When I was a kid, we took a trip nearly every summer to Horn Creek Ranch near Westcliffe, CO. The picture above is of Horn Peak, a 13,450’ mountain that I climbed with my Uncle Mike when I was nine years old.
Colorado was about a fifteen-hour drive from where we lived in southern Illinois so it was quite an expedition. My brother and I had our backpacks loaded up with books, a Walkman, and lots and lots of Jolly Rancher candies.
Taking a trip like this meant getting up way too early in the morning, suffering through the smell of my parents’ coffee, and trying not to annoy each other too much.
But with every oil well we passed while driving through the flat plains of Kansas, we knew that we were getting closer to the mountains. All the coffee smell and boredom was just part of the journey on the way. We had a clear picture in our minds of where we were going.
For financial advisors and planners, leading a successful team requires a similarly clear vision for the future. This vision allows the team to maintain the proper perspective and priority. When evaluating various choices, you can ask yourself, “Does this bring our practice closer to or farther away from our vision?” This allows the team to enthusiastically say “yes” to actions that will help the practice grow, while confidently saying “no” to everything that will pull it away from what matters most.
Crafting a team vision doesn’t require an all-day offsite meeting. Nor does it need a bunch of fifty-cent words and jargon. More often than not, the vision is in your head (or in the heads of the team members) and just needs to be shared.
Here’s how to start:
Gather key members of the team and collectively answer the question: Knowing what we know now, if we could wipe the slate clean and design the business we all want, what would it look like?
Think big but short-term. Don’t let your current situation hold you back. If you had unlimited resources, how would your team be different? But keep it short-term. A vision that feels far off is demotivating while a vision just on the horizon is exciting.
Use regular language. The vision is just for you and your team. It should sound like you. So if you don’t use words like “world-class,” or “synergy,” in your everyday life, then you shouldn’t use them in your vision. Instead, simply describe what it looks like and what it will feel like when your vision is achieved.
Some areas you may want to consider in defining your vision include:
- Whom do you serve?
- How do you serve them? What value and experience do you provide and what does it take to deliver that value and experience?
- How does your team function together?
- How does your firm grow?
- How does achieving this vision bring fulfillment to you and your team?
Does your team have a clear vision of the mountain ahead? If not, schedule a meeting with them and get started.
Special note: if you are a part of a family team (parents, children, spouses, siblings, etc.), crafting a clear family vision is even more important. Therefore, I’d like to invite you to a special webinar: 6 Essentials for Family Team Success on Thursday, September 17 at 1pm Eastern.
This fast-paced webinar with Adam Kornegay, RCC™ and Zach Ursiny will cover the following topics:
- How to use “rules of engagement” to proactively address conflict
- The role of a family team vision to simplify decision making
- How a transformational client experience enhances client and team relationships
- Why your marketing should emphasize the family
- The components of a well-planned legacy strategy