The word “leadership” summons many images. Some include national or international leaders of the past and present–individuals who brought about great change, improved lives or steered a steady course of success. Other images invoke excellence in coaching and mentoring.
In financial services, leadership encompasses all of these and more, particularly the growth and prosperity of local offices serving producers and clients. Successful field management requires individuals who not only can manage firm operations but also inspire newcomers and experienced professionals. Great managers are great coaches, trainers and communicators. They work to create a culture that breeds success, teamwork and high achievement.
Becoming an excellent manager requires a plan of action for gaining the skills, tools, knowledge and resources to recruit, select, train and develop producers and managers effectively. A comprehensive leadership development program (LDP) created for field management is critical to growing an organization’s business exponentially because it touches on all the key factors for a firm’s success.
An LDP, when combined with a targeted, innovative marketing platform, a strong product line, excellence in service and a dedicated field management team, can yield dramatic results in recruiting, productivity and growth.
Building The LDP
The first step in building a successful LDP is to talk to field management and outside experts to develop statements of what must be offered, including:
o A defined, progressive path for those individuals who are pursuing or want to pursue careers in management; and
o Identifiable phases of path development and growth opportunities with distinct timelines and clear expectations.
There are generally five phases of management: pre-management, new sales manager, experienced sales manager, high potential sales manager and new managing partner. For each phase, core competencies are defined, plus the required licenses, professional development opportunities and key benchmarks.
Progression to the next phase requires completion of the previous phase. LDP candidates must also be shown what they need to achieve, the tools that will help them, and the benefits and rewards for taking on the responsibility.