Posts Tagged ‘accountability’

Winning in the family business – getting real with your sibling about performance and job duties

Business workers stand togetherI can’t tell you how many times in the family business I see people comfortably settling in to certain roles and responsibilities based upon their own needs not the needs of the business.

Take for example the family I was working with recently.  The more we clearly outlined performance expectations and standards, and mapped out where the family business needs to be for the arrival of the next generation, the more it became clear higher levels of results needed to be produced.

As we began discussing this, one brother spent a lot of time telling us about all the things that he’s doing.  That’s great but unfortunately many of those things are not the things that are most strategic for the business.  Or more importantly, what he’s working on is what he enjoys the most, but not necessarily what he’s good at!

In family business coaching we are constantly focusing on what the business needs to be successful.  Many times this involves what we call professionalizing the firm.  That often entails identifying higher levels of predictable and professional accountability for results.

It’s our job as coaches to “referee” with the family members and help them gain objectivity about what results are being produced and who should be producing them.  Many times this process involves prying a few fun things out of people’s hands and putting a few more difficult things on their plate.

If they can’t produce the results they are asked to produce then we help them identify what’s missing, is it skill, commitment, or talent?  Through coaching we will create a process to help them identify the gaps and they will be held accountable to closing those gaps.

At the end of the day, as family business coaches, we want to see all of our players succeed and win in the marketplace and the family for that matter.  Sometimes that involves helping them find the right role on the team and helping them acquire some new skills so they can produce high-level results.

Business is a competitive sport.  If the family business doesn’t continue to challenge itself and challenge its teammates to be open and honest about their performance and strive to compete at the highest level the family business will go extinct.

Deliberate Practice – Set Written Goals!

The more I study the top performers, the more I realize success is all about doing the little things consistently.

Larry Fitzgerald just had another amazing season for our Arizona Cardinals. We continue to hear that he practices harder than anyone and he has a series of drills (like catching a ball thrown over his head from behind him) that make him ready to be a superstar on game day.

This month our drill is to get a few written goals for the year. I’m still amazed how many people fail to take this simple step that will make all of the difference. Somehow when our goals get written downput on display and shared with others they start to come into reality!

Write down clear and specific goals for the various areas of your life; business, finances, hobbies, friends, health and spirituality. Give your goals to someone and ask them to be fearless about holding you accountable to be your best in 2012!

As always, send me a copy if you want some free feedback from someone who loves challenging you out of your comfort zone!

Let’s make 2012 a great year by doing the little things very well!  

Master Certified Coach 

Coaching Pitfall – Can’t Model

One of the most common problems I see is leaders who espouse certain values and beliefs, but they are not willing to be held accountable to their beliefs.  The executive who says, “Everybody’s equally important in this company,” yet gives preferential privileges to themself and other members of the executive team. The CEO who says, “Integrity is a key component of the culture,” yet they talk behind people’s backs.

You can put any pretty words you want on the wall, but if you are not able to set the tone and be the example, it will never work, period, end of story!  It is not realistic to expect that you are going to be perfect 100 percent of the time – that is not what I am talking about. What I am talking about is an extremely high level of integrity and ability to model the values and if at some point you miss the mark, be transparent with your team and apologize for your mistake and recommit to the values. People can actually respect you more when you can demonstrate your vulnerability and be accountable for it.

Coaching Leader Quality 10 – Know How to Hold People Accountable

Great coaching leaders know how to hold people accountable in a way that is firm yet fair, though not unreasonable and demanding.  You get the picture?  If we are going to achieve high results then we obviously have to be very good at creating accountability.

Troy Aikman, the former quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys, tells a great story about Coach Jimmy Johnson’s ability to hold people accountable.  After winning their first play-off game in years, Aikman was detained by jubilant reports.  Coach Johnson, realizing that the team’s star performer was not on the bus on time, instructed the driver to leave the stadium.  Aikman said that he was never late for the bus again.