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Craig Steinhoff – Perspectives – REAL Financial Planning

Craig Steinhoff HBK CPAs & Consultants

What is Leadership?

By Craig M. Steinhoff

We’re not all “born” leaders. So how can we identify the skills and qualities to take our organization to the next level?

Now that 2017 is upon us, its time to focus on making a fresh start. Develop personal and professional resolutions that you can accomplish. If you’re responsible for a team – either a stay-at-home mom running a household or a Corporate CEO running a multi-billion dollar entity, focusing on your leadership skills is likely a great place to start. Creating good systems for your team or drawing up effective operational guidelines that will help team members get through the day-to-day detail of their jobs are great management activities.

However, leadership is more about creating and communicating a vision and motivating people to work towards it. Leadership is about developing highly motivated, goal oriented people, and creating a climate in which they can perform to their fullest potential.

leadership

Developing a Vision

A leader’s primary purpose is to provide an overall sense of vision about the future direction of the company and to ensure that this vision is the bellwether for all strategic and operational decisions. It’s not always easy to formulate a direct, strategic vision statement.

Team members that don’t have a clear sense of the group’s vision often lack purpose, become frustrated and do not offer input that could improve policies and processes. This means more than hanging a wall plaque; it is communicating the vision at a high level and relaying the major strategies needed to achieve it.

Motivation in the Workplace

Another key goal in bringing team members together is to determine what values are important and then practice them, both individually and collectively. To set this process in motion, run workshops on organizational values, such as customer service standards or resolving conflicts, using different scenarios on problem situations and teaching the right and expected way to resolve them.

Keep focus on solving problems, not on personal performance or assigning blame in a problematic situation. Demand openness. If a leader is quick to identify and address his or her own mistakes, he or she keeps a focus on results and reinforces everyone’s perception of honesty and integrity.

Decision Making in an Open Atmosphere

A culture in which everyone is focused on results and where team members are encouraged to openly debate, speak out and take risks, is known as a flexible environment. As a leader you need to be confident and command respect by being well informed about the key areas of your business. Demonstrating a desire for your own continuing education helps build a culture of a “learning organization”; lead by example in this area.

Mentoring Your Team

Finally, a key aspect of leadership is mentoring. Mentoring means encouraging your team to take responsibility for improving their own performance, but also giving them guidance on how to achieve this. Reward success frequently and in an informal way. Organizations needs both good leaders and good managers; because of the rapid change occurring today.

If you haven’t done so already, start the journey to being an effective leader by executing a strategic planning exercise to work out your organization’s vision, the goals you need to achieve to make it a reality, and the strategies you’ll use to achieve the goals. The more you practice, the more you will be able to effectively motivate the team towards achieving the goals needed for your continuing success.

Craig Steinhoff HBK CPAs & ConsultantsCraig Steinhoff, CPA, CITP is the Principal-in-Charge of HBK CPAs & Consultants’ Sarasota, Florida office. Craig has extensive experience in personal and estate planning, charitable planning, tax-exempt organizations, and individual tax and financial planning. He is also a member of the firm’s Assurance Practice Committee and leader of HBK’s Nonprofit Services Group. Craig earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Capital University in Bexley, Ohio. He has been with the firm since 2007. Craig may be reached at (941) 957.4242 or csteinhoff@hbkcpa.com. www.HBKCPA.com.

Copyright © 2017 REAL Exclusive Magazine www.getrealexclusive.com
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