Being a financial advisor is complex, whether in an employee role working with clients, or as an entrepreneur building an advisory firm. Success requires drawing on a wide range of strengths and talents, to the point that as an advisory firm grows, it’s eventually necessary to hire more people and build teams to round out the services provided and ensure that everything is getting done that needs to be done.
Unfortunately, though, for many advisors building a team is difficult, for the simple reason that as human beings we tend to like and build rapport with those who are very similar to us… yet in most cases, the best hires we can make (or partners we can work with) are those who have complementary skills that support us, not a skillset that merely duplicates what we already do. In other words, the people we tend to most want to hire are the people just like us who we should really not be hiring (unless you’re really, truly trying to hire your replacement)!
Accordingly, an increasingly common “best practice” for hiring and building teams is to use various types of “personality profiles” – assessment tools that help us to better understand our strengths and weaknesses, and the strengths and weaknesses of others, to build teams where the whole can be worth more than the sum of the parts.
At the same time, though, personality profiles can also help us reflect upon our own strengths and abilities, understand if our own career track has gotten off track, or whether our businesses need to be reshaped to put in a different position where we can play a more productive role. The simple goal of it all in the end – by spending as much time as we can focusing on our strengths and doing what we do best, the happier we will likely be, and the more success we can find!
In point of fact, I am often asked how I’m able to be so productive in everything that I do amongst my various businesses… and the answer is that I’ve spent a great deal of time and energy over the past several years trying to continually reshape my roles to play to my strengths, and to manage my weaknesses by hiring staff to delegate to, or partners to work with. In today’s article, I highlight some of the personality/work-style profiling tools – from Myers Briggs (MBTI), to Kolbe, to StrengthsFinder – that have helped me to find the path that I have… and I hope they’re helpful to guide you to find your highest and best use, too!