Author:Doug Gray

How do I make money and do what I want to do?

Have you ever asked yourself this question?

Then come to Tuesday’s Career Lunch & Learn featuring Doug Gray, author of Passionate Action: How You Can Turn Life’s Challenges Into Life’s Adventures and owner of Action Learning Associates, Inc., an executive coaching business.

That was the advertisement last week.  My daughter asked me to speak, so of course I said “Yes!”

May 2010 Graduation Season

You know the pomp and circumstance.  A time when all of us pause and watch friends or family strut their moment upon the stage with optimism and digital flashes.  We say, “What a success you are!” As if it is an American right that our next generation has more opportunities than the last one.  Perhaps you sat in the audience, reflecting on your graduation, or the economy, or opportunity.  What do you advise a graduating senior today?

Coaching Newly Re-assigned Managers

Have you heard these comments?

  • “I have always wanted a chance to do this job!”
  • “If I do not get a promotion soon, with more challenges, then I will have to look elsewhere.”
  • “Frankly, I am not sure that I am ready for the demands of this job.”
  • Thanks for the promotion offer, however…”

I have heard these comments, almost every week, from managers and leaders who want to do a good job but are not sure HOW to do great work.

You may have heard that one measure of corporate success is agility.  HR professionals cite studies that describe “learning agility” as a key determinant of corporate success.  In fact, just yesterday a coaching client stated, “My core competency is my flexibility and willingness to take on any challenge.” He is representative of any high potential manager.  He was recently re-assigned to manage a new group.

The Real Story of Business Value

The 2 KEY Drivers for success for any Small Business Owner (SBO) are:

  1. a. What do I love to do?
  2. b. What will someone pay me to do?

Imagine a see saw.  If I love to do it but no one will pay me, then I have a hobby.  If I love to do it and someone pays me less than I need, then my business is dying.  If I love to do it and someone pays me well, then I have a thriving business.  Where are you on this see saw?

Today I am thinking about how limiting that perspective is.

Not everything that we do has a direct business value.  Here are some examples:

4 Principles of Selling in the Trust Business

Selling defines success. Nothing else is more important in your business. So what is this notion of the trust business?

Are you in the financial services business or the “trust business”? Your answer could well determine your success. The trust business is defined by what you provide for your clients. People hire you—or decide not to—based on how much they trust you. People reinvest or walk away based on how much they trust you.

Perhaps the idea of selling trust is new to you. If you think you sell products or services, you’re limiting yourself.  Here are the four principles you need to remember to be successful at selling in the trust business:

How to Act With Courage

Excellence springs from courage, but not everyone chooses to be brave. These financial advisors share how and why they acted with courage, and how it benefited their business. Consider their insights into the nature of courage, and start using it to build your business, too.

Let’s start with a definition. The word “courage” shares a root with the French word coeur, or heart. So when you act with courage, you’re acting from the heart, from your inner instincts.

I define courage as being authentic, acting from your gut. You know when your gut senses danger or trustworthiness during a first meeting with someone. Courageous actions spring from taking to heart what your gut is telling you.

The brain is involved. But there are no decision trees. In fact, your executive center may stifle courage at times. “Courage has need of reason, but it is not reason’s child; it springs from deeper strata,” wrote Herman Hesse.

For instance, if your gut instinct is that a wealthy prospect is going to be extremely difficult to work with, it may be courageous to walk away. It may be good business practice to say, “I’m not interested in moving in that direction at this time.” But that might mean giving up what seems to others to be a blockbuster account. Do you focus on the dollars? Or do you do the courageous thing and listen to your heart and your gut?

Following are six examples of people in the financial services industry who have acted with courage. Perhaps you are facing similar situations.

10 Tips for Distinctive Client Service

Distinctive client service separates you from everyone else who talks about professionalism but doesn’t deliver on it. Take action with these 10 tips from a recognized, distinctive financial professional.

Every financial advisor talks about client service. You may state that client service is one of your top priorities. You may even have a poster on your wall or mission statement that emphasizes how much you value client service.

I say, “So what?”

Clients don’t care about posters or mission statements. Your clients and prospects want to know what makes you distinctive. So be distinctive!

Corporate Coaching ROI

Whether public or privately held, most buying agents (managers and leaders) ask about Return on Investment (ROI). You need to. Some coaches duck the question by stating that coaching is a “soft skill” that cannot be measured. We disagree.  ROI can be measured and must be measured.

 

Every client uses metrics to define their success. Typically these metrics are connected to key practices for that group. Here are two examples.

 

Exactly what is the coaching process?

Coaching is a process of 1) awareness, 2) action, and 3) accountability.
There is nothing scary or magical. It can be the highlight of your week.

When starting any coaching engagement we use assessments and an intake
conversation to help you develop awareness of your strengths. Awareness leads to action.

Do you need a coach?

Financial professionals, like most people, need a coach at times.  They are usually working by themselves, or in small teams.  Their success is a direct result of how often they call on clients and prospects.  The very best provide tremendous customer service.  And they all need to stay optimistic, upbeat, and focused on others.   This article in Investment Advisor magazine, November 2008, features Doug Gray, PCC, and mentions the value of business coaching.