Articulate your values to build a happy team

by Communications, Leadership

A happy team is essential for practice growth but keeping your team happy can be a real challenge if it doesn’t come naturally.

Some time ago I helped set up an accountancy practice with an accountant. I later realised he was not really interested in accountancy and had the attention span of a spoilt child, but what he did have was a fantastic ability to make sure that the practice was exciting and always ready to do business from the moment we opened every morning.

He did this by essentially nursemaiding our team of 20 people. He would get in early and put fresh daffodils on each of their desks, he would provide home cooked lunch each day, everybody had a nick name, there was great art on the walls and the workstations had the latest technology.

Sound good? Should it have been a terrific business, the next Apple perhaps? It never went anywhere, principally because the leader was not really a leader, he was self-obsessed and his “thought leadership” was about whacky exciting ides, all of which came from the usual dull coaching books.

Leadership is not about a series of startling, unconnected ideas, however remarkable they may be. It is far more complex than that. It starts with values, true values, values that have been carefully considered and fully embraced by the leader first. Those values become the culture of the business, red lines that never get compromised.

Values do not have to be deeply intellectual, fashionable or complex. They can be (and in my opinion should be) simple, like: mutual respect, honesty, integrity, team spirit and fair play for customers and team.

Without core values explicit in your practice it’s difficult to create a culture that patients and your team can feel part of. Having clear values not only creates a positive culture, it really contributes to your team’s happiness and makes the job of leader easier because you have a framework to determine all of your decisions. How would team promotions, exits, recruitments and pay plans look if you always played fair?

As a marketing guy I am perpetually astonished at the number of brands that are not rooted in values. Without values your brand is simply a wrapper that has no real depth. Your values are integral to creating a powerful brand.

If you are building a happy practice team and want help articulating your values then please contact me.


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“Leadership is not about a series of startling, unconnected ideas, however remarkable they may be”

Author: Jonathan Fine