Getting out of your own way: Part 2

Empowering others so you can lead into the future

This is Part 2 of a three-part series. Here are the links to the other articles in this series.

Part 1: Exponential growth starts with defining your why and building your vision

Part 3: The art of communication while leading others

Congratulations, you did it. You defined your why and built a vision. Turning that vision into a reality and communicating it to the team takes time and thoughtful discussion. It also takes a commitment to get out of your own way.

The next step in staying out of your own way is to empower – and trust- an executive firm champion to fill the JULIE™ role, who in turn is masterful at empowering the entire team to implement change needed to fulfill the firm’s vision. 

What is the JULIE™ role?

The JULIE™ role is an executive level firm champion, a leader who will Jettison Upward and Lead Into Excellence. The person in this role is responsible for executing change necessary to achieve both short and long-term goals and for holding the firm accountable. Most importantly, the firm owner or partners do not fill this role.  

The person in the JULIE™ role must be trusted implicitly by the owners/partners and empowered to help shape the vision, and then take the lead on implementing it by driving the firm towards the 90-day, 1-year, and 3-year goals. This position requires the ability to communicate to all levels of the organization, empowering and motivating all members of the team.

What is expected of the JULIE™ role?

1. Navigate the playing field

The best person for the JULIE™ role has a high EQ, passion, drive, and demonstrated leadership skills.  You are about to ask them to step into a role where asking questions and clarifying noise from priorities is paramount to the team’s success, even if some of the noise comes from the owner/partners.

The individual in this role must have their pulse on your business, defining what roles are needed when and what type of person is required to perform well in each role.  More importantly, the JULIE™ role must be an exceptional communicator both at the individual and team level- foreseeing and diffusing potential conflict even before it happens.

2. Execute the plan

The weight of the firm brand lies with the firm champion.  And the vision is the heart of your brand.  With your ‘why’ defined and your vision created and documented, there should be a clear framework for what needs to happen and when.

The JULIE™ role must have the ability to shape and implement the vision in the day to day operations of the firm.  This means that decisions will need to be made without always enlisting the time or approval from the firm owner. Back to the importance of implicit trust between the firm owner(s) and the JULIE™ role.

3. Get staff buy in

At the core of every individual in the JULIE™ role is an excellent communicator. By providing open communication channels, tools and resources, the JULIE™ role empowers every team member to achieve their goals. 

Creating and maintaining a positive culture is at the foundation of creating staff buy-in.  Far beyond just team building activities, the JULIE™ role finds authentic ways to enlist individuals and groups to create, document, and share processes that move the team forward. His or her genuine and influential leadership creates strong bonds of loyalty and trust as each person is empowered to make mistakes, decisions, and celebrate successes.

4. Be the change leader  

At the end of the day, the JULIE™ role is the key to translating the firm vision into action. This means conversations and relationships with team members at all levels of your organization, knowing when to give grace, offer encouragement, or engage in difficult conversations. It means valuing each team member as a person who has a life outside of work, not just a firm role.

Fuel for growth

When a firm owner commits to and hires or appoints the JULIE™ role to be the gatekeeper of the vision, you open your firm to growth.  This specialized position sustains the passion and the culture of your firm and prioritizes allowing each member to contribute and excel. Like a spark to jet fuel, this role is paramount in igniting exponential business growth.

You may also be interested in

The Secret Weapon for Surviving Tax Season Stress

The Secret Weapon for Surviving Tax Season Stress

Tax season conjures images of stressful chaos - looming deadlines, overloaded staff, impatient clients, and abandoned self-care routines. As a CPA firm owner or practice manager, you likely dread the annual onslaught of late nights, frayed nerves and inevitable...

read more