Running in the 2018 Boston Marathon was an incredible experience for me, not only as a personal accomplishment, but as an opportunity to run with a mentor and friend to support a great cause in the Foundation for Financial Planning.
But while I ran, trying not to think about the frigid rain, blowing wind or the looming prospect of Heartbreak Hill, another story was unfolding, one I believe every advisory firm should take to heart.
Last year, Desiree Linden and her teammate Shalane Flanagan laced up to compete in the marathon. But an hour into the race, Ms. Flanagan had to stop for an unexpected break.
Ms. Linden could have seen her faltering teammate as deadweight and left her in the dust. But she understood that she didn’t have to choose between winning and supporting her team. She waited for Ms. Flanagan, then helped her make up for lost time, slipping back into the leader’s pack over the course of the grueling race.
Not only did Ms. Linden recover from the setback, she went on to win the race, becoming the first American in 33 years to win the women’s category in the Boston Marathon. You would be hard-pressed to find a clearer example of the power of all-hands-on-deck teamwork.
But for all the talk we hear about the importance of working together, all too often I see firm leaders take a top-down approach to challenges that excludes feedback from the people who have to deal with the consequences of their decisions.
For example, as more RIAs contemplate changes to