We have found that financial advisors just like you have four desires from your business. You want to enhance the value of your business, increase your profits and revenue, increase your personal satisfaction, and improve your lifestyle from this business vehicle you have chosen. Standing in the way of that are a number of roadblocks.
Of these roadblocks, I want to focus on just one in this session: staff and support. And in particular, I want to focus on the three keys to engaging your people and creating loyal, passionate people. You will be able to take away from this presentation some real tactics, tools, and techniques that you can gain value from over the next 365 days.
The first key is to clarify your direction. Your people want to follow someone who knows where he or she is going. The second key is about creating a culture that brings the best out in your people and identifying the DNA that makes your business character. The final key is about using collaboration, moving beyond cooperation in your team and harnessing the power of people who want to create and be part of a dynamic business.
The critical factor in clarifying your direction is to fall back in love with your business, refocus your purpose and become passionate about what you do again. I refer to this as the big why. You need a big why to do the uncomfortable and the inconvenient, to change and evolve when everything in your eyes seems good.
You can call this your manifesto. What do you stand for, and where in your business is that articulated? I am not talking about a mission statement, which has been sanitized for client consumption. I am talking rather about the goal that is bigger than you and that will live on after you. That becomes your big why.
There is a four-part formula to discovering your why: message, method, milestones, and momentum. What message do you want to pass on to people that connects with you, clients, colleagues, team members, your professional and local community? What method will you use to achieve that goal? What vehicle will most effectively take you to your why? What milestones will determine that you are making progress? And what will you do to maintain your momentum?
Once you know what the big picture looks like, it is time to define your goals, strategies, and tactics for the next 12 months by creating a one-page business plan. This is a 20-30 minute activity that provides you with the foundation and milestones to measure your progress. This is where you need to engage your people, work with them to create this plan, gain their buy-in and input. The four key components of this one-page business plan are financial goals, marketing goals, operational goals, and people goals.
What do you want to achieve as a business in each of these areas over the next 12 months? What milestones do you need to achieve in the next 30, 60, and 90 days as a team? What projects are different people on your team working on so that they are delivered within that timeframe?
Just as each of us is designed with a variety of genetic attributes, every business has its own type of DNA. What is your business DNA? What characteristics, qualities, attributes, and attitudes best describe your business?
Is your DNA serving your business as you move toward your manifesto, the business of your dreams and your business plan for the next 12 months? What characteristics do you want to inject new people with when they become part of your team? It is these characteristics that build your culture, which continue to shape the characteristics of your business.
To give you just an example, one client in Canberra hosted an annual two-day business retreat, where he and his team spent the morning of the first day defining their DNA: what their culture was going to look like; how they wanted to be regarded by their clients; with whom they wanted to do business; and what they stood for in their business. They also defined what they did not do in their business and what their non-negotiable standards were.
I wish you could have been there as his team of 10 people got involved. As you engage your people in the same process, you will move one step closer to having more passionate people working with you and fewer employees just going through the motions.