You do not need me to remind you of the endless stream of change engulfing the financial services world. Yet it is interesting to note that change has a way of bringing out the best and worst in people.
Whether it's corporate mergers, technology upgrades, new distribution channels or huge deals on the Street, these changes are the working ingredients in challenges to your personal attitudes, values and behaviors.
When faced with a challenge, some people argue that humans rise to the occasion not by changing but instead by choosing to grow. The qualities and characteristics that make up who you are have been gradually acquired over your lifetime. Thus, it is difficult for someone or something to persuade, influence or compel you to change your essence. Interestingly, most people think they have freely chosen to be the person that they are.
Indeed, individuals usually believe some of their personal attitudes, values and behaviors are immutable - they have "constants." And being anchored by a set of constants enables a person to grow personally and professionally. The beauty of constants is their universal nature and duality of application. Applied properly, they help you take your business to another level and simplify your life.
Let's discuss just one aspect of character. Do you consider yourself a person of your word? Most people do. But how do you define this quality?
Bob, a million-dollar producer, has trouble being received as a person of his word. He is extremely frustrated about his failure to retain an indispensable parabroker.
His objective is to develop someone to administer his business over the next 10 years. Yet he has been plateaued for nearly three years and has gone through five parabrokers.
Bob is in denial and blames others for his failure. "My manager doesn't have a clue about how to hire a competent person." He also considers the parabrokers dishonest. "You just can't take people at their word anymore."
In reality, Bob's challenge is keeping his word to others and being honest with himself. He was selling a position that existed in his imagination, promising parabrokers bonuses and partnership points accordingly. He had yet to deliver those things because he had not developed the parabroker position appropriately.
There's no limit on the qualities that make up a person's constants. But honesty should be a core quality. However, we tolerate dishonesty too often by being misled, misleading ourselves, telling white lies or making excuses. It's better not to have to remember what you said or did. When you always speak the truth, when you always do what you say and when you're honest with yourself, life is simpler.
Simplicity breeds efficiency, which when linked to goals, leads to accelerated growth. How we define and adhere to our constants determines who we are and how we grow.
Taking the time to develop your set of constants will do wonders in helping you develop your parabroker. Constants such as a strong work ethic, positive energy and a willingness to learn are attributes that every financial adviser desires in a parabroker. But you must first adhere to your constants before holding anyone else accountable.
Do the exercise of establishing constants with your parabroker. Constants are tools that will simplify your personal and professional lives. And, if you and your parabroker are goal-focused, they will accelerate your partnership's growth.