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LEADERSHIP PERSPECTIVES
Increase the ROI of Your People to Impact Your Financial Institution’s Bottom Line
By Joshua Lee Henry, M.A. Director of Coaching on Purpose
The late Peter Drucker, known internationally as the “Father of Modern Management”, has a famous quote in his magnum opus Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices (Harper Row, 1974), that says, “Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to higher sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations”. Drucker, who passed away on November 11th of 2005, just eight days before his 96 birthday, will be remembered again this year at the 9th annual Global Peter Drucker Forum, scheduled to be held in Drucker’s birthplace of Vienna, Austria, on November 16th and 17th, 2017. This elite gathering of management thinkers and business practitioners has become what some have called the “center of the universe for management thinking”. This year’s speakers and chair lineup includes industry thought leaders such as Roger Martin, the pioneer of design thinking and Institute Director of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the Rotman School of Management, and Sarah Green Carmichael, Senior Editor at the Harvard Business Review, as well as Hal Gregersen, Executive Director, of the MIT Leadership Center, at the MIT Sloan School of Management.
 
This year I am proud to receive the industry recognition of being once again named to the Top 15 finalists in the cosponsored Global Peter Drucker Challenge. This marks my second time since 2013 being awarded a finalist in the international management and entrepreneurial competition, this time for my essay “The Future of Economic Man: How Management Can Maximize Institutional Potential, Increase Human Prosperity, and Create a Functioning Society”. Like Drucker, I believe that effective and efficient organizational management, is the greatest instrument of positive change in our institutional cultures and larger societies. In their book Peter F. Drucker’s Next Management (Verlag Sordon, 2010) editors Winfried W. Weber and Gladius Kulothungan note that Drucker believed leadership was a subset of management. Reflecting on the heart of Drucker’s lessons, Charles Handy, a legendary business guru and management philosopher in his own right, recalls that Drucker taught him that “Leaders need to have a philosophy for themselves and for their organizations, by which I mean a set of values, and purposes on which they base their strategies and actions. Leaders need to stand tall and not hide behind the anonymity of bureaucracy. Personal values matter; only then can one build the basis of trust that has to be the backbone of a successful organization” (pg. 60). Essentially, Drucker taught that leadership is a form of stewardship. Understood correctly, leading people is all about helping them to increase their potential, while serving a bigger purpose through a clear and compelling vision, enthusiastic passion, and ever-expanding capacity. This is what Drucker means by saying that leadership is “the lifting of a person’s vision to higher sights”. Yet, in far too many of our financial institutions, leadership, and more specifically, vision, is lacking. 
 
Since every organization’s greatest asset is always their people, we believe that by improving the performance of people we can increase the bottom line of the institution.
At a recent networking event for financial service professionals, I met a newly appointed institutional president who began telling me about his frustration with the meaningless mission statement of the organization he was about to transition to and the lackluster enthusiasm of the staff he was about to inherit. We chatted about how new leaders must cast new vision and articulate a mission that motivates people to act. After all, a compelling vision and mission statement should contain both inspiration and perspiration. Action is always needed to turn information into transformation. The same is true for the financial institutions we serve at JBC Companies. Though fundamentally I believe that leadership is more about action than it is position, the reality of our modern institutions is that a critical aspect of organizational health includes adequate senior leadership. And during times of dramatic change, much like the disruptions taking place in the financial service industry, leadership, perhaps more than ever, needs to provide the necessary encouragement for facing major technological change and innovation as well as provide persistence despite distractions or delays with the DOL ruling. In fact, we have a saying around JBC for this tumultuous environment that DOL should stand for “Depend on Leadership”. If one were to categorize the various levels of bureaucratic leadership at the helm of the financial institutions we serve, in most cases, there would be at least five layers. Hierarchically speaking, the top of the top would be the institutions’ chairman and the board of directors. The next rung in the leadership ladder is the president, CEO and other senior management, followed by program management for the insurance and investment department, then the registered representative or financial advisor, and finally any junior advisors, licensed institution employees, or sales assistants. So, it’s not that we need more positional leaders; we just need to improve the relational quality and influence in the leaders we already have.
 
Recently I was doing some leadership training for a group of life insurance and annuity wholesalers, and I shared with them a simple tool for understanding the basics of leadership. Barrowing from the classic research book, The Leadership Challenge: How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizations, 6th Edition (Jossey-Bass, 2017), by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner, I taught them the framework of what the authors call the “Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership®”:
 
  1. Model the Way – By definition, leaders need to go first and set the example for the values and behavior that they want to see within their financial institutions.
  2. Inspire a Shared Vision – A leader’s passion is contagious. When a crisp, clear vision is continually communicated with words and actions, it naturally compels like-minded people to follow. Does your financial institution have a clear vision?
  3. Challenge the Process – Change doesn’t always mean growth, but growth always equals change. Changing times can be a challenge for some. But it is a challenge that should be learned from and improved upon.
  4. Enable Others to Act – Teamwork really does makes the dream work. Collaboration is the key to healthy and effective cultures.
  5. Encourage the Heart – Achieving significance requires hard work and dedication. To keep hope and determination alive, leaders need to reward people with appreciation, and incentives to stay the course.
 
In essence, leadership is about empowering others to act. Zig Ziglar said it best, “You don’t build a business. You build people and then the people build the business”. As JBC Companies has worked specifically with financial institution’s, for over twenty-five years, we have come to believe that statement more than ever. Since every organization’s greatest asset is always their people, we believe that by improving the performance of people we can increase the bottom line of the institution. I have the pleasure of leading Coaching on Purpose, the leadership development consultancy at JBC Companies that works with financial institutions to increase the ROI of their people. With our President and founder, Wes Jackson, Coaching on Purpose is also a Zig Ziglar Legacy Certified business training entity that combines executive coaching, organizational workshops, and program evaluations, with the timeless principles of personal motivation, professional development, and industry specific tools for measuring marketplace productivity and institutional profitability. Some of the workshops that we present include the Ziglar Legacy Certified trilogy, “Building Winning Relationships”, “Building the Best You”, and “Goal Setting and Achievement”.
 
With local relationship and a specialized focus, JBC provides customized strategies and proprietary management tools that will empower your leadership and program to realize a 30% – 147% increase to its bottom line.
Additionally, Coaching on Purpose offers executive coaching that helps senior leaders of financial institutions remove roadblocks and obstacles, to develop a compelling vision and discover more meaning and significance in life and work. This exercise of “visioneering” by senior leadership will serve multiple purposes. It will align your organizational team and cause a new passion to come through for meeting the needs and making a difference in the communities in which you serve. We believe that a well-defined vision gives hope for the future and empowers you and your team in the present. The more specific you are on who you intend to serve, how you intend to serve them, and where you plan to provide your financial products or services – the better. Answering these questions will help you to formulate a plan for meeting the needs of your clients and remaining relevant in your financial institution. With local relationship and a specialized focus, JBC provides customized strategies and proprietary management tools that will empower your leadership and program to realize a 30% – 147% increase to its bottom line. JBC Companies provides:
  • Tailored financial strategies to generate revenue
  • Comprehensive institutional referral systems 
  • Coaching to increase institutional relevance
  • Innovative technology to gain market share
  • Focused, full-service practice management
JBC Companies will help you to launch, align and manage your financial service program. For institutions considering beginning a financial services program or for stagnated programs looking to be revitalized, and get to the next level, JBC Companies has the solution for you.
 
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