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Episode 4: 
Why Have An Implementor
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Show Notes:
In this episode of The Ultimate Advisor Podcast, we discuss why having a second in command in your office to help you facilitate all of your visionary ideas is so important. We will delve into why having someone who can relay information and get the team engaed in making those ideas a reality is such an asset. So push PLAY and let us walk you though why you should have an implementor. 

Read The Transcript Of The Episode:

Announcer: This is The Ultimate Advisor Podcast, the podcast for financial advisors who want to create a thriving, successful, and scalable practice. Each week, we'll uncover the ways that you can improve your referrals, your team, your marketing, and your business operations, helping you to level up your advising practice, bring in more assets, and create the advising practice that you've dreamed of. You'll be joined by your hosts, Bryan Sweet, who has more than half a billion dollars in assets under management, Brittany Anderson, the driving force for advisors looking to hire, improve their operations and company culture, and Draye Redfern, who can help you systematize and automate your practice's marketing to effortlessly attract new clients. So what do you say? Let's jump into another amazing episode of The Ultimate Advisor Podcast.

Bryan Sweet: Hi, this is Bryan Sweet, and welcome to The Ultimate Advisor Podcast. Today I am about as excited as I could be, because this is a topic near and dear to my heart, and I think if anyone truly integrates this into their practice, it will have some life-changing effects. Well, what is that, Bryan? Well, it's having an implementer or an integrator or a second in command in your office to help you facilitate all of your visionary ideas, all of the information that you get from conferences. We're going to talk a lot about what that looks like. I'm going to be talking a lot about Brittany Anderson, who actually is the one that does that for me, and I'll have her tell you a lot of things about how she does that.
 But let me just give you a little background as to why this is so important. Like you, you probably have a million and six ideas, and the shiny object issue, where you haven't found an idea that you don't like. And I'm probably as guilty as anybody about that. One of the issues with that is coming back with 60 items and throwing them all at your team and trying to get them to buy in and actually do it. And after you've done that about 25 times, they get a little frustrated and wonder what in the heck's going on.
 One of the things that we did a number of years ago is got Brittany to be our second in command or our implementer. And what does that mean? Well, that simply means that she attends meetings like the Genius Network, Strategic Coach, anything where I'm going to be meeting or hearing information that be applicable to our practice. And the neat thing about that is, she hears exactly what I hear. She knows what the vision of the company is. And she is the one that actually relates and can get the team engaged to make that reality.
 I'm going to turn over to Brittany and just have her give a little bit of a background as to how she developed the role and how that can be very helpful, and then I'll jump back in and tell you some of the benefits as I see it.

Brittany A.: Yeah, Bryan, I'm just kind of chuckling in my head, and I'm going to tease you for a minute here, because I was thinking back to some of our staff meetings. I've been working with Bryan for 10 long years now.

Bryan Sweet: Careful, now. Careful.

Brittany A.: So 10 years now we've been working together, and when I first came in, I was in a completely different role within the company. We would sit in staff meetings, and Bryan would come with, like he mentioned, all these great ideas. And he's so excited, and he's so energized, and he's telling everybody what he wants to see done. And you almost got like crickets in the room, because everybody's just staring, like, "Oh, my goodness. This is overload." I'm watching this transpire, and as we go through a couple years, and we're really trying to implement the things that we've deemed important, but it doesn't feel like we're getting the traction that we need.
 In developing my relationship with Bryan as his integrator, his implementer, one of the things that I brought to the table was, "Hey, when you have an idea, maybe we should try having me deliver it to the team, and just see the difference that that might make." Because sometimes as the visionary or as the primary entrepreneur in the company that you've built, you get so excited about everything that you almost, it's like the information gets thrown like darts at the team. Darts without a target. It's kind of just being thrown out into the air, and you're like, "Man, how come nobody's picking this up? How come nobody's my target?"
 One of the things that I've done is I've gone into a team meeting, and taking the priority theme. Bryan comes back, he's got all these ideas from a conference, but let's really drill down to what is the overall theme that he's trying to accomplish? And then bringing that to the table. Just like in the last episode we talked about how when you're delivering a message to clients, you need to make it all about them. In the last episode we talked about how when you're dealing with a prospect, you need to make whatever you're trying to get across all about them, so that it's actually something they're interested in.
 It is the exact same approach when dealing with a team. If you come back and you're like, "Here's what you need to do to grow the company, and we need to do this yesterday, and I need you, you, and you to get behind this project," your intentions are good and your intentions are pure, but it's how the team is receiving it that can be very, very different. So what I did is I kind of packaged it and put a bow on it and said, "Here. Here's what we want to accomplish as a team. Here's all the great things that Bryan came back with. But here's the few that we should start with to really get the ground running."
 And it was funny, because Bryan and I, we were in a meeting, and he's talking about something, and it was with some of our financial advisors in the office, and I can tell by the look on his face, because Bryan, he's one that you can just read him, Bryan is so transparent, you can read him. So I'm looking at him, and he's getting frustrated, because he's like, "Man, I can't get my point across." So what I did is I listened to his message, and I rephrased it a little bit, and instead of it being like, "Hey, here's what we need to do," it's like, "Hey, you guys, here's the thought behind this, so what Bryan's saying is," and then you put a spin on it to have it be about them.
 So, "Hey, what he's saying is yeah, this is going to help the business overall, but gosh, think about the impact that you could have on your clients just by embracing what he's trying to get across. Think about how you could grow your book. Think about how you could get more prospects, how you could close your business, and think about how that's going to impact you." Literally, by the end of the conversation, as I kind of took the role as that integrator, as that bridge between the visionary and the rest of the team, by the end of the meeting they're nodding their heads in agreeance with me. We walk out of the meeting, and Bryan's like, "Brittany, I was literally saying the same thing as you. Why didn't they get it?"
 It's all in your delivery, and it's all in having that person be your bridge between what you want to implement in the company and all of your great ideas as a visionary, and having somebody be able to close that gap for you. After those few experiences, that's where I saw that my value as the COO could continue to increase, is like hey, rather than having Bryan as the visionary or the primary entrepreneur in the company being frustrated, and then the team being frustrated, because they're like, "We want to live up to this expectation, we just don't know what the heck to do," you need that gap to be closed. And you need that person that can come in, that can help be your filter, help narrow your focus, and then deliver that to the team.
 Because ultimately, if you can't get your team engaged and behind your vision, you are going to get nowhere fast. You might have gradual growth, you might have some successes, but really what we see, and it's funny, because this is not unique to the financial advisory industry. I mean, this is businesses all over the place. If you can't get your team in line with the vision that you have for your future, you may as well just jump ship, because you're not going to get where you want to go. You're not going to get to that bigger picture.
 Like Cameron Herold, he talks about the three-year vivid vision. Bryan, I'll have you comment on this too, but I think that's been an exceptional exercise for our business, just because you literally take what your vision is of the future, and you paint this beautiful picture on it. You put it in type, and then you deliver that consistently back to your company to make sure that they can get behind what it is that you want. And sometimes you just need, like I said, that integrator, that person to bridge that gap for you, to help articulate your message in a way that they are going to be willing and ready to receive. So Bryan, I'll have you just talk a little bit about maybe that whole exercise with the vivid vision and what that's really done for you and the business overall.

Bryan Sweet: Yeah, I'm going to comment on that, and let me just add one other comment from what you just said. We all have our own unique skill sets, and I would say I'm not unique in that as the owner and being an advisor, getting staff to implement ideas and get them to buy in probably wasn't my strong suit. When we went to this new platform, not only did we get more engagement, but we got more understanding by the staff as to the "why", and once they know the "why", their buy-in is so much greater, and they understand the big picture.
 So literally today, I talked to Brittany about what it is we want to implement and where it fits into the vision. And she takes it to the team and does team meetings. I literally do not even sit in those anymore. I just work on how do I get us to the next level? What's it going to take? What are the new ideas? Once I know those, I share those with Brittany, and then she gets the team to execute it. It's just worked flawlessly, and sometimes we're our own worst enemies.
 When at least I realized and Brittany realized that that's what was happening and we made these changes, it was literally the best, most productive thing I have ever done, because the other thing is, once you turn it over to somebody, it's not back there always wondering, is this going to get done? What do I need to do differently? How do I get the team to engage? You already know it's being done. You can check it off your list and move on to the next most important item, and keep building your vivid vision.
 She alluded to this vivid vision. If you want a great book, it's by Cameron Herold, but really what it's about is, how do you create a vivid vision of what you want your company to be? He happens to use a three-year timeframe. We all can write goals out, and I want to have this much revenue and this many clients, but he gives you a formula on how to paint a really amazing picture, and then we've put this into about a 10-page document that's got pictures, describes it in, as the name vivid vision says, vivid detail as to what that looks like, what it feels like, almost what it smells like when it occurs.
 Then we put that in a format. It's something that each team member reads every morning when they start the day, and then they use that as a bogey when they're doing things to say, "If I were to do this project, does that help me get closer to my vivid vision or the firm's vivid vision?" That's one of the filters that we use, and if the answer is no, I want that to become very apparent very quickly, so that they don't waste the time and energy doing something that doesn't get us closer to our goal, or at least asking questions before they do something, saying, "Is this really the right thing, or do we need to do it differently?" Because once questions get asked, then that opens the arena to fine tune it to make sure that they're using their time wisely.
 And before I forget, I want to also mention another book that is exceptionally good on this whole concept of visionary, which most of the advisors would probably fall into that, and an implementer or a second in command, or somebody that actually does the work. It's a book called Rocket Fuel, and that's by a gentleman by the name of Gino Wickman. It's an exceptional book. It describes how you get a difference between a visionary and how you get the team buy-in. If you have some interest, that's a great book that you might want to spend some time on. Anything else that you'd like me to comment on, Brittany?

Brittany A.: No. You know, I think you brought up an interesting point, Bryan, about ... you mentioned the term "unique ability". Dan Sullivan, creator of Strategic Coach, he has this coined concept called unique ability. Once you identify what it is that you are exceptional at, that gives you passion, energy, excitement, you're not going to want to do anything else. When you're looking at figuring out ... So if you don't have somebody in the integrator role, if you don't have that person who can basically be that bridge between you and your team, Bryan just referenced the book Rocket Fuel. That's a great place to start as you look at identifying what are the things that you as the primary, you as the owner, you as the entrepreneur, you as the lead advisor, what are the things that you love to do? The things that you could literally work on those things 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, and you are not going to get sick of it. Those are the things that give you so much energy.
 You write that down in one column, and then on the other side of it, you write down all the things that you feel like you're hitting roadblocks, that you're frustrated about, that you just continually feel like you're banging your head against a wall. Those are the things you want to look at where do they go and how can I find that integrator, that implementer, that fits that role, that can take these things off of my plate, that can make them go away, so I can focus on the things that give me energy and excitement in life?
 I mean, literally, when you talk about, and Bryan referenced this in our very first episode, but he talked about how he is able to do all of these things. He not only has his wealth advisory practice, but he runs four other businesses, or is involved in four other businesses. He has a lot of commitments on his time, but he's also able to take 16 weeks off. That's a big deal, and I have yet to meet an entrepreneur that's like, "No, you know what? I would prefer to just be glued to my desk way more than I am now. I really just want to work harder and not smarter." I've never heard that. I've never heard that comment out of any business owner's mouth.
 So when you're looking at this, you want to look at, if you could get somebody in that seat to help you get to the point that you want to be at and free up your time, that is so important and that's invaluable. So Bryan, I don't know if you want to comment anything else on that whole concept.

Bryan Sweet: Well, the only thing I will tell you is, if you do it, or maybe I should say when you do it, because I would highly suggest that that be one thing you do, it gets you there faster, and it's less frustrating. I don't know of anybody that would not want to do it faster and less frustrating. You have enough things that cause us to have stress, and the more things that we can do to eliminate or reduce it, it's great. And as I mentioned, at least up to this point in building our practice, it's the number one thing that I can say has attributed to our success is having a great second in command and letting them do what they're good at so you can do what you're good at.
 It just frees you up to either take more time off or focus more on your unique abilities or start other businesses or whatever it is that you want to do. But life is short, and you want to get it all in if you can, and so if this is one way where you can accomplish all your objectives on your financial practice and then add other things that you'd like to try or experience, I can't tell you any better way of helping you get there than to do everything you can to build that aspect of your team if you don't have it.

Brittany A.: Draye, Bryan and I have monopolized the conversation up to this point.

Draye Redfern: Actually, I've loved listening to it so far. I do have a couple things that I would want to throw in there, of traveling with your second in command. We started doing this about a year ago. Highly, highly recommend it, because I'm the same way. When you come back from an event or something, it's like drinking from a fire hose, and then my team just like literally can't stand when I leave, because they know when I come back, I'm just going to be throwing so many things at them. Then you worry whether it's going to be like some sort of coup, where everyone's going to up and leave, and then all of the things that go on with it. So I highly recommend having that second in command along for the ride. There is a financial investment in it, obviously, whether you're paying for masterminds or events or travel, all of those things. We get it, we understand, but it is so, so worth it by an order of magnitudes.
 The next thing, a resource that I would probably throw in there, me having botched it up for many years, was that I'm a very high quick start. A quick start is a metric that the Kolbe Index uses. Kolbe is spelled K-O-L-B-E, and there's essentially four components to this index. It's the quick start, the follow-through, the fact finder, or the implementer. Most people tend to gravitate towards one particular segment more than others. I know most entrepreneurs typically tend to gravitate towards quick starts, because we're all like, "Squirrel?" And we go find the next shiny object or the next thing or whatever it is, and we want to go do that.
 But the problem is, is that we may not have all of our facts after we start implementing it. Or we may implement it, and we may not have all of the follow-through. So having the team around you, as they were saying earlier, the right butts in the right seats, the right people to help you execute on this stuff, it's so, so important. As an example, as a case of what not to do, early on when I started my business, I'm a very high quick start, but the team around me were all fact finders. So they were all basically just, "Okay, Draye's got this idea. Let's go do all of the research necessary to go figure out how we can make this happen." No one was an implementer, and no one had any follow-through.
 As such, we had really great ideas that were very well researched, we just got nothing done. So that's not exactly the place that you want to be, and so when it comes to having your team, or maybe it's your board, or maybe it's your core group, whatever it may be around you, your team, make sure that there's a good amount of balance across the board, because I can tell you just from knowing these two incredible individuals very, very well, there's a incredible amount of balance. Bryan is much like I am, where we're very high quick starts, and we're just like, "Let's go, go, go." Whereas Brittany is an incredible implementer and an amazing sense of follow-through to see that thing to execution and completion. And if you don't have that sort of balance on your team, then you may not have that right butt in the right seat.
 And when you do these sorts of things, and it allows you, just like Bryan said or what Brittany said, to focus on that innate ability, the things that you like the most, then it becomes where going to work isn't going to work, because you love what you're doing. You get out of your own way. You focus on what I like to call your superhero ability, the one thing that you're really, really good at, and you let those fact finders, follow-throughs, quick starter, implementers really help execute on your goals, dreams, and ambitions.

Brittany A.: You know, Draye, I'm so glad that you brought up Kolbe. When you're looking at filling the seat of the second in command, filling the seat of the implementer-integrator, one of the comments that we have heard from people who have dove heavily into the Kolbe program, that are I don't know what the term is exactly, but Kolbe-certified per se, one of the things they've said is if you can find somebody that kind of sits middle of the road in their Kolbe score all the way across the board, so all those four categories, hire them. Because that means that that person-

Draye Redfern: They're unicorns.

Brittany A.: ... is very flexible in how they operate, so they can essentially work with all of the different Kolbe personalities, or the Kolbe types, I should say. That's something that I can't stress enough. Like Draye said, it's K-O-L-B-E. If you just go to kolbe.com, you can look at taking the Kolbe Index A Assessment. If you have never done this, I highly recommend you doing it for yourself and for your existing team members. And then before you ever make a hiring decision, give them that assessment, because that's going to give you a really good look, or great look actually, at just how they operate intrinsically as a person. This is how they work. This isn't going to lie to you. So I really recommend that you do that before you hire anybody, and again, if you can find that person that I believe they call it a mediator, that has that pretty consistent middle ground across the board, that is going to be an excellent or exceptional integrator or second in command for you, to bridge that gap we talked about between your team and yourself.

Bryan Sweet: And just one other quick thing, taking off on something that Draye said that I really wanted to emphasize, Draye mentioned that he now also travels with his second in command, which I also do. I think the word that you used, Draye, is it's an investment, and you did not say cost. Because it is absolutely one of the best investments and is so far from a cost, I can't even begin to describe it. Once you do it, and once you start seeing the results, it's just amazing. I will tell you, you pay double for coaching programs, or sometimes they'll give you a discount for sending somebody else, but you will get so many benefits that so outweigh that small amount of extra that you had to pay to have them come along to a conference or a mastermind group, that it will pay for itself hands down in literally short order.
 So I think that'll wrap up this interesting comments we've had on implementers, and we look forward to talking to you in the next episode. That's going to be on a very interesting topic, as it'll discuss where do you get started with marketing, which is a question we get asked all the time.

Draye Redfern: Hey there. Draye Redfern here, and before you go, we just wanted to say thank you for listening to this week's episode of The Ultimate Advisor Podcast. If you enjoy this episode, then please subscribe to the show on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, or Spotify, and be sure to rate us five stars on iTunes, because when you do, you'll be entered into a monthly drawing for our Ultimate Advisor Coaching Program, which is a $2,000 value. And if you would like to access more of the show notes, additional resources, and our free premium content, then please visit ultimateadvisorpodcast.com. We look forward to seeing you in the next episode of The Ultimate Advisor Podcast. We'll see you there.

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About The Ultimate Advisor Podcast:
The Ultimate Advisor podcast is a business podcast for financial advisors who are looking to grow their advising practices with greater ease and effectiveness. Ultimate Advisor was developed to help financial advisors master their marketing, sell their services with greater authority, generate repeat clients, and additional revenue in their business.
Each week, your hosts Draye Redfern, Bryan Sweet, and Brittany Anderson will share some of the closest guarded secrets from successful financial advising practices across the U.S.  

Draye Redfern

Draye is also the founder of UltimateAttorney.com which helps Attorneys go from “Surviving” to “Thriving” in their business.  In addition, Draye helps to provide insurance solutions to more than 8,600 law firms across the United States annually.

Bryan Sweet

Founder of Sweet Financial, CEO, Wealth Advisor, RJFS
Creator of The Dream Architect™
Co-founder of Dare to Dream Enterprises
Creator of Elite Wealth Advisor Symposium
Author of 3 books – Dare to Dream: Design the Retirement You Can’t Wait to Wake Up To, Imagine. Act. Inspire. A Daily Journal and Give & Grow: Proven Strategies for Starting an Running and Effective Study Group

Brittany Anderson

Director of Operations at Sweet Financial, Office Manager, RJFS
Co-founder of Dare to Dream Enterprises
Author of 2 books – Imagine. Act. Inspire. A Daily Journal & Dare to Dream: Design the Retirement You Can’t Wait to Wake Up To
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