Uncertainty thrives as leadership wanes…

Financial uncertainty is thriving.

Thriving, almost out of control it seems, unlike any period in our current generation.

It’s largely due to the lack of leadership.

It’s tricky being a leaders when things are uncertain.

Whilst we can have little effect on the European heads of government (I can’t bring myself to type in “European Leaders”), the USA market trend setters or our own Reserve Bankers, we can have massive leadership effect on our own clients.

One of our kids was really sick recently. We had no idea what was going on.

We took her to our doctor who immediately scheduled some tests with specialists.  

As soon as she got the results, she’d phone. Unfortunately they were all virtually inconclusive.

But, she always had another suggestion on another course of action for our gorgeous sick daughter.

It’s still lingering, we’re still not sure.

But, we get our confidence from our family doctor who is still on our case, investigating options, seeking other experts, monitoring behaviours, diets, blood results, everything.

We, as a profession of financial planners have spent too much of our professional lives self-deprecating our ability to give our clients the confidence similar to that our doctor provides us.

Sure there are plenty of financial risks in the current marketplace. Sure the euro might stumble if/when countries leave, sure the USA might catapult into recession if 2013 tax cuts are granted, sure China has come ‘off’ their hectic growth pace, sure the mining boom might be waning, sure the politicians…blah, blah, blah.

But risks will always be there.

That’s why we have a job. If there were no risks, there would be no opportunity.

However as advisers we, for too long have limited and trapped ourselves in our technical skills, our financial product heritage, and looked for leadership from markets and product-manufacturers or stock-picking gurus only to be disappointed by their effectiveness and fickleness.

Of greater concern to me, is our own self-deprecating attitude to the value, confidence, direction that we as advisers can add (like our family doctor) without turning to a ‘product’ or ‘service’ solution.

Leadership comes from within.

It’s not granted by anyone, it’s taken.Not arrogantly, like a sales spiel to a wide audience in the hope of gaining one or two new product buyers, but targeted with the clients that already know, respect and trust us not for our products, but for our financial advice.

Yet we don’t value it.

Whilst our clients are craving for someone to lead them through these tough and uncertain times, we have too often capped our growth plans waiting for ‘markets to give us more direction’ because WE don’t value our advice.

It’s time to be worthy.

Uncertainty is the foundation of all financial markets.

Leadership is the foundation of all great advisers.

I believe there are too many great advisers, uncomfortably sitting on their leadership skills, unsure how to value them, explain them and be rewarded for them.

Don’t let your incompetency stop you – it hasn’t in the past.

Approaching your trusted clients with a new confidence-instilling proposition might be like approaching the pretty girl at the dance – she just might be interesting in dancing as well.

What do you reckon?


About Jim Stackpool

For nearly 30 years Jim has influenced, coached, and consulted to advisory firms across Australia. As founder of Certainty Advice Group, he leads a like-minded team of professional advisory firms seeking to create greater certainty for their clients. As an author, blogger, columnist, and keynote speaker, Jim is regularly called upon for his professional insights into the advice industry. His latest book Seeking Certainty is available now.

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