Let me tell you a story …
This story is about the time when I had a senior management position in a professional services firm, just like you. A few years ago on 8 August 2005, I came back to a promotion after maternity leave, and inherited an underperforming department that nobody else wanted to manage. I turned it around in just 11 months.
When I first inherited the department, there was poor attendance, mediocre timekeeping, low morale, high turnover, inconsistency in service levels, as well as frequent complaints and grumbles from lawyers and support staff alike. No-one could see what was happening.
Oh, and by the way, I was based in London, but of course this team was based in another city (another continent even!) – in Chicago.
Unique insight and talent
When I took over the department, it really surprised me that I could see the problems. They were glaringly obvious to me but they had been invisible to others. I discovered that I was noticing things that others did not. Everyone else was working in a fog, and I was the only one to find a clear way forward.
What I really wanted to achieve was an effective team with coherence and efficiency; a team that modelled best practice; that was seen as a centre of excellence; that was the envy of other department heads. A team I could be proud of.
Well I tell you, I was bursting with pride 11 months later, when I walked on stage to collect an international award at a supplier Annual Awards ceremony; an award which no other law firm has won or been shortlisted for. Not only that, my team exceeded all the short-term targets and achieved the long-term key performance indicators well ahead of schedule. And I was asked to roll out the model to the other 15 offices in the firm.
The “all-seeing eye”
It made me laugh when my former colleagues at another firm used to call me the “all-seeing eye”. Then I found out about the Sherry shrine in somebody’s locker – if I get to work with you, I will tell you all about that one day. It seems that I have a unique insight and talent. And that is why I decided to help other professional services managers to achieve performance excellence in their service delivery teams. That’s what I have been doing since April 2012.
What keeps you awake at night?
I work with those leaders, those action takers, who want to develop their team’s effectiveness and transform their performance into excellence.
You may well be asking yourself all sorts of questions about your team’s effectiveness, the kind of questions I find my clients asking me when I start working with them:
- What can I do to improve my team’s performance?
- What’s the best thing for me focus on now?
- What are the quick wins that I can put into action now?
- Should I restructure the team or reallocate responsibilities?
- Do I need to replace the manager or team lead?
- Do I get HR involved to move through disciplinary proceedings?
- How will that affect morale and motivation?
- Should I consider outsourcing? How painful and expensive will that be?
How do you get the answers to your questions?
Well, you can sit there in your office and try to figure it out by yourself. Of course, sometimes that works but it can be a very lonely and demanding way of doing it. I know many who have tried it, become disillusioned, tired and frustrated, and finally admitted “I need help!”
There are others who know straight away that there is a performance challenge in one of their teams and actively look for help from people who know the sector, and who they know and trust. Who want to take effective action and fast.
Let me be very clear. I am not interested in working with leaders or teams who want to go from poor to mediocre. I want to work with those teams who are looking to achieve performance excellence. I am here to help you lead your team to perform at the top level that you and your firm expects; that is the reason I do what I do.
You might not have worked with me before. I know how important it is to find somebody that understands professional services; who recognises what it is like to provide a service to lawyers, accountants, auditors and consultants; who appreciates the pressures that firms face in the current climate. I know how important it is to work with somebody who is action-driven and can produce results fast. And that is important for me too. I want to work with clients who are committed and who want to succeed.
Ready to take the next step?
Are you ready to take the next step and invest in your future with performance coaching?
What is truly powerful about performance coaching is that an experienced third party provides an objective perspective. You will achieve your goals and exceed your targets with confidence and far more effectively than if you work in isolation. I offer coaching and/or mentoring for you, your team or individuals in your team.
Performance coaching is delivered over 3, 6, or 9 months. Your leaders and your teams will be supported to reach higher levels of performance and productivity, develop more effective working practices, implement change and reduce conflict. Packages start from £5000 for individuals and from £7500 for teams.
You want your team and individuals in the team to exceed their performance targets and deliver excellent service. To achieve this you need to:
- identify the right goals
- decide the most effective actions to achieve those goals
- work together as a team
- be held accountable to the actions agreed.
I also offer a range of workshops designed specifically for business service teams and leaders to develop personal effectiveness, leadership, communication and coaching skills.
Give me a call on 07905 826267 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we can discuss your requirements.