Develop the next generation of leaders in your business

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By Sarah Cain

If there’s one thing we often hear about as business coaches in this industry, it’s how difficult it is for successful companies to find next-generation leaders on their team: “She is an excellent advisor and I would like her to be my succession plan, she is just not qualified enough in management and business development. “He’s a great COO, but he just doesn’t have a broad enough vision to be COO. “She’s a fantastic accountant, but I need a CFO who can look ahead and help us make decisions based on return on investment.”

There is a serious lack of talent and leadership in our industry right now. Not only do we strive to attract enough new talent to the industry, but when we recruit amazing new talent, we don’t devote the time and energy to helping them succeed and making them future business leaders. .

While there is no magic pill, there are companies that do a great job of growing their team and have built a sustainable business that can function without the founder / CEO, not only giving that CEO more freedom. , but also increasing the value of the company.

Here are four key ideas advisors can borrow from these businesses and implement them into their own businesses:

Ment future leaders

Be intentional in mentoring your future leaders.

A former COO I’ve known from my time on a custodian operations panel recently discussed with me the power of mentorship in developing COOs. Back when she was just starting out in the financial advisory industry, her business owner regularly sat down with her to educate her about the industry and the different players in the industry. “This is what an RIA is… This is what a broker / dealer is… This is what a custodian is… Here are the differences, how they interact and why they are important. He didn’t stop her training on the basics she needed to know to deal with paperwork or solve customer service issues. It helped her broaden both her knowledge base and her perspective.

Don’t expect your team to learn hard knocks from school, even if you have. Make sure you log in regularly and share with your future leaders everything you’ve learned over the years: what worked, what didn’t, how you make decisions, how you assess suppliers, how you manage a team and how you connect with customers and prospects.

Empower your next generation of talent to participate in strategic meetings, due diligence processes, and customer and prospect meetings.

If you had a great mentor, replicate and enhance that experience. If you haven’t, mentor your high potential team members you wish you had.

Broaden their perspective

Your future leaders need to step out of their bubble and have a broader perspective on how the industry works, the trends impacting your business, and the future. It can be easy to fully immerse yourself in what’s going on in our little corner of the world, so support and encourage your team to broaden their base of thinking and knowledge.

Bring future leaders to industry conferences with you so they can take the pulse of the industry, get exposed to new ideas, and learn about the different solutions offered by vendors. Introduce them to leaders of other companies so they can learn what works in other companies and bring those practices back to yours.

Share with them important industry publications and thought leaders they should follow. Encourage them to join study groups with peers from other businesses, even if it’s a local group with businesses you might see as competitors.

Invest in your team

Even if you pay your team well, there’s a good chance your next generation of talent will have a lot of competing financial demands. They’re paying off student loans, saving for a house, supporting elderly children or parents, or just trying to make ends meet in an area with a high cost of living. So that they can want to To invest in their own professional development, finding $ 5,000 to $ 10,000 for a CFP, leadership development or sales training program can be difficult.

If you really want to develop future leaders and a sustainable business, be prepared to put your money where your mouth is and invest in the professional development of your team. Pay, at least partially, for their education programs; support them in the costs of continuing affiliation and continuing education for diplomas that give credibility to your business; Hire a coach on their behalf to help them develop their sales or leadership skills. You know the quote from Richard Branson: “Train enough people so that they can leave. Treat them well enough that they don’t want to.

Give them expandable homework

The above three elements are important pieces of the leadership development puzzle, but an expanded task allows your future leaders to put what they have learned into practice. What counts as an “extended mission” will depend on each person and their current role, but it should be a project that you can delegate to them and that requires them to stretch a little beyond their comfort zone.

This might be leading the presentation for a large potential client, planning a major event, handling the initial due diligence of a supplier, leading an internal team working on a specific project, or representing the company. during an event. Take a look at your company’s upcoming initiatives and ask yourself how you can use them as opportunities to build your team’s capacity. As always, don’t just throw it at them and let them flounder; give tips and advice, check back regularly, and make sure you both report back on what they’ve learned and celebrate their successes.

Your customers and your industry are counting on you

Intending to develop your next generation of leaders is absolutely essential to building a sustainable business, ready for the future, and able to serve your customers for years to come. A strong leadership development strategy will help you attract and retain talent, improve the enterprise value of your business, and give you the freedom and flexibility to spend more time doing the things you love, while sleeping better at night.

Ment, expand, invest, and expand: It’s a simple plan, but not always easy to execute consistently. Stand out from the crowd by deciding today to devote yourself to developing the next generation of leaders for your business and our industry.

About the Author: Sarah Cain, CFP, is Vice President of Coaching and Consulting for the consultancy firm Carson Wealth. She is the former COO of a large RIA consulting firm in Kansas City, and is a Certified Associate Coach through the International Coaching Federation, Certified Professional Coach, and Certified Business Coach. She also holds a Certificate in Corporate Social Responsibility from the University of Colorado, Leeds School of Business.

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