If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it. We say this about how we’re currently doing things and the roles other people have in our firms. For example, if you’ve been preparing a certain client’s tax return for eight years, you’re excellent at it. You know just what adjustments you need to make and how to handle that tricky transaction. So why let it go to someone else who doesn’t know the client’s situation as well as you?
Because it’s necessary if you want drive growth for yourself, your team and ultimately your firm.
Are you measuring excellence on a distorted scale?
If you’ve mastered all the components of your role, your workday runs like a tight ship, with every piece moving in clockwork fashion. If that feels like a win, you’re measuring excellence on a distorted scale.
When you know how to do something perfectly, there’s no challenge left. And when there’s no challenge, there’s no sense of reward. You’re settling for being good at your job instead of stretching yourself to achieve the next level.
Opening yourself up to growth
Any partners reading this might think it doesn’t apply to them. After all, they’re a partner in the firm – they’ve achieved the highest level! But time and again, we see partners still preparing certain tax returns, handling particular clients, or writing detailed review notes for staff members. Partners doing that type of work don’t contribute their highest value to the firm.
Instead of preparing returns and writing review notes, what if you spent that time training and mentoring your team? Or developing new business for the firm?
If you’re thinking to yourself that training, mentoring and business development aren’t really part of your skillset, they should be. Excellence is getting in the way of your growth as a leader.
What can you let go of?
Change is difficult. If you’re doing something well, it can be hard to turn it over to someone else that might take longer and make mistakes. But it’s important — for you and the other person — to make that change.
I challenge you to think about what you’re excellent at that’s getting in the way of growth. This can be hard for people to think about, so consider keeping a notebook nearby or a document on your desktop and for one week, take note of how you spend your time.
Undoubtedly, many of the tasks you handle align with your goals and the firm’s goals. But seek out the areas you need to let go of. What can be delegated, outsourced, automated, or perhaps even scrapped altogether in order for you to grow?
Identifying those areas and making the change will be difficult, but the benefits will pay off in ways you never imagined possible, both personally and professionally.
Arianna Campbell is a shareholder and consultant with Boomer Consulting, Inc.