Who’s on Your Bus?

Next week Disney+ will release Get Back a three-part documentary series on the recording of Let It Be by The Beatles. The film reworks the footage shot for the movie Let It Be, originally released in 1970 and often considered a chronicle of the breakup of The Beatles.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve had several conversations with advisors who were looking at the make-up of their team. One was considering breaking up his team, while another hopes to hire a new support person.

In his classic Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t, author Jim Collins wrote that successful companies “first got the right people on the bus (and the wrong people off the bus) and then figured out where to drive it.” More simply, he said that great companies think, “First who…then what.”

The logical follow-up question is: “How do you know who should be on the bus?”

I believe there are three areas to consider: Virtues, Values, and Vision.

Virtues represent who the person is and how they behave. According to Patrick Lencioni, the best team members are those who are humble, hungry, and smart. The humble team member emphasizes team over self and defines success collectively rather than individually. The hungry team member is always looking for more: more knowledge, more opportunities, and more growth. Lencioni defines “smart” having common sense about people, similar to emotional intelligence.

Values refer to what the person believes and sees as important. Does the team member (or potential team member) value the same things as the rest of the group? These core values or beliefs could include:

  • Commitment to excellence
  • How you work with clients and each other
  • The role of financial planning
  • Beliefs about investing
  • How you market and grow your practice
  • How you set expectations and fulfill commitments

A clear Vision allows the team to enthusiastically say, “Yes!” to the actions that will help it grow while confidently saying, “No,” to everything else. Therefore, when the ideal team member’s personal vision aligns with the team’s vision, it leads to shared success.

Management guru Peter Drucker has been quoted as saying, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” Therefore, before you pull out into traffic, consider who’s on your bus!

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