Published October 5, 2016
In the 25 years I have been in this business, I have seen advisors struggle with executing a plan. It doesn’t matter what the plan is (marketing, technology, growth), financial advisors cannot seem to follow through and complete an initiative they started. By no means is it their fault. They are oftentimes the business owner, the employer, the financial advisor, the IT department and the coffee machine fixer. The only time I have truly seen magic happen and plans implemented is when the advisor commits to a coaching plan. And here is why:
- Disruption to the business-as-usual approach. Many advisors don’t realize they have fallen into a pattern. The professional coaching relationship stops the advisor in his or her tracks to consciously look at the tasks the advisor does on a daily basis and make deliberate decisions around them.
- Identifying goals. Most advisors don’t set goals for the year. Or they set an arbitrary goal (I want to grow my financial firm) without getting specific. A coach will help identify the specific measurable goal (I want to grow my business by X number of 1M+ clients) and then create an action plan to get the advisor to reach the goal. Once an actual goal is written in stone, there is an immediate sense of commitment to reaching it.
- Setting a vision. What do you want to be when you grow up? A coach will help you figure that out. What is your five-year plan? Ten-year plan? A coach helps you set the vision for where you want to ultimately be.
- Accountability. This is the most important attribute of having a professional coach. Most financial advisors can do the steps above by themselves if they really focus on it, but without accountability the steps identified don’t get completed. A coach is there to check in with you monthly (or weekly) to make sure you are executing the action items you have collaboratively created. Without accountability, advisors oftentimes let things fall off the desk.
It is important to keep in mind that the best coaching relationships are those for which advisors pay. With skin in the game, financial advisors are likely to want to see results from their commitments. Whether the coaching is on growth, time management, succession planning or something else, there is no time like now to find a coach and make your own magic happen!