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Episode 221 | The 5 A’s of Accountability: Assess

tgpe podcast with maureen werrbach


  • Episode 221 | The 5 A’s of Accountability: Assess 00:00


What qualities do you think make a great leader? Does your leadership team exhibit those qualities, or could it be time for an assessment? 

For the third episode of the six-week Accountability Equation™ podcast series, I dive deeper into the second A of the five A’s of Accountability: “Assess”. In this episode, I discuss the importance of assessing the leadership team in your group practice. I share the qualities of a great leader and explain the process of assessing your existing leadership team. I also highlight the benefits of self-assessment for leaders, and discuss the challenges and pitfalls of the interview process when looking for your leadership team. Some of the things I cover in this episode are:

  • Why self-assessment is beneficial for leaders to reflect on their strengths and areas for improvement.
  • The challenges and pitfalls of leadership interviews, such as bias and limited information.
  • How to address the problem of limited diversity and inclusion in the interview process.
  • How to adequately prepare for leadership interviews, including thorough research on candidates and utilizing structured interview processes.
  • How to screen your leadership team for vision alignment, effective communication, decision-making skills, culture building, accountability, strategic thinking, resilience, and adaptability.

The “Assess” phase of The Accountability Equation™ is a critical step in ensuring the right people are in the right roles within your group practice. With the right tools and mindset, this process can be a powerful catalyst for organizational growth and success.

Thanks for listening! Like what you heard? Give us 5 stars on whatever platform you’re listening from. Need extra support? Join The Exchange, a membership community just for group practice owners on our website Talk to you next time!

Resources mentioned in this episode:

The Accountability Equation™ Quiz

The Accountability Equation™ Program & In-Person 2-Day Accelerator 

Connect with Maureen Werrbach & The Group Practice Exchange:





This episode is sponsored by TherapyNotes. TherapyNotes is an EHR software that helps behavioral health professionals manage their practice with confidence and efficiency. I use TherapyNotes in my own group practice and love its amazing support team, billing features, and scheduling capabilities. It serves us well as a large group practice owner.

Do you ever wish for a financial therapist who could relieve you from the last few months of bookkeeping, talk you off the edge when you’re running into issues with Quickbooks, or help you work through a profit plan for growth? GreenOak Accounting does just that! GreenOak Accounting is an accounting firm that specializes in working with group practices. Their value goes WAY beyond bookkeeping; they can help you get on track for financial success. Schedule a free consultation by going to


Maureen Werrbach

Maureen Werrbach (00:00:01) – You’re listening to the group Practice Exchange podcast, where the business development resource for group practice owners, where we talk candidly about business ownership and leadership from practice building tips to live coaching to real talk episodes with other group practice owners where the resource you’ve been looking for to help you grow your group practice. I’m your host, group practice owner and entrepreneur Maureen Robach. This episode is sponsored by Therapy Notes, Therapy Notes is an online practice management and billing software designed for mental health professionals. Therapy Notes says everything you need to manage patient records, schedule appointments, create rich documentation and bill insurance right at your fingertips. They offer free and unlimited live support seven days a week. Their streamlined software is accessible wherever and whenever you need it To get two free months, go to therapy. Dotcom forward slash R forward slash the group practice exchange. Need a new accountant or bookkeeper. Meet Greenock Accounting, an accounting firm that works specifically with private practices. They do all of your accounting needs from budgeting to accounting to bookkeeping and payroll to building your dashboard.

Maureen Werrbach (00:01:17) – On top of that, they can help you set up your profit. First systems go to Greenock accounting and mention the group practice exchange for $100 off your first month. Hello. Hello. Welcome back to the Group Practice Exchange Podcast. Today we are on episode three of our Accountability Equation series and we’re going to be talking about the second step in the accountability equation called assess. So just as a recap, the accountability equation works in what’s called the five A’s Assemble, which is creating your roles and functions for your business. Assess, which is what we’re on now, which is assessing the right people for the right roles. Then Assign will be next week and that is assigning clear accountabilities and coaching for success. Then comes audit, where we audit our teams accountability with a tracking system and lastly, action planning by having meeting agendas that bring results and how we review those regularly. So in today’s episode we’re talking specifically about assess. So once we’ve assembled our roles and functions in our matrix, it’s time to assess our team to ensure that the right people are in the right seat.

Maureen Werrbach (00:02:36) – You may have noticed that the people that you currently have in certain positions in your practice after creating your roles and functions, matrix may be no longer fit neatly within the roles and functions you’ve created. You may need to promote, demote or change, or realign people’s roles, or hire new people for certain roles, and you might be feeling anxious and wanting to pause. In this time of the accountability equation, you might want to pause and making any changes that you’ve already started to create in this process, and that’s completely expected to feel this way. I think most of us who have engaged in a real accountability system find that this type of change can be hard to make and that there’s a little bit of resistance not only by the business owner, but also employees as well. But we can’t move a business forward by appeasing the status quo and your business health needs, the roles that you’ve mapped out, and it needs the right people in those roles. But before you can go and schedule that meeting to shift people out of their current roles, let’s talk about what it takes to make a great leader and how to screen your team for that.

Maureen Werrbach (00:03:44) – So in the accountability equation, I talk about a handful of tenants that a great leader has and we go into depth in this, but I want to just kind of outline what those main things are. It’s vision, communication, integrity, empathy, decisiveness, adaptability, accountability, coaching, passion, humility, courage and empowerment. And when we’re assessing our leadership team, we’re going to be assessing through that lens. The first part of assess is to take a look at your existing team and to assess your leadership team’s growth opportunities, skills and abilities, and to lead from an accountability perspective. Can they do this? Taking cues from the tenets of a great leader. Your first assessment will be of your current leadership team. So it might just be you. It might be you in one person, your team might be small, or you could have a large existing leadership team. This assessment is going to be for you to take as the visionary and business owner in order to screen overall leadership alignment to your business needs.

Maureen Werrbach (00:04:53) – You’ll screen for vision alignment, effective communication, decision making skills, culture building accountability, strategic thinking, resilience and adaptability and so on. And so one, when you join the Accountability Equation program, we’re going to share with you a bunch of questions and assessment that you’ll take that screen for these things and give you an overall score when it comes to how well your existing leadership team is currently aligning with your business and its overall goals, you might find that your leadership team is providing you with minimal support. This is likely due to wrong people in the seat or the right people in the wrong seats or an overall lack of support altogether. Like maybe you’re doing it all after you’ve assessed your team from a high level perspective, right? Doing a whole business leadership assessment on your end, you’re going to have your current leaders and then any future potential leader that you want to hire, they’re going to then do their own self assessment related to leadership. And we’ve got a ton of questions that screen for the same things that are the tenets of a great leader.

Maureen Werrbach (00:06:07) – So a key component of bringing the right people into leadership so that they can lead and be accountable to your businesses. Overall goals is having a self screening tool for current and potential leaders. I think self assessments are important for several reasons. They give self awareness, right? A leadership self assessment allows candidates. To reflect on their strengths or weaknesses and areas for growth as a leader. It promotes self-awareness and helps candidates or your existing team gain a deeper understanding of their leadership style, values and behaviors. And it can enable candidates to provide more genuine and insightful responses during an interview process. Another benefit is the alignment with the organizational values. When you conduct a leadership self-assessment, candidates can assess their alignment with the organization’s values and leadership expectations. It helps both the candidate and the interviewer determine if there is a fit between the person’s leadership approach and the organization’s culture, values and goals. And this alignment is really crucial for effective leadership and long term success within the organization. Another benefit of a leadership self-assessment is preparation and self reflection.

Maureen Werrbach (00:07:21) – A leadership’s self-assessment encourages candidates to reflect on past experiences, achievements and challenges as a leader. This reflection helps candidates prepare for interviews by identifying concrete examples and stories that showcase their leadership abilities and demonstrate their potential value to your business. Another benefit is the depth of responses. When candidates have conducted a self-assessment, they tend to provide more thoughtful and introspective responses. During interviews. They can draw on their self-assessment insight to articulate their leadership, philosophy, problem solving skills, decision making abilities and approaches to managing teams and driving results. And then lastly, the benefit is growth mindset and development focus. So a leadership self-assessment will demonstrate a candidate’s willingness to engage in personal and professional growth. It showcases their commitment to continuous improvement as a leader and their openness to feedback and development opportunities. This mindset, I think, is highly valuable in leadership position as it indicates whether a person is ready to adapt, learn and lead effectively in evolving organizational context. Because as you know, businesses are constantly evolving and changing and leaders need to be able to be a part of that.

Maureen Werrbach (00:08:41) – So by having current and potential leaders explore their leadership abilities within the context of your company’s mission, vision and values, you provide them and yourself with the best opportunities to succeed in their role. And so when we join the Accountability Equation program, you’re going to get this assessment that you can give to your current leaders and existing leaders, and it’ll help you and them see how effective they are when it comes to being in their role. We then talk about in assess specific leadership interview questions, because interviewing has been a long, complicated process that most of us feel like we haven’t really mastered. There are so many factors that play into the obstacles that hinder businesses from engaging in the interview process effectively. So some of the things we want to look at is identifying the right criteria. We need to determine the specific qualities, skills and experiences that are essential for success in that specific leadership role. And different organizations are going to have different expectations and criteria for their leaders. And aligning those criterias with the needs and culture of your organization is crucial.

Maureen Werrbach (00:09:54) – If you don’t have your roles and functions laid out first, which is in our first step in assemble, you’re going to have a really hard time knowing the full scope of your leadership needs. The second thing that you’re going to want to make sure your leadership interview questions have is related to subjectivity and bias. Interviews can be influenced by unconscious biases, personal preference and subjective judgment in evaluating candidates purely based on gut feeling or personal affinity can lead to biases and hinder objective decision making. It is important to have a structured and standardized interview process that focuses on assessing candidates qualifications, skills and fit for leadership position. When we think of deconstructing oppressive systems within our organization, often interviewing strategies can be heavily influenced by systemic oppression that has just been normalized across the workforce. Additionally, limited assessment of leadership potential right? Traditional interviews may not always provide a comprehensive assessment of a candidate’s leadership. Potential candidates can excel in interviews by providing polished responses, but might not necessarily possess the necessary leadership competencies required for the role. Also providing several ways for candidates to express their leadership skills can increase inclusive systems within your business.

Maureen Werrbach (00:11:16) – Another thing is insufficient context Interviews often lack complete contextual understanding of a candidate’s past experiences, challenges and accomplishments. Relying solely on interviews might not capture the full breadth of the candidate’s capabilities and achievements. So supplementing these interviews with reference checks, reviewing work samples or conducting assessment exercises can provide additional insight into a candidate’s leadership track record. Another thing to consider is limited diversity and inclusion. Unconscious bias can also impact the diversity and inclusion of leadership hires. Biases in the interview process may inadvertently favor candidates who align with the existing leadership profiles, limiting opportunities for diverse perspectives and backgrounds, ensuring that a diverse interview panel employing structured assessments, using objective evaluation criteria and prioritizing anti-oppression within your organization can help to mitigate bias, promote inclusivity and reduce oppressive systems, policies and procedures in your practice. And then lastly, in adequate preparation, both interviewer and candidates might not adequately prepare for leadership interviews. Interviews can fall short and fail to create a structured interview process or ask relevant questions to evaluate the leader’s potential. Candidates may not thoroughly research the organization or your industry or the specific challenges of that leadership role.

Maureen Werrbach (00:12:49) – Oftentimes, we might think that we know what we need and think that we will “feel it” when we are interviewing the right person. So creating interview questions that effectively screen candidates and promotes the type of responses that will help you feel confident in accepting or declining their application is vital. Too often we put people into leadership positions who aren’t a good fit for the role. One example is a elevate an amazing therapist to a clinical leadership role. Assuming that a great therapist will translate into being a great leader and that’s not always the case. They also might elevate a rockstar employee. This is a term coined by Kim Scott in her book Radical Candor instead of a Superstar employee. Rockstars love stability and consistency in their work, whereas superstars consistently are seeking growth and upward movement. And when we make an elevation for a rock star, we often put them into a position that they aren’t comfortable with. So in order to feel confident in your hiring decisions, you’re going to need to make sure you know what to screen for.

Maureen Werrbach (00:13:52) – And in the accountability equation, we have interview questions that are really going to help you be able to know if the person that you’re hiring or looking for is the right fit for the role. So to wrap up, that is what Assess is all about is really assessing your business leadership from where it’s at currently, as well as self-assessments of your leadership team and any potential new leadership hires that might come into place. And it helps you screen for what are the necessary and important things from an anti oppressive lens. If you haven’t taken the accountability equation quiz, check it out. In the Accountability Equation program, you can log into the group practice exchange and it should pop up taking the Accountability Equation quiz and it’ll get you into our free masterclass that will tell you all about it. And lastly, register for our Accountability Equation Accelerator. It is an in-person two day event where I and a handful of other people who are big people in the accountability world are going to help you put together everything from the accountability equation within a two day, eight hours a day period.

Maureen Werrbach (00:15:10) – It’s a real get stuff done event and I’m so excited to be hosting it here in Chicago. So be on the lookout and be one of the 20 people that gets to join me in Chicago to do our Accountability Equation accelerator. See you next week. Thanks for listening to the Group Practice Exchange podcast. Like what you heard, give us five stars on whatever platform you’re listening from. Need extra support? Join The Exchange, a membership community just for group practice owners with monthly office hours, live webinars, and a library of trainings ready for you to dive into. See you next week.

Thanks For Listening

Thanks for listening to the group practice exchange podcast. Like what you heard? Give us five stars on whatever platform you’re listening from. Need extra suppor? Join The Exchange, a membership community just for group practice owners with monthly office hours, live webinars, and a library of trainings ready for you to dive into visit www dot members dot the group practice exchange dot com forward slash exchange. See you next week.


Here are the resources and guides we recommend based on this episode

therapy notes

*Need a good EHR for your group practice? TherapyNotes is it. I’ve been using it for years in my own group practice, and it does really well when it comes to having the features group practice owners need. Try it out for FREE for 2 months by clicking here.

Specialized Accounting for Private Practice

At GreenOak Accounting, we offer accounting services that cater specifically to solo and group therapy practices. Our services range from bookkeeping to budgeting & forecasting, Profit First support, profitability analysis, payroll, tax preparation, compensation analysis, and much more.

Through working with over 100+ therapist clients, we have seen what works and what doesn’t, so our team can help guide you on the path to financial. Our specialized services can be customized based on the size and needs of your private practice.

For more information about our packages and the different ways to work with us, please visit our website at and schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our team members!

* I am an affiliate for some of the businesses I recommend. These are companies that I use in my own group practice, and make recommendations based off of my experience with them. When you use some of these companies through my links, I receive compensation, which helps me continue to offer great free information on my podcast, blog, Facebook group, and website.

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Meet your host


Maureen Werrbach is a psychotherapist, group practice owner and group practice coach. Learn more about her coaching services here:


The show

The podcast is structured so that you get practice building tips in small doses, where an episode can be listened to (and a group practice building lesson can be learned) in a single car ride.

Episodes are structured into categories: coaching sessions where I coach a group practice owner on a specific topic, tips of the day by yours truly, real talk where you get to be a fly on the wall while an established group practice owner and I talk about the highs and lows of ownership, and trainings done by experts in the field.

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