This is naturally the busiest time of year for our clients, and by extension, for us. There are the checklists: goals, actuals, variance(s), explanations, adjustments, projections, and so on. Our clients can spend so much time looking at the reports and agonizing over what they mean, that the mission of the organization gets lost, literally in paperwork.
I agree that the reports, explanations, adjustments, etc., are important to understand how the organization (or even our own practice) is doing. I also agree that putting the paper aside for at least half a day this month, and looking at mission with your leadership team is even more vital. In the myriad of day-to-day, week-to-week, quarter-to-quarter and year-to-year activities, the reason we are in business can get lost.
As organizations AND individuals, we should examine if we have become robotic in our response to customers, employees and other stakeholders. When is the last time you checked in with a valued client that was unrelated to an order? What's happening in your key leaders' lives that may be affecting their hearts? Have there been milestones on your team that you haven't recognized? How many team members have been nurtured and promoted in your organization versus those who have left? Are there conflicts within your team that you have chosen to ignore? Any of these things can affect your bottom line and be reflected in the paperwork. The real question is what are you going to do about it?
Take out the mission again and compare it to your personal mission. Do you see any conflicts with what your company is doing and what you thought you would be doing right now? Has the mission of your company gotten lost in procedures and policies? Mission, procedures and policy should compliment, not contradict each other. Have you adopted processes individually or corporately that are expedient but out of line with who you intended to be?
Yes, this just got personal. In the era of public, ill-tempered arrogance, how you lead matters more than ever. You can choose to rubber stamp mediocrity, or you can ask yourself the hard questions and respond to yourself and those around you with authenticity. Then you can make changes that will affect your bottom line for the long haul.
Michele Aikens is CEO and Lead Coach of Sepia Prime
Communications and Coaching. She is credentialed by the International Coach Federation (ICF) and serves on the board of ICF-Chicago. Contact her at Influence@sepiaprimecommunications.com