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Breakthrough Growth

A Crisis of Confidence

For next gen advisors, confidence in their team leader is crucial. That confidence can play a key role in not only whether a next gen advisor stays with their firm, but also in how productive that advisor is while working at the firm.

The problem: Less than half (42%) of next gen survey respondents say they are highly confident in their team leader’s ability to put everyone to their highest and best use.

Perhaps more alarmingly, nearly one in five next gen advisors say they’re not confident in their team leader, and that their leader struggles to organize their team in an effective way. The upshot: When it comes to having confidence in their leaders, many younger advisors fall somewhere in the middle. That means while most lead advisors aren’t fully struggling to capture the confidence of their junior counterparts, they have much opportunity to improve.

Next gen advisors are more confident in their leaders when they are effective at performing the critical functions that lay the groundwork for a high-performing team. For example, study participants report that their leader’s most important job is creating a highly engaged team. That was followed closely by developing clear roles and responsibilities for their team members, and creating an efficient and seamless daily work environment. Unfortunately, there appears to be a disconnect between the importance younger advisors place on these tasks and how effectively the tasks are being executed by their team leaders.

Consider that only 64% of next gen advisors say their team leader does a good job of engaging their team, despite the fact that these younger advisers say this should be their leaders’ top priority. Additionally, 35% of respondents report that their team leader is not effective at developing clear roles and responsibilities for their team members.

Team management wasn’t the only area that revealed gaps between the next generation’s expectations of their leaders and their reality. More than 80% of next gen advisors reveal that creating long-term goals for the team should be important to their team leaders. However, just 64% report that their team leader is effective as doing this. The data reveal advisory leaders are more effective at setting goals than tracking performance against them. Nearly one in five report there is no effective follow-up once goals are set. Performance feedback on goal achievement is another area of weakness from the perspective of next gen advisors.

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Breakthrough Growth, LLC is a joint venture between The Collaborative and Purpose Consulting Group. Established by two industry veterans to meet the need for effective hands-on resources to accelerate productivity of the next generation of advisors and their leaders.  

Christine Gaze is president of Purpose Consulting Group, a practice management consulting firm that works with financial services leaders to develop strategies and thought leadership programs that engage and advance financial advisors.  In the last 20 years, she has held a variety of leadership roles in practice management and human capital at firms such as Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, AllianceBernstein and TD Ameritrade.  She is a frequent speaker, avid researcher, and writer.

Beverly D. Flaxington (The Human Behavior Coach™) has spent more than 25 years in the investment industry as a sales and marketing expert, corporate consultant, college professor and Gold-award winning author She has been quoted in hundreds of media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, and USA Today. Her latest bestselling book is titled Understanding Other People: The Five Secrets to Human Behavior.

Next: A Case For Improved Communication

TAGS: Careers
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