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Sometimes You Should Retreat Before Pressing On

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Before modern military tactics were developed, it was common for the General to move to an elevated position to observe the battle. Typically, soldiers fighting face-to-face with their enemy were so focused on survival that they lacked perspective on whether they were winning or losing until the battle was over. The General’s view, however, prompted adjustments to increase the likelihood of victory.  

Be Like An Iceberg And Rise Above The Surface To Success

Thursday, February 18, 2016

by Land Bridgers

Recently, I have taken the time to learn about icebergs, and now know more than I ever imagined I could about massive chunks of ice. Let me state the obvious; the Titanic. It sunk. Full steam ahead! With only 10% visible, (even I can do this math) 90% of the iceberg was hidden below the water. 

I’m not going to spend time discussing human error. What I’m interested in is the process by which icebergs are made. How does it happen? Well, long before the iceberg pops up above the surface of the water, a glacier is formed. Here’s how…

It’s the process called accumulation and ablation, where a constant state of conflict occurs. It is a battle of addition and subtraction, of growing and shrinking.

Accumulation is easy to understand. The more precipitation and cold air, the larger the glacier gets. However, ablation is the removal of snow and ice by evaporation. So, over a long period of time, if the amount of accumulation exceeds the ablation, the glacier grows. Eventually, the iceberg breaks away from the glacier and sets off into the ocean. But the accumulation and ablation continue even after it has left the glacier.

How does this apply to us as financial planners?

  1. Be the visible iceberg. Spend some time discovering our uniqueness, and what sets us apart from others in our industry. I am willing to bet that your uniqueness is more like the big, unseen part of the glacier than the visible part of the iceberg above the surface. Understand that it’s the depth of who you are that makes you unique. However, your skills and passion need to become the tip of the iceberg rather than the deep, underwater glacier. Be intentional about working on bringing your great qualities to the surface this year.
  2. Work that accumulation. The “accumulation” of ideas adds value to your clients and your business, so take the time to schedule and implement. Perhaps it’s something you picked up from a peer, or it could be practice management, or business development. Whatever it is, don’t lose it.
  3. Ablate those habits. Maybe you’re thinking of removing something you are doing within your business. Something that you’ve done for a long time just because that’s how you’ve always done it. You’ve decided it’s time to stop so you can free up time for other opportunities. That “ablation” is necessary for growth, just like pruning benefits the long-term growth of a garden. Do it!

One of the greatest benefits of membership with our ‘Brain Trust’ is the collective accumulation and ablation of ideas. Learning what not to do is just as important as learning what to do. Having others who are willing to share their successes and failures allows us to navigate the most effective implementation of strategies and ideas. It’s the people and the passion that make the Consortium what it is today.

In closing, I want to draw your attention to the picture above. Small-ish iceberg, HUGE glacier.

My point being: it took the glacier a long time to grow before the iceberg was formed. It’s a continuous, ongoing effort.

For some of you, right now marks the early stage of your journey with your business. I encourage you to take new ideas and “Get to it and stay at it!” You will see immediate results in some areas, while others will take longer. Reach out to your peers and hold yourself accountable. And don’t forget to enjoy the journey!

For those of you who are long-time members of the industry, I know that you still get excited about the accumulation and ablation of ideas. Enter your office each day motivated and ready to take it to the next level in 2016.

Your marching orders this week no matter where you are in the process?

Be like an iceberg and rise above the surface to success!

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