When 1980 Olympic ice hockey gold medalist Jim Craig was in the process of interviewing financial planners, he wasn’t pleased when they treated his wife as though she were invisible.
He also wasn’t pleased when he had to reschedule a meeting with the planner he ultimately hired, only to find the planner didn’t update the meeting materials.
“This guy got comfortable,” Craig said during the first general session at the FPA Annual Conference—BE. He likened it to boating, when he used to let his kids play captain after he’d put the boat on automatic pilot, but he’d take over when it was time to dock the boat.
“I thought, boy he’s really good for now, but when it gets close for him to dock the boat, is he capable of doing that?” Craig questioned. So he hired somebody new–somebody who wasn’t only good for him, but somebody who had a good team that would be around and supportive for his children after he passes.
Craig shared knowledge from his book, Gold Medal Strategies: Business Lessons from America’s Miracle Team, with planners Saturday morning that included his eight strategies for success. Employ these in your business, Craig said, but first take full advantage of all this conference has to offer you.
“Go back better than you came,” Craig said.
1) Have a Shared Dream: Organize your work around your clients’ dreams and watch them come true.
2) Meticulous Recruiting: Recruit people who don’t just have the same dreams as you, but who are willing to work hard and push themselves to make those dreams come true collectively.
3) Manage through Ego and Conflict: Be disciplined for those key moments during the day when you need to avoid temptation.
4) Winning Underdogs: Find somebody who believes in you and work hard to not let them down. Or be that person for employees and clients.
5) Real or Invented Enemy: Know your weaknesses and your strengths and use them to your advantage.
6) Personal Sacrifices: Be prepared and expect to win.
7) Hold Each Other Accountable: You are a product of your decisions, not your circumstances.
8) Stay Young in Outlook and Spirit: In life happiness is a journey. You’re the only one who can make your own happiness. Be positive and open to learning.
9) Great Teams and Great Companies Win: The most important thing to understand is that intense discomfort is the price tag for personal greatness.
Take these tips and employ them at work. Take the knowledge you gain at conferences like the FPA Annual Conference–BE and give it to your employees and colleagues who are unable to attend.
“You represent a lot of people who aren’t here,” Craig said. “What you have is an opportunity. Not only for you, but for the people you represent and the people who work with you. You need to go back and provide them with the knowledge to do something great.”
Journal of Financial Planning