What makes high performing financial advisory teams so successful?
At ClientWise we are extremely careful to differentiate between true financial advisory teams and work groups. Our observation is that there are several teams out there who, though successful, are not as successful as they could be because they aren’t working as true interdependent teams.
At ClientWise we define a team as: “A true team is a group of people who are fully committed to mutually defined and extraordinary success of the group as a unit, and hold themselves mutually accountable for the achievement of that success as well as the methods by which that success is achieved.”
We’ve broken down the elements of this definition below to give you a clearer idea of how the most successful teams operate:
Fully committed: Everyone has declared their commitment to achieving the objectives of the team and is working together to accomplish those. A verbal agreement is important here, and going so far as to formalize this declaration makes the process more memorable for your team members and the likelihood that they’ll stick to it even greater.
Mutually decided: Everyone plays a part in determining the goal and designing the steps to get there. The mutual creation of these goals is what ultimately allows them to be achieved with a dedication that inspires efficiency and effectiveness. It’s based on the premise “You give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day, but you teach a man to fish, and he’ll eat for a lifetime.” People not only learn through mutual decisions, they also create self-sustainability and achieve results more quickly and with greater success in the process.
Extraordinary success: This points to the fact that these team goals aren’t run of the mill; they are extraordinary in nature. Working together enables you to set bigger goals than those you could achieve on your own. And to a certain extent, this looming sense of the “impossible” gets people to work harder. People are the best at what they do because they are committed to this extraordinary success.
Mutually accountable: No one person is responsible for success or failure, they are all in it together. If an individual on a team isn’t pulling their weight, it’s on the team as a whole to call them out, not the responsibility of any one person or the leader. Being honest with each other and showing up in this way increases the accountability but also increases trust between your team members, because everyone is given the same expectation.
Methods: Creating a process around achieving the goals ensures consistency in the product or services being delivered and ease in the execution. It also allows for scalability and sustainability, so recreating the process for a variety of situations makes it easier to achieve your goals. Most importantly though, the methods allow you to train the members of your team to create their own methods and apply them to effectively achieving their goals and the team goals.
Each of these elements that contribute to the definition of a team are crucial, and important to consider as you move through the process of creating goals and working as a team. Put this definition up somewhere your team members can see it. Encourage them to reference it throughout the day and use it in your team meetings as a reminder of the best ways to operate.
Coaching questions from this article:
Is your team working toward goals that are created by every member of the team rather than goals delegated by leadership?
Are the members of your team partners in ensuring that each member is contributing to achieving those goals?
Do you have processes in place to guarantee the steps you need to achieve these goals are met, and can this process be easily repeated and scaled?
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