We first met Norm when we launched our Practice Development Program sponsored by Great West Life. Norm was one of 32 qualifiers who signed up for the program. In our initial interview, Norm explained that his primary motivation was to keep his production level in the top ten of the company. Like most top advisors, Norm is very competitive. However, maintaining a top ten position was becoming more difficult. Norm was the only producer in his office. The challenge of selling, managing staff and running his business was becoming overwhelming.
As Norm would tell you, it took a while in The Covenant Group program to grasp the complexities of building his business. After a number of years, it all came together. Norm learned how to work more effectively with his employees. This led to increased production that allowed him to hire another producer. By freeing himself up to do what he does best, the business just took off. As he learned to better manage himself and his business, he was freed up to focus on what was really important.
A new and more powerful purpose emerged in his work and business. His son, Neil, came into the business and succession planning became the focus. Prior to Neil joining, Norm had restructured the practice. Initially, Norm had a specialist and two assistants. One of the assistants wanted to get into sales. Over the last few years, she has become an important contributor to the growth of the business. This gave Norm experience in managing a producer and prepared him to work with his son. Norm wanted Neil to succeed on his own merit. Neil started on commission and has contributed from day one to the profitability of the firm.
When a son or daughter enters the business, there is an overwhelming sense of pride. It validates your work and your life. Neil learned at the dining room table about the business. When Neil joined, it was a statement that he saw the value of what Norm was doing.
Norm has built a strong team that supports and challenges each other to grow. They feed off each other. The involvement of others has breathed new life into the business. The combination of diverse levels of experience has taken the business to new levels. It is allowing everyone in the business to visualize a much bigger future. It is an exciting place to work.
The firm now has a Business Plan to transition the company to the next generation. Norm has moved from success to significance in his work and created a succession plan for his business.