Great advisory businesses seem to move from success to success, making it look easy from the outside. You would almost think they were being propelled forward, which may not be far from the truth. These businesses and the leaders that run them have achieved something we call Absolute Engagement, a form of pure momentum that is created when you engage intentionally with your work, your clients and your team in very specific ways.
We believe that the concept of Absolute Engagement is so critical to both growth and fulfillment that we’ve dedicated all of our efforts to helping you achieve it. It all starts with our new site.
In the coming weeks and months we’ll share new posts and new research focused on Absolute Engagement and its component parts. Today, I wanted to provide you with an overview of the concept and make the case that this is important.
Here’s what we have discovered:
- There are five overall drivers of deeply engaged relationships.
- We can apply those drivers of engagement separately to our work, our clients and our team. The drivers are consistent and the execution (obviously) differs depending on the stakeholder.
- Achieving Absolute Engagement starts with your personal vision, which then extends to – and aligns with – your clients and your team. There is an order and logic to how we drive Absolute Engagement.
- If you can master one of personal, client or team engagement, you will most certainly have a good business. Master all three in a way that is fully aligned and you’ll get to great.
The Drivers of Engagement
Achieving deeper engagement, whether with your key stakeholders or with the work that you do, requires vision, structure and process in almost equal doses. Vision is not enough without execution and execution rarely succeeds without ensuring you are refreshed and energized. With that in mind, here are the five drivers:
- Uncover – the process by which you honestly assess your values, strengths, priorities and preferences.
- Craft – the process of crafting and communicating a vision that reflects what you identified as most important in #1.
- Execute – the process and structure you put in place to activate the vision you defined in #2.
- Measure – the process by which you ensure you are delivering on the activities you identified in #3.
- Sustain – the process by which you renew and energize yourself, and your key relationships, in order to sustain the creativity and energy required to deliver on all of the above.
In the chart below you’ll find the questions you need to answer in order to create the alignment that Absolute Engagement demands. Each box demands introspection, focus and a good dose of hard work and we’ll go deep on the tactics over time. For now, I’ll simply highlight the key questions.
While team engagement is one of the pillars of Absolute Engagement, I wouldn’t suggest that you can’t be fully engaged without a team. While the most successful businesses almost always have a team in place, the process starts with yourself and your clients. If you do have a team, however, then engaging those individuals becomes both a critical issue and your most powerful weapon.
The starting point for Absolute Engagement is personal vision. To the extent that you have clarity on your values, strengths and preferences, you can craft a vision for the kind of business that reflects what’s most important. That personal vision will combine with the priorities of your clients to allow you to define a meaningful vision for your clients. That client vision will combine with the priorities of your team to allow you define a meaningful vision for your team.
When your basic needs are met (or even exceeded) you will be satisfied. When your most deeply held values and goals are supported you are engaged. Think of it as Maslow’s hierarchy applied to your own life as well as your client and team relationships.
The Impact of Absolute Engagement
Advisors who have achieved Absolute Engagement run successful businesses based on any traditional metric we might apply, from growth to client and team satisfaction. There is, however an intangible that may be the secret sauce. When you are deeply engaged with your work and when that work is tightly aligned with your values and supports the vision you have for your life, you achieve a level of personal fulfillment. To this extent, Absolute Engagement meets the ‘jumping out of bed to face the day’ test.
What You Can Expect
In the coming year and beyond we are not only committed to providing you with the tools to drive Absolute Engagement but to measure it. We love evidence and, to that end, we are now deep into one of the most significant research studies we have ever undertaken, combining input from advisors, clients and team members in a single study. Our goal is nothing short of creating a true and robust Index to measure Absolute Engagement. We’ll share those results in 2016 and in the interim will continue to share new ideas and tactics, drawing on our own work and the experiences of great advisors around the world.
Thanks for stopping by.
P.S. Our next Spotlight features Rebecca Pomering and Ken Evans of Moss Adams Wealth Advisors. You can subscribe to hear about the ideas that have made them such a success story (including our December webinar) through our free Spotlight Program.