April 19, 2024

Maybe the darkest hour really is before dawn!

Yesterday (on Linkedin) I commented on a memorable coaching conversation I’d experienced recently.

I described the young (19 years old) Trainee Financial Planner as…

“jaw-droppingly, piercingly insightful!
With an emotional maturity I’d be impressed to see in a 40-year-old.”

I then bemoaned “Where have all the Young Women gone?”

Given that (the FCA data shows):

  • only 16% of Financial Advisers/Planners are women.
  • only 6% of Financial Advisers/Planners are under age 30.
  • 50% of the Financial Advisers/Planners are over age 50!

A 14-year-old could figure out the disastrous (vanishing) future for this profession, based on that data!

Not surprisingly, that set off a number of comments which expressed WHY this was happening.

But then…
A ray of sunshine!

Caroline Stuart – founder of Sparrow Paraplanning – popped in with some interesting fresh data.

Caroline noted that 55% of Paraplanners are female.

Then 3 POWERFUL WHAT-IFs arose before me.

1)   WHAT IF…
Coaching skills (instead of selling skills)… meant that coaching education became the norm for every Financial Planner?

2)   WHAT IF…
Entering this profession as a Paraplanner was widely seen as a perfectly sensible route into Financial Planning.

But, most importantly…

3)   What IF…
Leadership education became the norm…
for anybody and everybody who wished to hold a senior Financial Planning role?
Or start their own Financial Planning business?

Because the science, art and discipline of knowing how to LEAD people…
(rather than how to MANAGE systems, processes and projects…
Is by far the most desperate need in this industry!

(That lack includes knowing how to develop the NEXT generation of leaders.
So that businesses don’t die, when the founder swans off into the sunset!)

Yet, knowing how to LEAD a business…
Is the education LEAST well served in financial services!

Yet, it’s a skill by far the most demanding to excel at.

  • We have brilliantly educated technicians.
  • We have smart, daring entrepreneurs.
  • We have clever, charismatic revenue rainmakers.

But show me the Financial Planning business where the leader prioritises their attention on… well… LEADING!

So those are my 3 Rays of Sunshine.
Those are my contributions to Hope for a Better Future.

  1. Coaching skills (to replace selling skills)
  2. Paraplanning as an accepted entry point
  3. Leadership education.

I refuse to believe that we’ll sit here… allowing our history to dictate our future!
We’re smarter than that!

But changes such as these 3 Rays of Sunshine would transform the way that the next generation of Bright Young Things view us.

And the future would then be so much brighter for clients…

and for teams.

That’s my current view.
My New Dawn.

Not exactly ground-breaking, I admit.
Yet, I wonder… What’s YOURS?