Seven Tips for Effective Teamwork

Beverly Flaxington is a practice management consultant. She answers questions from advisors facing human resource issues. To submit yours, email us here.

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Dear Bev,

How can I pull a team together most effectively? We have spent a lot of time in the hiring process identifying great people and each one – on their own – is very good. But when they come together they all jockey for the top-dog position.

It affects the firm because there are times we don’t put a unified front when a client needs a more expanded answer on something. I have team members with different skills – some are really great at the estate side; I have one CPA who helps on tax-related issues; I have a couple of investment experts with different areas of focus. Each of these advisors has their own set of clients but they also could add value across our firm to the clients of others.

One client went to another firm for estate planning advice when we could have done it internally for their family. It was because one advisor didn’t want the other to “get involved with” the clients.

Our firm is doing very well. Everyone is great at managing their own clients and because they are assertive they are all doing a good job of finding new opportunities. One of my colleagues who also runs an advisory firm tells me not to complain because things are good, but I believe we could be doing even better if I could corral these individuals and turn them into a team.