54 INVESTMENT ADVISOR SEPTEMBER 2019 | ThinkAdvisor.com
that starting a CEO’s training with tech-
nical skills often overwhelms them
more. They become fully aware of what
they don’t know and thus, get scared to
make decisions in the business without
the counsel of others. In other words,
they feel they have to have validation to
make any move on their growth goals.
Instead, start with interpersonal
communication skills, which are critical
for today’s young leaders. These new
leaders have to be able to trust their
decisions and also know that if a deci-
sion they make doesn’t turn out as well
as hoped, they always can correct it.
Effective communication is often a
new leader’s biggest problem. Technical
skills can be learned along the way but
get lost without good communication.
Unfortunately, good communication is
not something you can just Google and
then go do on your own. It’s a skill
you develop over your lifetime and it
takes practice to hone. But to practice,
you have to communicate with someone
who communicates well.
Teaching communication skills
requires spending time with new lead-
ers, sharing stories, asking questions
and truly listening. In doing so, you have
to be careful not to judge them as they
learn. It also takes a lot of patience.
Additionally, you should refrain from
“giving them advice.” If you give them
advice on what to do, they will never
learn to trust their own judgements and
decisions. This means you have to take
the failures with the successes as they
make decisions in the business. Instead,
be there as a sounding board for them
to work through the problems they face,
and help them learn from each experi-
ence. In doing so, they learn to trust
themselves and their decisions, no mat-
ter the outcome.
Of course, this is a serious commitment. You have to spend a considerable
amount of time and energy working
with younger leaders, and doing it in a
way that does not create a dependence
on you to give the answers and solutions.
The hardest work founding owners will do at the end of their career is
teach someone how to run the business
that they have run for years. To do it,
they have to transition from being a
boss to a being a teacher. Those who are
not very good at teaching might think
about who can help them teach. There
is a reason we send our children off to
school each day.
The key to helping someone else fill
a leadership role is ensuring they have a
great teacher; One who has experience,
knows how and when to speak up and
how and when to simply listen.
Great business leaders trust themselves. True trust is being able to listen
to yourself, and the best way to learn
that is having a good listener show you
the way. Spending time and asking a lot
of questions helps get a deeper understanding of what they are trying to do
and how they trust themselves to do it.
We must emphasize that the easiest
way to trust yourself is to trust some-
one else. That’s the place all emerging
leaders have to start. And, for them to
truly trust, those new leaders have to
have a place where they can go that
is free of judgments and expectations
as they learn. To do that, they need
someone to serve them so they can
serve the business.
Real leadership is not about “vision,
mission, business development” etc. It
is about serving others; your employees,
your clients, your partners, your business, etc. A leaders’ job is to support and
encourage her/his people to do the best
job they can; by giving them the tools,
resources, support and guidance to be
successful. Because if they aren’t successful, the leader won’t be, either.
The key to successful transitions to
next generation of leadership begins
with interpersonal communication
skills, not the technical. Which means,
the founding owners have to have them
too. Your new leaders cannot learn great
communication if you are unable to lead
them by your example.
Angie Herbers is Chief Executive at Herbers
& Company, an independent growth consul-tancy for financial advisory firms. She can be
reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Teaching communication skills requires
spending time with new leaders, sharing
stories, asking questions and truly
listening. In doing so, you have to be careful
not to judge them as they learn. It also
takes a lot of patience.