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JULY 2010

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“Lead to Coach”

“What can you learn from a seven year old? Nothing! You have to tell them what to do.”

… or so I remember the late John Savage saying. He was talking about children, and related it to working with clients. He said they both needed help to make the right decisions.

Listening to the ideas of kids, clients, and advisors is all well and good, but it won’t necessarily help them succeed. Pointing them in the right direction gives them a much better chance of being successful.Imagine a doctor who consults with you on your treatment:

“You know, Jim, I’m right out to lunch on this one. What do you think we should do?”

If you have to give yourself medical advice, you’re in a heap of trouble.

Advisors are no different from the rest of us. We all need direction in order to make the most of our skills and contacts. We lack perspective and a sense of context. We aren’t aware of our strengths, and ignore our weaknesses.

In order to get the most out of people, you must “lead to coach”. This means you must understand your business and the advisor, and be able to lead them to the best outcome. You must be aware of what advisors do best, and have them focus on the people who need them most.

It might sound a little “old school”, but the New Age management model of political correctness and pussy-footing around hasn’t amounted to much. Productivity has decreased. Performance is poor. Advisors are suffering. So are consumers.

Let’s get back to work. Let’s attract business in new ways, through marketing initiatives that sizzle. Let’s look into new ways of doing old things. Let’s be cutting-edge consultants to their business, experts who show our clients how to succeed.

You will attract a level of loyalty and commitment you once thought impossible.

Help them answer questions like these:

  • What are their business strengths?
  • How do they get the most out of them?
  • What business approach is most natural for them?
  • What is the best prospect audience for their style and interests – where do they have natural influence?
  • How can they package their expertise so prospects are compelled to buy?
  • What tasks must they complete in order to excel?
  • What are the appropriate goals for them today?
  • How do they manage themselves for maximum performance?

Offer your advisors perspective on their marketplace, then encourage them to take advantage of their best hunches. When you do, you will help them to unleash their full professional power.

Advisors need coaching today more than ever. They are overwhelmed by business and life. You think the role of the manager as coach is in jeopardy? Think again. The need has never been more urgent.

Regrettably, the manager-as-coach role is disappearing in some quarters. And yet, the managers in any distribution channel that “lead to coach” will invariably attract more than their fair share of advisors and their business.

Jim Ruta
Expert Institute
Productivity and Performance Consultants

Jim Ruta is Director, GAMA International Canada

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