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Can You Articulate Why You and Your Team Exist?

  • By Andrea Schlapia
  • |
  • March 1, 2016
Can You Articulate Why You and Your Team Exist?

Advisors, how many times have you heard that clients don’t really understand the value you provide?

I hear this concern on a continual basis from advisory teams. They don’t believe their client base really understands the full spectrum of what is being done for them and the level of expertise they have at their disposal.

My reply? “What have you done to help bring clarity to your clients about your why, how and what story”? Most often I either hear crickets on the other end of the telephone or get a blank stare with a slight gaping mouth.

In Simon Sinek’s book, “Start with Why” he shares that to inspire others you must start with your passion, your reason for getting out of bed in the morning and why that should matter to anyone else. “When you communicate your purpose or cause first, you communicate in a way that drives decision-making and behavior. It literally taps the part of the brain that inspires behavior.”

In his famous TED talk as seen below, Sinek succinctly outlines the key elements of his powerful philosophy.

This clarity creates a cultural shift throughout the business from the top down; to each team member, every product and service, every piece of marketing and every experience and interaction you have within your network.

To define and develop your “why”, consider these examples:


  • To live with intention
  • To honor relationships
  • To respect our collective stewardship
  • To nurture dreams and aspirations for future
  • To be the catalyst for positive change
  • To impact both professional and personal lives
  • To care for our exclusive family of clients


  • Act as an external change agent providing a critical eye towards measurement, analysis, and improvement
  • Define a clear path for others by helping people be prepared with a plan to navigate life’s inevitable ebbs and flows
  • Put our clients’ interests first in all situations and honoring the fiduciary standard of care
  • Serve as your trusted advisor to you and your family for decades and generations not just calendar years


  • Wealth Management
  • Investment Management
  • Financial Planning
  • Flexible Retirement Strategies
What’s Next?

Take action. Come together as a team to have valuable dialogue and collaborate about your why, how and what. Look from the outside in from a client perspective and develop your cultural story that is beyond a bullet point or elevator speech.

Once you have the clarity around your advisory firm’s passions, you’ll inspire your prospects, clients and centers of influence. And those become the champions of your cause, all by sharing your why.

Need help getting your advisory firm moving in the right direction or capturing your why? Drop us a line.

Image via The Military Leader

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Author Bio

Andrea Schlapia, RCC™, HCS, sHRBP, is the Founder and CEO of Ironstone, which represents the culmination of her 20+ year career within the financial services industry. Her experience began as a financial advisor evolving into a consultant coach for advisors entering the field. This ignited her passion to support others through learning and development of best practices in order to achieve substantial results. To this end, she followed her desire into positions of senior-level practice management specialists for Dreyfus, Prudential, and DWS Investments prior to the realization of Ironstone.  Andrea’s focus is on practice management strategies to enhance and improve both business and personal life. Andrea identifies 4 key performance areas known as the Fundamental 4™, which are required to design, develop, and sustain a successful business. Through coaching sessions and speaking engagements, she captivates her audience with interactive, high-energy presentations which are built with “how-to” strategies resulting in real-world implementation for significant impact. Andrea has been featured in multiple publications and audio broadcasts as a specialist and distinguished spokeswoman in the financial industry.