By Greg Dinetz
Many owners of financial advisories take on the role of “Superman” out of necessity.
Let’s face it, just starting your firm took a lot of hard work and it certainly doesn’t get any easier as you’re continuing to grow it. You are responsible for everything, the decisions, the revenue, and, of course, the expenses. Basically, it’s all on your shoulders and failure is not an option.
So, it’s no wonder that you feel like you have to be Superman, especially in the early years of your business. It takes courage to be an entrepreneur, so you need to have a little bit of that Superman confidence and attitude of invincibility to survive the ups and downs as your business finds its footing. And while you might not be fighting the master villains of the underworld like “Superman,” you are fighting for your life—so to speak—to make sure your business grows and prospers.
However, as your firm starts to mature and becomes self-sustaining you must, for the sake of its continued growth and well-being, transition away from the Superman role. And herein lies the struggle many financial advisory owners face, without being aware they may be stifling their firm’s growth.
It may be hard for the Superman of the company to feel like they’re not needed to save the day any longer, but it’s quite the contrary. As your firm evolves, it needs leadership more than ever, just in a different way. We refer to this stage of development as a transition from Superman to “Chief Strategist and Visionary.” Until you put away the cape you may be roadblocking your firm from achieving its next level of growth.
Transitioning from Superman to Chief Strategist and Visionary
Your firm will go through many changes during its life cycle. It takes a different kind of a leader in the start-up phase of a company than it does during the quantum growth and expansion phase. When the founder of a company is able to relinquish roles and responsibilities to capable employees, great things start to happen. But delegating is just part of the answer to growing as a leader. It takes another level of vision—and honesty—to remove yourself from areas of your firm that would be better served without your daily oversight.
As the leader of your company there are many things to consider as your firm moves from one stage of development to the next. Our most successful clients have made the transition from Superman to Chief Strategist and Visionary by recognizing they no longer need to do it all. They have talented employees that are capable of leading divisions of the company and can even tap the right talent to manage operations.
Making strategic moves like this can help you lead your firm to exponential growth while also potentially providing you with a higher quality of life. You might be surprised to learn the real growth opportunities inside your company starts with you.
Four Things to Help Successfully Transition Your Leadership
Success Metrics. Start with realistic benchmarks so you can measure your performance.
Explore Staff Duties. Do a deep dive with everyone individually to determine exactly what tasks they do on a weekly/monthly basis. This will give you the information to help you become more efficient and help empower employees by allowing their input.
Say Goodbye to Superman. What is the one thing that you’d love to start but don’t have time to fully execute? Spend time mentoring and coaching qualified staff members to grow in their roles and responsibilities so you can start delegating some of your tasks.
Put Timelines on Things. It’s really easy to “move the line in the sand back” when it comes to deadlines. Before you set them, make sure that everyone involved can accomplish them. If certain deadlines can’t be met, start less so you can finish more.
Greg Dinetz is Co-Founder at Lone Beacon, a sales, marketing and practice management firm dedicated to serving the independent financial advisor industry, with offices in Boston and Denver.