Learn how to Power your Personal Growth

Posted on: | By: Veda Iyer

Learn how to Power your Personal Growth

The wealth management sector is growing at a rapid rate. This growth offers excellent career opportunities for women – in fact, there has never been a better time to be a woman in the industry. Sometimes however, the pace of change may not be in line with your own career plans. For example, you might wonder why, despite giving it your best shot, you still do not receive the recognition you deserve and get promoted to the next level. If so, then you are not alone. Many of us have experienced this at some point, even if we have a professional coach or mentor.

It is heartening to see so many women being mentored by colleagues in the sector, especially since the next generation of investors are millennials or from Generation Z – females who are keen to see themselves reflected in their advisors. Yet, some women need an additional steer to help navigate their career successfully. Management and career counselling books can help to restore confidence to some extent but there is no substitute for learning directly from others in your own industry. You can then relate to their struggle more readily and this becomes a more authentic learning experience. I have outlined some of the lessons from the last 20 years of my career – insights which helped me achieve recognition, these pointers are not in any particular order. Each one of them has greatly contributed to my own career growth and success.

– Read and be up to date: – recognize that learning is lifelong and that this has never been more critical in business. Every industry is being disrupted and there is an unprecedented need for each one of us to be up to speed in terms of skills, competencies and professional ’know how.’ You need to remain relevant to your fast-changing organization – and to the customer. You need to show technical competency in a fast-moving disruptive environment. The wealth management industry is changing rapidly and we need to evolve to meet those needs and engage with this new marketplace (a survey by Asian Private Banker has revealed that in 2018, India’s wealth managers saw an 18 per cent rise in assets under management).

Remaining well informed and working closely with the industry provides a huge opportunity to tap into growth opportunities. Technology is also playing a key role in the rapid evolution in product development. Keeping up to date with industry trends is vital if your business is to compete at the highest level. You are responsible for your own learning. Least of all subscribe to good ‘curated knowledge’ available to be better informed about trends and development.

– Be a diversity champion and help other women grow. Create a path, become a role model, coach other women and nurture as many as you can while you are on your own growth journey. Not all women are fortunate enough to have supportive organizations, peers, family or ecosystems to help them achieve their ambitions or aspirations. You can make a difference by championing their cause, supporting them to balance their life. Enabling growth for others is a good way to contribute back to society.

It is well known that diversity in the workplace helps business performance as well as employee engagement. Greater diversity is not just a moral imperative, it also impacts on the bottom-line. A 2017 Boston Consulting Group study revealed that companies with more diverse management teams have 19 per cent higher revenues due to innovation. More diverse teams reflect the customer base better and result in richer solutions due to the broader mix of experience and backgrounds in the mix.

Furthermore, when diverse teams work closely together, they offer more value to customers. Mc Kinsey research has found that the least diverse companies in both gender and ethnicity terms are nearly 30 per cent more likely to under perform in terms of profitability.

– Plan well ahead – Never ask for promotion on the basis of what you have done so far. Instead go prepared with a plan on how you will excel in the next role. Visualize this success and you will inspire confidence in others. Your manager will see how you can flourish with more responsibility.

– Network, network, network – both externally and internally – and build your equity in the company.This ‘go-getting’ passion will shine through and help build your credibility. Remember that you can learn how to network, whether you are a natural extrovert or not. An ex colleague of mine used to work at GE. I remember him telling me about the company culture there and how he realized that getting an invite to an office party is actually your own personal responsibility – do not depend on others to remember and invite you. The lesson is to build as many networks within the company as possible, especially outside your current department. It also pays to be helpful to others so they too can learn and grow. Colleagues will remember you reaching out to help them and these people may become your sponsors later on. Having such internal advocates can be helpful when restructuring takes place.

– Always place the Organization first – Understand and align yourself to the company’s overarching objectives – strive for overall company success not just individual growth. This shows you are customer centric. It is also an important aspect to keep in consideration when you aspire for Leadership roles.

– Always place the Organization first – Understand and align yourself to the company’s overarching objectives – strive for overall company success not just individual growth. This shows you are customer centric. It is also an important aspect to keep in consideration when you aspire for Leadership roles.

-Always ask for what you believe in – however, if your request is turned down, do not be overwhelmed by emotion. That is actually a good time to introspect the gap between aspiration and reality. It will help you understand and act upon it one way or the other.

-Learn to execute strategy as well as devise it – The key is to make those involved see the bigger picture, involve them in the process, give them the authority to make decisions and make them accountable. During execution create standard operating procedures for the same, then it becomes so much also easier for organization to assign new roles to you as you have taken care of knowledge transfer .

-Remember to always be a coach for your team. This does not mean that you have to micromanage, but help employees become so self-sufficient that at times you start feeling you are redundant. These leaders are those who inspire others to such an extent that they create levels of leadership below them.

-Manage personal emotions at work – Be emotional and passionate about your job, but be careful about the extent to which you bring your personal emotions to work and be measured about what you tell others about your private life. The current thinking is that we perform best when we can be ‘authentic’ at work. However, discussing personal issues too much can result in others holding back from giving you more responsibility out of fear that you will be overwhelmed.

– Dream and dress the role you want to play – If you want to be a leader, dress, act and behave like one. The power of our mind helps us to achieve anything that we desire. All you need to do is to work towards it. On my own career journey, I identified different role models to learn from- both male and female. I still have different role models depending on the need, for example, someone who inspires my work wardrobe, another person who motivates me to devise and implement strategies.

-Convey gravitas and confidence in the boardroom- Enter a board room full of men with confidence and gravitas and sit with them as equals. You may need additional help to build your own confidence as some people are more naturally self-assured. It is worth being tenacious with this as we need to exude confidence if we want others to have confidence in us. Leaders radiate gravitas when they enter a room and make others sit up and listen to them.

Finally, there is no substitute for staying focused and working hard. Not every road on the journey will generate successful outcomes but the learning will be invaluable. Over time, you will develop into a stronger and more inspirational leader. Remember to power your own growth – your career and your future lies in your hands