Defining the Key Elements of High-Performing Teams
What makes elite teams deliver great results while others never seem to come together? In a study conducted in partnership with The Investments and Wealth Institute and Cerulli Associates, Knowledge LabsTM Director Michael Futterman talks to Asset TV about the qualities that define the most successful teams, and defines the key elements that elevate an advisory team from ordinary to elite.
- If you want to build a team, it is likely a skill that needs to be developed since most advisors do not enter the financial services industry to manage people
- It is critical for advisors to understand the techniques and strategies that you can use to develop self-awareness
- Advisors can differentiate themselves in the marketplace by being able to provide a compelling reason why someone should do business with you versus the competition
- Maintaining focused discipline, by identifying what others can achieve on the team and creating a model that is efficient and scalable, can also help teams reach the next level
So, we partnered with Cerulli and IWI to understand what creates a high-performing team and what are those attributes of high-performing teams. Things like that they had shared decision making. So, the other things that we noticed the financial advisor teams have are that they had systematized processes, that they approached their business like a machine.
The other thing that we found out with financial advisory teams that were outperforming their peers is that not only did they have fewer clients, but the fewer clients that they had had more assets under management. So a full 66% of the assets that they had under management were $2 million per household or more.
And one of the other things that we wanted them to understand and that advisors were asking us to help them understand, is not so much why they were outperforming, but how did they get there? And so one of the things we know is that financial advisors are ill-equipped to lead teams and manage teams. Because when I asked the question, “Why did you get involved in the financial services industry,” nobody ever says, “Because I wanted to manage people.” What they say is, “I want to be an entrepreneur, I want to run my own business, I want to be involved in the financial markets.” But the reality is if you want to build a team, it is a skill that needs to be developed. So we work with financial advisors to understand what are the techniques and strategies that you can use to develop self-awareness. And so we use tools like Kolbe or Myers-Briggs or DiSC to help advisors understand that and help them understand themselves, and then also extend that understanding to people on their team.
So we also use tools like our compelling catalyst module, which helps people to ask the question, “What makes me different from the advisor sitting next to me?” If you can’t give a compelling reason why somebody should do business with you versus the person sitting across the hall from you, well, you are missing an opportunity to really differentiate yourself in the marketplace. Very few advisors understand why they do what they do. Many understand how they do it, and everybody understands what they do, which is selling financial advice and products. We try and help the advisors really get in touch with why they do what they do, so they can differentiate themselves from the other advisors that are out there in the field.
One of the other modules that we have to offer financial advisors is this idea of focused discipline. It is very easy during the day to get caught up in all the minutiae that goes into running a practice or a business. What we try and help advisors do is focus on not their to-do list, but really their to-don’t list, which is really identifying what can I give away to other people on my team and create a model that is efficient and scalable and not only doing the things that we should be doing, but then also doing them right, which goes back to this idea of having systemized processes that allow people to run their business like a machine.
So, one of my favorite musicians is fond of saying, “Without deviation from the norm, there can be no progress.” And it is the same thing for financial advisor practices, is that we are facing an industry that is constantly changing, regulatory issues, client concerns, we have got the rise of the robo-advisor. What we need to be able to do is constantly be educating and evolving. One of the ways that we try and do that is with the programming and the research that we do at Janus Henderson Investors.
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