To Locate Our Leadership Direction We Need to Dig Deep

To Locate Our Leadership Direction We Need to Dig Deep

This past week I needed to replace my old gas lines with new pipes to connect with an updated system. Although going through the process was a bit uncomfortable, there really was no choice if I no longer wanted water in my gas line. To make this happen, the gas company had to dig deep to locate my current hook-ups and re-trench my property with the new pipes. Holding off was just a temporary solution and a poor choice at that. I had to embrace this total property upheaval if I no longer wanted to lose heat or hot water.

In the same way, we all have busy careers that don’t afford us a lot of time to come up for air and dig deep to discover what kind of leaders we want to be. Even if we don’t want to feel uncomfortable or stressed, we know that we need to constantly grow to be influential leaders. We can delay our thinking about our leadership direction temporarily until we run amuck and realize that we no longer can just swim around in our old thinking and patterns.

To locate our leadership direction we need to dig deep.

Today is the day to dig deep to realign your leadership pipeline.


WHAT’S HAPPENING RIGHT NOW?


Before the gas company could upgrade my gas lines, they needed to evaluate what was taking place in my current situation. They needed to fully assess where all the pipes were located and what was causing the water in the line. Similarly, leaders need to make a full evaluation on how their leadership is going today.

  • How would you describe you leadership?
  • What kinds of places are you leading in?
  • Has your leadership evolved? In what way?
  • Do you have a leadership mantra that guides you? What is it?
     

IS THERE ANY NEED FOR A CHANGE AND WHY?


When we conduct an assessment we realize what is going well and what still needs to be tweaked. Additionally, we need to dig deep and identify specifically what isn’t working and why we aren’t feeling successful. For example, if we sense that we aren’t being heard when we speak up in meetings, we need to look at what is causing the disconnection. Sometimes asking a colleague, co-worker or boss can be insightful for us.

WHAT SEEMS FASCINATING OR NECESSARY?


Have you been reading about some intriguing new strategies or ideas that you would want to incorporate into your leadership? Have you received feedback about an area you may want to explore or improve? These kinds of questions can often guide where you want to focus your explorations. Look at areas to strengthen your skills and well as topics that motivate you. Both can provide a wonderful balance in growing forward.

To locate your leadership direction find areas to grow skills as well as your mind.

WHAT ARE THE FIRST STEPS?


Create a plan by writing down what you specifically need to change or learn about to follow this new leadership direction.

  • List all the changes that seem important or essential
  • Choose one or two areas to work on and write out the actions you want to take
  • Give timeframes and ways you will measure success
  • Choose an accountability partner to help you stay on track
     

IS THERE A NEED TO GET HELP FROM OTHERS AND WHO?


This is where we need to be brave and assertive. We need to think of who can help us reach our next milestones. We need to dig deep. If we want to learn some new skills or have exposure to a different department in our organization, we need to think of who can set up connections for us. Is there someone who already has the knowledge that we can shadow?

HOW WILL I MEASURE THIS NEW LEADERSHIP DIRECTION?


Finally establish ways to measure your success. How will you know when you are on the right path to your chosen leadership direction? Decide on what your leadership will look like and feel like. Then you will know for sure when you are there.

How do you dig deep to locate your leadership direction?

Terri Klass
Leadership
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Terri founded Terri Klass Consulting over 20 years ago to partner with organizations to create cultures of empowerment and develop future leadership. She delivers hi ... Click for full bio

An Advisor's Guide to Helping Women Become Savvy Investors

An Advisor's Guide to Helping Women Become Savvy Investors

Today, more women than ever are involved in managing their personal and household finances. In a recent study, nearly half of the women surveyed (44%) stated that they are solely responsible for their household financial decisions, compared to 35% of men1. But the study wasn’t all good news. While women may be taking the lead when it comes to their finances, they also reported that they are not confident in doing so. In fact, in every financial category included in the survey, men reported much greater confidence than women. Where was the biggest gap? You guessed it: investing.

For advisors, this presents a challenge and an opportunity. There is a 90% likelihood that a woman will be financially self-reliant at some point in her life due to divorce, becoming a widow, or choosing to marry later in life or not at all2. By taking steps to help your female clients become confident, savvy investors, you’ll not only be more effective at serving in the best interests of these women and their families, but you’ll also be able to build much stronger, more trusted relationships to help ensure each family’s assets remain in your care for decades to come.

Follow these five steps to help your female clients invest with greater confidence:


1. Urge every woman to put her financial needs first. 


Women do have a weakness when it comes to planning for the future, but it has nothing to do with a lack of knowledge, skill, or smarts. Their primary weakness is a willingness to put others’ needs first. This is a huge mistake when it comes to planning for the future. Investing for retirement simply can’t wait until the kids are grown or aging parents no longer need care. In fact, based on average life expectancies, women should plan to accumulate enough funds to last at least 20 years after retirement. The following chart illustrates the power of compounding based on an 8% rate of return to help bring that point home:

This hypothetical example assumes an annual 8% rate of return and does not take into account income taxes or investment fees and expenses. This example is for illustrative purposes only and does not represent the performance of any specific investment. An investor’s actual return is not likely to be consistent from year to year, and there is no guarantee that a specific rate of return will be achieved.

2. Educate women about the power of investing.


Security about any topic is rooted in confidence and knowledge. Educating your female clients about investment basics can help drive more confident decisions and more positive long-term outcomes. From the basics of compounding to the nuts and bolts of researching options and understanding the pros and cons of different asset classes, make it your job to help every client understand what she is buying—and why.

3. Dive into the details of asset allocation.


Asset allocation is by far the largest determinant of a portfolio’s success—even more important than the individual securities selected and timing of an investment. This is critical information for your client to understand as she pursues her financial goals.

Related: Need More Referrals? 5 Steps to Building Stronger Word-Of-Mouth Influence

4. Discuss how her investment strategy needs to evolve over time.


Part of every client’s financial education should be to understand how financial needs and goals change with each stage of life stage. Because a shorter investment time horizon creates greater vulnerability to market volatility, she needs to understand the impact of shifting a portion of her investment portfolio to more income-oriented investments as she moves closer to retirement. This Life Stages Guide can help you paint a clear picture of how allocation strategies need to evolve to fit her changing needs.

5. Be sure she’s covering all the financial bases.


Smart investing is vital, but missteps in other areas of financial planning can thwart even the best investment plan. Offer every client a basic planning checklist that includes these three important steps:

  • Focus on the big picture. Organize your important financial papers and schedule an annual review of your investment strategy with your advisor. Regularly monitor your net worth—including your assets (all investments and savings) and liabilities (mortgage, credit cards, and other debts) to be sure you’re always moving toward your end goal of a secure retirement.
  • Pay down any outstanding debt. Debt reduces your net worth, threatens your financial security today, and reduces your ability to invest for the future. Do whatever you can to minimize debt, and build an emergency fund to help pay for any unexpected expenses.
  • Make estate planning a priority. Once a year, review your will and your beneficiary designations for every account to be sure they continue to reflect your wishes. If you have children under 18, work with your advisor or estate planner to establish a trust and select a trustee to ensure your assets are managed for the benefit of your children.
     

As a trusted advisor, make it your mission to provide your female clients with the education and guidance they need to become savvy investors and make the smart, educated financial decisions. By doing so, you can help every woman you work with not only enhance her financial security, but also gain the confidence to take greater control of every aspect of her financial life.

Click here to learn more about IndexIQ.

[1] Survey conducted by Regions Financial Corp. in partnership with Vanderbilt University, 2015.

[2] The Simple Dollar, “Guide to Financial Independence for Women,” 2014. 

Disclosure: The information and opinions herein are for general information use only. The opinions reflect those of the writers but not necessarily those of New York Life Investment Management LLC (NYLIM). NYLIM does not guarantee their accuracy or completeness, nor does New York Life Investment Management LLC assume any liability for any loss that may result from the reliance by any person upon any such information or opinions. Such information and opinions are subject to change without notice and are not intended as an offer or solicitation with respect to the purchase or sale of any security or as personalized investment advice. 
Laura McCarron
Building Smarter Portfolios
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Laura joined New York Life & MainStay Investments in 2009, and is currently the Director of Value Add Marketing. She is responsible for the development of investor educati ... Click for full bio