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Slow Down, Pardner!

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Here’s one of the things I’ve learned after 10 years of helping advisors better run their businesses. To slow down my clients’ inclination to do something–anything–in a kneejerk manner when a thorny business problem presents itself, I have them keep an idea notebook where they write down any new problems, solutions, or ideas for their firm.

Then every quarter or so, we have a “notebook” session in which we: review all the “ideas” that have come up; which ones, if any, we want to act on; and devise an action plan. They are not to discuss these ideas with anyone until we come up with a clear idea on how we intend to solve them. Employee feedback is important in any new solution (except for employee management issues). But if you get them involved too early in the process, you set them up for disappointment if you decide not to take any action or appear indecisive. Both can undermine faith in your leadership.