegating and motivating the whole team.
As Professor Adair, the chair of strategic leadership at the United Nations Staff College in Turin, says “You can be appointed a manager, but you’re not a leader until your appointment is ratified in the hearts and minds of those who work for you.”
While leadership is people oriented, leaders must be credible managers to gain the respect of their people. Management and leadership are different but complementary!
The best leaders are those who are respected for their professional capabilities (being a great baker) as well as their personal characteristics and behaviour.
So how can we improve our own leadership capabilities and skills and those of our SME clients?
Some Smithink2020 firms have been doing some new and exciting things to achieve this.
Firstly, practitioners have invited 5 SME clients to a three day management forum called SME Global Business Camp run at the Gold Coast. You work as a team with your 5 SME clients and go through a planning process to document business development direction and core focus, sales and marketing strategies, wealth creation and succession. Many of our member firms have done this. It shows your clients how to lead a better business and how you can help them. You and your clients all sit together at the same round table and work together over three days.
Your clients will really be grateful for this invitation.
Go to www.globalbusinesscamps.com.au for details.
Secondly, firms are utilising ESS BIZTOOLS’ self learning Leadership online solution for themselves and their SME clients. Again, by doing this with your SME clients, you learn together and it positions you as a proactive and interested business adviser.
Smithink2020 has negotiated a 10% discount for our members for a subscription to ESS BIZTOOLS and/or ESS BIZGrants. You can obtain this discount by quoting the distributor code of ESS2SMI in the field provided.
To find out more information on ESS BIZTOOLS or ESS BIZGrants you can register to attend any of their free introductory webinars.
Great leadership can be learnt!
It requires long term commitment and a strong willingness to learn and develop.
Come and join me at the Global Business Camp in April 2013 and utilise the self learning modules online offered by ESS BIZTOOLS to show your clients how to improve your own leadership skills first then help them to do the same. It could be the best thing you’ve ever done for your firm and communities. Enjoy the learning.
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