Throughout life, there are countless opportunities to be a leader — being chosen to be team captain, getting elected president of a club or being promoted within your company. To be an effective leader however, you need to continually develop and hone your leadership skills.
As a financial professional, there are new opportunities every day to be a leader for your clients, your community and other financial professionals. Here are five ways becoming a financial professional with Guardian will help you develop your leadership skills.
1. Understand your clients
Leaders don't have to be dominant forces of nature, imposing their will on others. In fact, the opposite often is true. The authors of the book "The New Psychology of Leadership" found that our notions of what make a leader — such as natural charisma and a strong will — are outdated and restrictive.1 The book emphasizes that effective leadership isn't top-down; it’s actually bottom-up. Successful leaders listen carefully to what others want to accomplish and develop a game plan to help get them there. They get others to follow them because they show genuine concern and interest in their personal goals and dreams.
As a financial professional, you’ll tap into your spirit of collaboration and inclusion. The resources at your disposal will help you better understand your clients to help them achieve the financial future they desire.
2. Offer guidance
Leaders don't tell others what to do like a drill sergeant. Rather, a leader will offer sound guidance, helping to navigate the road ahead, pointing out the best routes in order to avoid obstacles. Your guidance will help create a common vision that you and others can work toward. In this way, leaders foster loyalty, because everyone shares in the job well done when the destination is reached.
As a financial professional with Guardian, you'll have access to proprietary tools, including The Living Balance Sheet®, an online tool that engages clients in a holistic way, helping them to see their big financial picture and identify the areas that most need to be addressed.
3. Build trust
First and foremost, people and relationships matter. Good leaders relate to people on a personal level and add value by creating an environment of trust. As a trusted financial professional, you help clients realize their dreams, creating a sound financial support system for their future. Clients will turn to you to help make confident decisions that alleviate the stress involved in managing their complex financial lives.
4. Never stop learning
You can't form a game plan, offer guidance, or create value for others if you don't have the necessary knowledge or experience. But knowledge doesn't end with a college degree or professional certificate. Leaders make learning and growth a lifelong pursuit. Good leaders in financial services stay on top of the ever-changing world of personal and business finance so they can share the latest and most accurate information with their clients. As a financial professional, you’ll have access to ongoing training and development opportunities that will span your entire career and contribute to your success and that of your clients.
5. Transform lives
Leaders generate positive change. Big actions aren't required. The work that a financial professional performs can have an impact on his or her clients and their families for generations. At Guardian, we believe it is our responsibility to transform lives.
As you continue to build your career, it's important to seek out environments that both recognize and reward the leader in you. Being a Guardian financial professional can give you the freedom to be as entrepreneurial as you choose, while you have the support and resources of a larger organization at your disposal.
If you are ready to lead now as a financial professional, start by searching for an agency near you.