11How to Manage Performance Effectively

“The great leaders are like the best conductors—they reach beyond the notes to reach the magic in the players.”

—Blaine Lee, author of The Power Principle: Influence with Honor

According to Eric Jackson, a Forbes blogger, top talent leaves an organization because they find their organizations confusing and uninspiring and because the organizations are badly managed.

We have already shared how critical it is to be clear about, and focused on, what you’re going after (mission and vision); how you’ll treat clients and each other along the way (values); and how you’ll measure success (financial results).

The purpose of this chapter is to help you overcome the poor performance management we so often see in public accounting firms, and that doesn’t just mean managing the performance of individual team members. It also means managing the performance of those who are managing performance. How’s that for a mouthful? This chapter discusses why managing owners should create a firm in which those who manage others do it, do it well, get better at it, and are held accountable and rewarded for doing so. It also describes the keys to managing performance effectively—ensuring performance expectations are clear, providing feedback, and creating an environment of trust—and provides tools for doing so.

Owners and managers should be holding key leadership conversations with members of the team to help them define their contributions, understand the measures ...

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