Financial professionals are blessed with the responsibility and pleasure of forming lifelong relationships with clients to protect what is, for many, the most sensitive personal information they possess. And while at times the industry carries a certain stigma, it’s been my experience that financial advisors are an incredibly thoughtful and caring group of people. I’ve built my career and lead a firm focused on coaching financial advisors to be their very best—for the success of their businesses and, more importantly, for the happiness and security of their clients. Our firm is called ClientWise specifically because the most effective financial advisors I’ve encountered possess the wisdom, care, and curiosity to fully understand the needs of their clients.
When I learned about the passing of Mandela last week, I was touched, as we all were, by the accomplishments of his lifetime and the sacrifices he made to help his nation and the world. As an executive coach, however, I was reminded of the legacy he leaves behind as a leader. Mandela looked into people—looked into their souls—and saw the best in everyone he encountered, including his adversaries. I believe that for his legacy to continue we need to look inside ourselves and search for our best, while searching deeply for ways we might improve and grow as humans.
Maybe we'll remember him as someone who was loved by all, or as the man who stood in the face of staunch racism and won. Maybe we’ll remember the day he was released from prison, or his moving and memorable visit to New York in 1990 where he donned a Yankee cap. But what do you see in Mandela that you’d like to see more of in yourself? And what would he see in you?
For me, Mandela represents grace, humility, discipline, purpose, authenticity and legacy. I believe that the more we develop these qualities in ourselves, the closer we’ll be to the moment he envisioned: and his legacy will live on in us all.
So while I am filled with sorrow as the world reflects with profound impact, I have a sense of admiration and gratitude to be surrounded by people—in all different careers and pursuits—who strive to make the world a better place.
So, I ask you, what traits do you see in Mandela that you would like to see more of in yourself?