Amazing Women in the Financial Services Industry
Throughout this book, you have come to know twenty-three of the most successful women in the financial services industry. These women have very different business models. They work with or for many different types of companies. They live in every region of the country, and they do their business in rural areas, suburbs, small cities, and large metropolitan areas. They are married, widowed, divorced, and single, and they have young children, adult children, or no children. What is most striking, however, is what they share.
All of them are driven by their values. Their families always take precedence over their businesses. When the women are young, their children and spouses come first. As the women mature, their grandchildren, aging parents and in-laws, and other elderly family members and friends consume much of their time and effort.
In their business lives, their decisions are made based on what is in the best interest of their clients. What they earn (which is substantial) and the recognition they are given by their companies and the industry are important to them. However, money and recognition are not important as measures of the women’s success. Rather, their status within their companies gives them the opportunity to attend meetings with corporate executives and other significant producers, sharing information and participating in corporate decision making. They also gain access to the best thinkers and advisors within their companies, allowing them to provide their clients with high-level advice and products. Special titles and access to cutting-edge technology and specialized products may also come with their status. Money and recognition make other things possible and come to these women because of the good work they do for their clients. In turn, money and recognition allow them to do more good work for their clients, their families, and their communities.
Planning is important to their success
All of these women are planners. Many, if not all, are financial planners and advisors. However, even those who are not share in the belief that a values-driven business planning process is critical if they are to succeed. They are organized and develop and adapt processes and procedures as well as goals, objectives, and missions for their practices.
Most of these women have several employees. The work these employees, usually called team members, do is articulated, well thought-out, and important to the successful completion of the business plans that are in place in their practices. Team members are more than assistants to these women; they are highly valued professionals who contribute to the business’s success and the advice and service provided to the clients.
Values-driven succession plans sustain the business and retain team Members
Not all of the women you met in this book are at the point in their careers where they are developing values-driven succession plans that sustain their businesses and retain their team members so that they can continue providing high levels of advice and service to their clients, even after they have retired. However, they all recognize that if they do not already have a succession plan, they will need one (even those who work for companies where selling the business is not possible).
They also know that developing and implementing a succession plan with the goal of sustaining the business and retaining team members is extraordinarily difficult. As they have done throughout the growth years of their businesses, they will hire coaches and advisors who can help in the valuation of their practices, development of their succession plans, and selection and mentoring of appropriate successors.
They also know that a succession plan that sustains and retains will be more difficult to implement than one that is not committed to the continuation of a values-driven practice. They may partner with numerous potential successors in various roles over a number of years, and they will keep doing so until the fit is right. For these women, succession plans are about more than securing their retirements; they are about making sure their clients continue to receive the advice and service they have come to expect and that their team members continue in a rewarding career path.
It takes a village to run a business
These women are team players. Their teams include their employees, business partners, and many other professionals. Most of them have coaches, and many have other professional advisors.