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Breakthrough Growth
2. Becoming A Better Leader

2. Becoming A Better Leader

The disconnect between perception and performance goes both ways. There is a fairly wide gulf between the team leaders’ perceptions of their performance on key leadership functions versus the assessment they receive from the next gen advisors. Our research reveals that many leaders have blind spots and also opportunities for development.

In particular, leaders’ effectiveness at shortterm goal setting for the team and the individual left much room for improvement in the eyes of next gen advisors. This may present the most glaring disconnect and area of need for team leaders. There were also significant gaps in measuring, tracking, and communicating progress that leaders need to shore up if they want their teams to operate on a high performance track.

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Bridging The Leadership Gap

It’s easy to feel defensive or deflated in the face of such results, especially when you’re working hard to lead. But the gaps provide valuable insights into areas where team leaders can improve and they show that the next gen is watching and, more importantly, that they care about the leadership of the firm. Focusing on eliminating these disconnects will strengthen your team, and put it on an accelerated path to success.

To improve their leadership, team leaders can:

• Invest in your leadership development. Spend time working on your leadership skills, whether through training courses or with a mentor or coach. Ask for feedback from your team about your performance

and areas where they think you can improve. Acknowledge your weaknesses and then find ways to strengthen those skills.

• Set goals and track them, formally. Create a system for setting goals and measuring progress toward them, both for your teams and the individuals you supervise. Collaborate with your team on creating the goals and get their buy-in on what you’re all working toward.

• Create short-term milestones to keep your team on track. Break down long-term goals for items such as new

client acquisitions or client experience benchmarks into actionable initiatives with measurable milestones for team members. Creating smaller targets to hit en route to your big goals will allow you to celebrate the little successes leading up to the large ones.

To get more from their team leader relationships, next gen advisors can:

• Communicate often with lead advisors. Tell your team leader what you need and offer feedback when he or she asks for it. In addition to striving for your own success be a team player.

• Be sure to listen. Draw on the experience of your leader and learn from his or her successes and mistakes.

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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: Closing the Skills Gap

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