Over my 16 years in the financial services business I have been fortunate to have been with and even led some great organizations. This past week I joined Ashworth & Sullivan Wealth Management Group as a Financial Planner and Partner. An exciting opportunity, yet anytime starting in a new endeavor can be a little unnerving and even intimidating. So after week 1 here are 5 lessons in which I was reminded:
1) “The Pop Ins” can KILL productivity
Seeing how this office sticks to a schedule is quite impressive. Productivity is center stage of the office environment. Ashworth & Sullivan had hired a business consultant to examine their business and one of the recommendations was to do more “time blocking”; an example would be to text or e-mail an associate with a suggested time to discuss a case or non time sensitive matter as opposed to just popping in to someone’s office and interrupting their work flow. When someone interrupts your work flow if only for a mere 5 minutes; that 5 minute interruption can often result in a 15 minute loss of productivity. Time blocking and maintaining a schedule allows for greater focus and higher productivity.
My new firm values independence much like I always have in the past. Being within a firm that is not tied to any company that creates their own financial product allows for the client’s objectives to always come first; as it should be! Unfortunately, there are companies that put their agenda ahead of clients. I have seen that happen before and talked about the value of independence in an earlier article, Why Independence.
3) True Client Focus
This is one of the biggest cultural differences that I have noticed in my first week. I have been with organizations in the past that were more of sales organizations than true planning firms. At Ashworth & Sullivan Wealth Management Group the focus is on managing the money of the limited households that we serve, not hunting down the next deal. The proof is in the numbers; the client wins.
4) The Office – “Home Field Advantage”
I have been anxious for guests to come into my new office. The well appointed Class A office space makes quite an impression, which I have heard referred to as our “home field advantage.” One of my first business colleagues that visited my new office exclaimed, “Wow, welcome to the big leagues” upon arrival in our lobby. Certainly fun to have clients and guests here, but also just a great environment to be in each day.
5) The Importance of a Great Staff
I have been made to feel very welcome as I have joined this new team. The staff has done a great job with the on boarding process and helping to handle numerous details. I do already feel a part of the team; however the focus here is certainly on business as opposed to water cooler type chatter. A great staff is critical to any organizations success.
I am thankful to be at Ashworth & Sullivan Wealth Management Group. My knowledge and career will certainly continue to grow from this pivotal career move. It will be both fun to see what lessons come next as well as fulfilling to have my clients benefit along with me due to this new business home.