2018 will soon be in the books and for the most part it seemed to be a very good year for a lot of you, so congrats!
To continue to build upon these successes and avert the challenges facing our profession, it is increasingly necessary that you continue to fully utilize every asset at your disposal. And by far the biggest lever you can pull to increase the value of your assets is to improve your firm’s human capital. From this perspective, you need each member of your team to be at the top of their game for 2019.
Here is a list of New Year’s resolutions for you and your new planner(s) to set the stage for a(nother) great year.
• I will inform my new planners of business plans, as they might have some interesting input, and I realize they will have a larger degree of long term buy-in if they are a part of the conversation.
• I will ensure my new planners have the best equipment and most up to date software/tools so efficiency doesn’t suffer.
• I will remember what I said and promised during the interview and hiring process in regards to their roles/responsibilities and career path, and make sure I am holding up my end as long as they are delivering as expected.
• I will focus on growing the firm and/or making the necessary professional management hires to ensure there are long term growth opportunities for my team members who want them.
• I will give my new planners positive reinforcement in addition to constructive criticism.
• I will go to my new planner and let them know whether or not they are meeting or exceeding expectations.
• I will spend time with my new planners, show confidence in them, exhibit patience with them, and view them as the professionals they are.
• I will let my new planner actually talk to my clients and even consider letting them practice honing their skills by presenting the analysis they performed.
• I will make an attempt to ask about my new planner’s interests and family outside of work because I understand that the family always wins. If things at home are out of sync, it will probably, at some point, affect his/her work. I understand that I might not be able to fix it, but do need to be aware nonetheless.
• I will consider adjusting the culture of the firm to attract younger workers and younger clients as I know the baby boomers can’t have the majority of the assets forever and the “experienced workers” will retire not too long from now.
• I will not involve my younger planner in disputes with my partners (where ownership is shared among multiple principals), and/or force them to choose between us.
• I will not take out any feelings of frustration and anger from what happens to be going on in my personal life at that time on my new planner.
• I will realize that there are no perfect fits out there, and if I have solid team members I should do everything possible to ensure they are satisfied, or another firm surely will.
• I realize it will be fairly easy for me to secure a position based on the current financial market lofty levels and dearth of talent, but I am not interested in being handed something I have not had to hustle for. Without hustle I will fail in this profession.
• I will strive to increase my maturity and professionalism so that I perform beyond my years.
• I will go above and beyond the minimum requirements for the position and the tasks that someone delegates to me.
• I will be aware that I am unproved and that the person who hires and/or mentors me is taking a risk, and that I am far from knowing all I need to know to be a successful financial planner even though I have a degree in financial planning.
• I will work to show firm owners I am serious about the financial planning profession and becoming a financial planner in order to reduce their risk in hiring and mentoring me.
• I will remember that my firm owner shouldn’t have to repeat themselves about fixing a mistake that I have made or to keep it from happening again.
• I will be humble and respectful in any ideas I provide to my firm owner, especially if they are unsolicited.
• I will understand that my firm owner’s career path is different than mine and I might not survive in the business if it weren’t for their success and the opportunity they are providing.
• I will never be satisfied with the status quo and will always push to better myself, the organization I am a part of, and the client’s assets that I am responsible for.
• I will go to my firm owner on a regular basis to ask how I am progressing, if I am meeting expectations, if there are other more complicated things I can work on to assist the organization, and if not, what areas I need to improve in to increase the comfort level in delegating me higher level work.
• I will go to my firm owner to let them know about any career doubts I might be having, plans for resigning to take extended time off, or any other major decisions that could negatively impact them so they can make the necessary arrangements so no interruptions to their business and clients.
• I will be sensitive to the fact that this is not my business and that the firm owner has the final say, even if it is a decision with which I disagree.
Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, and Happy New Year!