Last week I had the joy of taking my daughter to her first live concert – 5 Seconds of Summer (5SOS). 5SOS are a young Australian boy band that has thrown out a challenge to One Direction, and from what the media is reporting, they are indeed fast becoming just that in the UK. The next number 1 boy band.
Apart from a well-run concert, the thing that amazed me was how 5SOS were able to ignite passion instantly within the crowd. It was instant engagement.
Why engagement relates to you
On my travels I meet a large number of accountants in practice and get the chance to talk openly with their team members.
In general, I’m sad to say that most team members are quite disengaged. They merely tolerate their current role, only looking forward to their pay packets. Most are day-dreaming of more money, more challenge or more interesting work. In fact, I often have them ask me if the other firms I work with would be looking to employ. For most, they are begging for the practice to move into Value Add Services (VAS) so they can do more exciting work. These are resources keen to fully utilise their knowledge and skills instead of being designated as robotic processors.
What is more poignant, is that I would go as far as saying that a large number of partners in the same practices are as bored, frustrated and disengaged as their teams.
This fires me up.
I know first hand what that is like. I also know that it can be completely transformed. I know this because that’s what I did.
So what does this have to do with 5SOS and their crowd?
These guys had the crowd eating out at their hands. Whilst just boys, they were able to lead their followers every step of the way. If they jumped, the crowd jumped. If they engaged the crowd, the crowd engaged back. When they asked for silence to speak, the crowd hushed and listened raptly.
How did they do that??
They obviously had a plan and followed it (I could see it). They warmed the audience up with an energetic performance within the first few songs, which formed the basis to lead and to instruct. The crowd was happy to follow from there.
In essence, their communication was flawless because their fans knew exactly how and when to follow. They also challenged the crowd to get involved by making the concert fun and interactive. At one point the boys stopped singing, allowing the crowd to complete their lyrics.
To me, the performance showed the fundamentals of great leadership and excellent execution.
The same formula applies to Practice Management
Looking back at my firm and what we achieved we followed a similar formula with our team and with our clients.
First, we warmed them up by:
- Sharing our vision;
- Communicating how it worked; and
- Listening (and I mean truly listening) to their needs
Then we followed this by:
- Leading clients and the team to ask questions and provide feedback on our approach and their own needs; and
- Articulating the value of services in a way the clients could understand ie. from their point of view.
- Challenging our team to step up, (we also had to step up ourselves first); and
- Inviting clients to join us in a more interactive relationship.
We were happy to find that like the boy band fans, the right ‘warm up’ meant that they followed of their own free will.
In the end, it was a well-executed plan.