What inspires you to set the principles and goals that will guide your achievements in 2015 and redefine your professionalism?
It’s a question to reflect upon at the start of the year, especially if you are a trusted advisor to a number of families, and driven by continuous self- improvement. Revisiting personal strategies for professionalism will lead not only to your own personal success, but will surely help you set higher goals with your clients by setting new and better standards of financial care.
This is especially important, in advance of this year’s annual tax and RRSP season, because it provides one of the few opportunities to visit with your clients in person to discuss tax compliance and efficiency in their family and investment affairs.
Professionalism, as defined by the Merriam Webster Learners Dictionary is “the skill, good judgment, and polite behavior that is expected from a person who is trained to do a job well.” Skills and training are the underpinnings of every professional, and there are few professions in which one can rest upon past laurels. Continuing professional development is a must.
However, the demonstration of good judgement and respectful behaviors is a matter of personal principles, experience and style. That requires a different set of skills and polishing. If you feel it’s something worth revisiting, consider reading “On Managing Yourself,” published by Harvard Review Press. This book is part of HBR’s 10 Must Reads. It contains a collection of sage articles to the theme; the opening one by Clayton M. Christensen, a 2010 McKinsey Award Winner and noted teacher at Harvard, is especially thought-provoking. He asks a simple question: How will you measure your life?
The author asks the reader to think about the important measures that define you, your life purpose and the way you treat the people you come in contact with, so that you arrive at the right metrics that define a life that is judged to be successful not just at work, but in life in general.
The author suggests that when you take the time to discover your life purpose and then build a strategy for your life, you will be better equipped to decide to how to both expend and save your precious and finite resources of time, talent and energy with purposeful priority.
He discusses the importance of living a life of integrity, which essentially requires the establishing of the few key principles that you never waiver from – I like to call those the “non-negotiables.” The simple reason, he states, is because it is easier to stand true to them 100% of the time, as opposed to 98% of the time.
This is true of the Real Wealth Management™ approach to strategic wealth planning the advisors who have achieved the Distinguished and Master Financial Advisor Designations from Knowledge Bureau use in their professional practices. The strategy encompasses four elements in planning – accumulation, growth, preservation and transition of after-tax wealth – and a definitive process for multiple stakeholders to get the right financial results for a variety of life, financial and economic goals.
The opportunity of building a successful life, family, career, business, relationships, all requires the right strategy and processes for success over the long term. Choosing the right yardstick matters to measure your professionalism goes a long way towards finishing well. And that can provide new inspiration for the setting of revised principles and goals for outstanding professionalism in 2015.
It’s Your Money. Your Life. Be sure to start the year by planning to finish well. Despite the obstacles most professionals and their clients will have to navigate as part of a normal course in uncertain times, professional standards go a long way to ensure risks are managed.