Is it possible to 'choose growth' over fear or complacency?
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Inspired leaders lead with long-term visions for their teams and organizations. A shared vision is how a leader creates a committed and invested team. We all know that advisors in general are mostly focused on their practice only.
They mainly care about their clients, themselves, and their family. So why are we talking about having a vision? Because almost everyone would like to be part of a winning team and be part of a community of people with shared principles and values.
People want to know that others around them are also committed to excellence and that the team, division, or firm has a vision. Where are we going? How will we get there and why are we doing this?
Before you can create a vision for your team or firm, you need to become very clear about your personal vision, your values, and your principles. You need to answer the question, “How will everyone benefit if we achieve this vision?”
Vision needs to be shared. As an advisor you need to start with your vision. It could be the vision of a small wealth management team of three, a partnership, or the executive office. But whoever the stakeholders are—everyone must be committed to that vision for it to stand a chance of becoming fulfilled.
Until you truly believe and envision what your business, team, office, region, or firm should be, you’re sailing without a rudder. You will likely create confusion and the lack of motivation will be pervasive.
Based on my personal research and experience, most firms or teams operate without a clear vision. And, if there is only one person in the organization who can describe the vision, chances are it is the person who created it.
The firms that have a clear vision operate with a sense of purpose. These types of firms or teams occur quite infrequently. The following is an example of what commonly happens across firms without a vision.
A firm I worked with a few years ago had gone through major organizational changes over several years and the new CEO felt the firm had gone through so much upheaval that it was best to default to doing nothing.
In other words, his mindset was that people couldn’t handle more disruption, and therefore it was best not to do anything to cause more upheaval. Even though he was the new CEO of the firm, he never created a new vision nor did he ever talk about how the firm would not only compete but win under his leadership.
As a result, everyone became confused about the future, who they were as an organization, what the new organizational culture would be, and how they would achieve their objectives and serve their clients. This tends to be the norm in many companies that have undergone a lot of leadership change.
By the way, you don’t need to have a large firm to have a vision. It doesn’t matter if you are one advisor or a three-person team, having a vision is important. It will serve as the lighthouse, the North Star.
1. Create a clear and vivid picture of where you want to go, why you want to go there, what “there” looks like, and why anyone should care about it.
2. Set out how you are going to get there.
The future is unknown, the markets are unknown, and change is constant. Your vision should focus on the people inside the organization, as well as the value you’re committed to creating for clients. Be enthusiastic and energetic about the future. A vision is an act of creation.
· How does our vision benefit the client and the people on our team?
A business vision is not about you; it’s about the people you serve. Every decision you make about the future should have the client front and center. Every decision should be guided by these questions:
· How does our vision benefit the client?
· How does our vision benefit the back office?
· How does our vision benefit the front office?
· How does our vision benefit the community?
· How does our vision benefit the shareholders?
Growth Is a Choice
Let me stress again that before you create a team vision or a corporate vision, you have to cultivate self-awareness and create your own personal vision. You may be asking why I am making such a big deal about having a personal vision. Vision is all about authenticity and the quest for authenticity starts with self-awareness.
Since 2008, I have called my advisor and manager training and consulting programs, which are designed to grow assets under management and evolve overall wealth management practices, “Growth Is a Choice.”
The reason for that title is simple: everyone has the power to create his or her own vision. Everyone has the power to choose growth over fear or over complacency.
We can either design a life starting with an intentional vision or we can react aimlessly to everything that comes our way. We can be the creator of our destiny or a victim of circumstances.