Cultivating authentic human relationships is crucial to honing your leadership skills. Even in an industry as seemingly snooze-inducing as accounting, invigorating leadership is indispensable. Jackie Meyer has worked with some lackadaisical bosses in her field over the years. She started Meyer Tax Consulting with the mindset that if she could lead with human connection and passion, people in her sector could begin to fall back in love with their work and be proud of their careers. That shift in perspective given to employees by their managers and mentors causes productivity and retention to soar.
Meyer is working on a tailored leadership method that she hopes to share with the world someday. The following are some nuggets of her wisdom to tease that upcoming project. She had a lot to say, and we are excited to spread her message of humanity in leadership to you.
Build Trust through Transparency
“That mistrust is natural; it is human. But humans want to trust,” said Meyer. “Your employees want to feel like they can count on you, not view you as someone who says what they need to for their own personal gain.”
According to Harvard Business Review, the ratio of trust and power earned is proportionate, but trust levels decrease as the rank increases. In other words, people at the bottom of the workplace food chain trust each other while feeling distrustful of their superiors and suspicious of the CEO.
“Use transparency as a tool to build faith with your team. Hold yourself accountable to the company values and mission statement, and use transparency as a checks and balances system to make sure you remain on track. By not hiding your flaws, you will be motivated to better yourself and continue to perform well in the skill areas in which you are strong. Be someone that you, yourself, would trust,” said Meyer. “Tell the truth without oversharing. Celebrate your wins, and use your failures as learning points. The latter has the added benefit of actually being an opportunity for education while subconsciously cultivating conviction within your team.”
Why is this helpful?
“If your team leans on you and sees that you are setting a realistic example, they will likely believe in you,” Meyer said. “That belief is the key to your team following in your footsteps and creating great work. Trust is an essential building block that you can foster, whether you have a bond with your employees or not. Think of transparency and trust as the initial requirement and build more essential skills on top.”
The Mindset Shift
“Once you have mastered leading by example and being someone you would trust, the real magic can begin. Remember that while you might have more education, a higher work status, or a perceived (or actual) advantage that sets you apart from your team, we are all human. The lowest-paid worker at a company still does something that keeps the company moving forward, or their position would not exist. It takes a village. It takes all kinds. Keeping this humbling perspective in your heart is the key to excellent leadership And what do we want, really, from killer leadership? We want our employees to be productive and efficient, but where does that come from? The answer is drive, motivation, passion, pride,” she elaborated. “It is our responsibility, as leaders, to be a means for our employees to siphon that positive energy for themselves. We must be the catalyst for this revolution.”
Next Steps: How to Apply This Information
You now can embark on your journey of fostering human connection in your workplace among your team and peers by building trust and keeping a humble mindset. But what actionable steps should you take? According to Meyer, this task includes:
“Write down your personal values and mission statement. You might consider editing this at the beginning of each New Year. Next, read your company’s values and mission statement. Maybe you are the Founder, and you wrote these yourself. But do they still align? Have your personal values shifted? Or perhaps your mind went blank while writing, and you only came up with a passive phrase. Use your values first and your company’s second to do a self-evaluation. Are there areas you need to improve? Does your whole team know these values?
“Show, rather than tell, that you actively pursue your and your company’s values. Put a (virtual) sticky note with an affirmation that aligns with your goals on your desk somewhere that coworkers can see. Set your status to show what you are working on or how you are being a team player. You can also set this to a company goal or personal value.
“Walk the walk. Do not use the ‘show rather than tell’ advice as a cop-out. By doing this faux pas, you would be committing the exact crime of which employees are wary. Instead, put your values into action. Whether that means completing a project ahead of the deadline and celebrating it at the next team meeting or owning up to a mistake that taught you a lesson you can share, the positive outcome will be the same.”
With her compassionate approach, a team will trust and feel a bond with you that is irreplaceable in the world of leadership. Use these tools to create a working family rather than a workhouse.
“And it doesn’t hurt to tell a joke now and then,” Meyer concluded.
About Jackie Meyer
Jackie Meyer, the Concierge CPA, CEO, and Founder of TaxPlanIQ, has Certified Concierge Accountant programs through Meyer Tax Consulting that help taxpayers and entrepreneurs find the best solutions for them. Visit https://jackiemeyercpa.com/ for more information.
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