February 27, 2018
The 2018 MDRT Evolution of Advice National Roadshow series advocated to advisers that having the courage to change and not impose limits will create a recipe for long-term success.
These were two of many key messages delivered by three high-achieving and prominent MDRT member advisers from the United States and the United Kingdom to their adviser peers across Australia as they shared their respective pathways to success and the sometimes difficult lessons they learned along those journeys.
Like all advice practices, each story and message was different, to the point of being unique. For example, the UK’s David Braithwaite (Citrus Financial), shared with his peers the critical challenges associated with recruiting and retaining the right staff to help the adviser build their business and achieve their ultimate goals. He emphasised that the adviser’s team is the most critical factor in building the success of any advice business.
Another key message from Braithwaite was the importance of facing your fears. He told his peers “…non-action is the single biggest reason that we fail”, and that “…embracing fear also means embracing growth.”
Massachusetts adviser and business-owner, Jennifer Borislow (Borislow Insurance), who is a Past President of MDRT, told her audience that her business was”…an agency which believes in disrupting.” The theme of her address centred on how to create a ‘wow’ experience for the client while building an engaged organisation for and around the 50 – 60 staff she and her partner now employ.
The ‘over and above’ efforts made by Borislow’s business to wow clients and engage with their staff sometimes took leaps of faith (courage) as well as the ability to identify new avenues of engagement instead of being restricted to conventional methods.
Just because you’re a leader doesn’t mean you’re wise…
The third speaker, Brian Heckert (Financial Solutions Midwest), who is also a recent MDRT Past President, articulated a more philosophical message about leadership, wisdom, dreams and values. Heckert noted, “Just because you’re a leader doesn’t mean you’re wise.” He reinforced this message with another saying that a smart person knows everything, but a wise person knows everybody.
Heckert challenged his adviser peers to reflect on who they were as individuals and as business people and how they added value for the clients they serve. In doing so, he brought the conversation back to fundamentals in saying that his value to his clients is not based on the products he offers, but on the wisdom he offers. He expanded on this point in reflecting that those advisers (in any industry) who operate in the product world have to sell more products to make more money. In a maturing global advice sector, however, Heckert’s message to advisers was that ultimate business success is determined by the quality of relationships: “Success is not about the money. it’s about the relationships we have,” said Heckert.
The 2018 MDRT Evolution of Advice National Roadshow series continues in New Zealand this week after successful presentations in Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane and Sydney over the last two weeks. Advisers wishing to know more about MDRT membership can click here, ahead of the 2018 MDRT Annual Meeting, which is being held this year in Los Angeles.