How to Get Your Team Rowing in the Same Direction

Whatever the challenges, a business plan with specific goals helps RBC Wealth Management financial advisors form healthy teams.

Take a look at a team of rowers. They are prepared, synchronized, focused, engaged, and everyone is working toward a common goal. The same can be said for healthy, successful business teams.

RBC Wealth Management financial advisor Scott Wallace used this comparison while working with the firm’s Practice Management and Teams group. Wallace joined the firm in 2021 after many years with Merrill Lynch. He spent the beginning of his career as a solo financial advisor, but for the past two decades he’s been focused on elevating his business through teaming.

Throughout that time, Wallace formed three different teams and worked through the wake of the dotcom bubble and 9/11. These periods brought many unique challenges that showed Wallace that a healthy team includes trust, conflict, commitment, accountability and results — no matter the challenges they face.

Today, he is the leader of the four-member Wallace Group at RBC Wealth Management in Annapolis, Md.

“We joined RBC Wealth Management because we were attracted to the capabilities the firm could offer us,” he said. “Things can get a bit out of sync in the beginning when you make a transition, and we had to find our rhythm, but we were quickly able to get the four of us rowing in the same direction again.”

The Wallace Group used RBC Wealth Management’s Business Compass tool to create its mission statement, marketing plan, production goals and wealth planning targets. The tool helped them organize all of their goals in one place, especially coming from another firm. They were able to revamp and focus quickly.

The team’s plan includes goals and desired outcomes created with help from RBC Wealth Management Practice Management consultants who coached them throughout the process in order to drive results.

“We met our 24-month goal in about four months,” said Joan Livingston, senior investment associate with the Wallace Group, who leads the behind-the-scenes planning. “The infamous ‘business plan’ that every advisor has — even in a successful team — would just get glanced at once a year. After we used the Business Compass tool to create our plan, we started looking at it monthly and now discuss aspects of it weekly.”

According to performance coaching company Full Focus, you are 42% more likely to achieve your goals just by writing them down.

For Richard Beckel, who leads the company’s Practice Management and Teams group, the emphasis on starting with a trust-filled foundation that includes the opportunity for team members to be vulnerable is key. He also stresses the importance of allowing for conflict because each member brings in their own experiences.

“We have a pyramid where trust and conflicts are at the bottom as the base, followed by commitment, accountability and results,” he said. “We end with results as our common purpose and what we are trying to achieve. Climbing the pyramid, that’s how you create a culture of creativity and inclusiveness. And that’s when you find success.”

Scott Wallace is a financial advisor with RBC Wealth Management – U.S. in the Annapolis, MD branch.

RBC Wealth Management is a division of RBC Capital Markets LLC, registered investment advisor and Member NYSE/FINRA/SIPC. Investment and insurance products offered through RBC Wealth Management are not insured by the FDIC or any other federal government agency, are not deposits or other obligations of, or guaranteed by, a bank or any bank affiliate, and are subject to investment risks, including possible loss of the principal amount invested.

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