At one time, the Dallas Cowboys were America’s most favored team. This statement may have come from the fact that as a kid, I was impressionable, or perhaps it was the only game in town in the ‘70s, but ever since, I have loved the Dallas Cowboys. However, as a general manager, Jerry Jones’ ability to choose great players has been dismal, especially on defense.
As a sales trainer to financial advisors, the best advice I can extol, aside from creating processes and procedures for your firm, is hiring the right people. I will begin by providing my own story and will give an example from Jim Collin’s book, Good to Great.
Find Employees Who Manage Your Business, Not Your Time
My own story begins when I was in search of an office manager. Business was booming and I needed someone who was not only organized but could organize me and was a self-starter. I asked friends and businesses associates for ideas. I received a great recommendation from a friend who was a portfolio manager. He recently closed his business as an RIA and his office manager was doing projects but was not currently employed. With his fanatical recommendation, I hired her. She was friendly, smart and enthusiastic.
However, as I came to learn, she did not understand the job. I needed someone who could meet deadlines and who was able to solve problems on her own. I quickly learned that she simply didn’t have these traits. Rather than correct the course and part ways, I tried managing them. This meant having frequent update meetings and helping her prioritize. Having finally realized that managing her was not the solution, I let her go after nine months, which set the firm back even further.
The Right People Right Now
Jim Collins, author of Good to Great, has stated that the most important trait of the business is having the right people on the bus. Once you have the right people, you can create your mission and focus for the business.
In his book, Collins delivers an example using Wells Fargo. In 1975, the company turned their focus to having all the right people. Before that time, they were a regional player, competing head-to-head with Bank of America. After the mortgage crisis, the company survived and flourished and has gone on to become the biggest mortgage originator in the country.
For financial advisors, if your focus is to grow and serve your clients, the primary task that you should spend your time on is hiring the right people.
As a small employer, it can be difficult to hire, let alone find people. But if you find and hire the right people, your job will become much easier now and in the future.
Maybe Jerry Jones’ will never get how important it is to hire the right people. But if you do, you are certain to come out a winner.