Sarin and Lumina attended the LPL Focus Conference in San Diego in August. Focus is LPL’s annual flagship conference for their over 20,000 advisor network, staff and executive leadership. There were about 9,000 LPL advisors in attendance! It’s a lot of brains converging in one place to solve problems and expand.
Not everyone has time to fly to San Diego and sit through Keynote Speakers and three days of presentations so we packed up four take-aways for you in a to-go box! If you have been looking for some inspiration for life lately – this blog post is especially for you!
We chose four speakers from the conference, with an overarching theme of how to get the energy to attempt new things that haven’t been done before. Here are four take-aways:
1. Nicole Malachowski - Colonel (USAF, Retired), first woman Thunderbirds pilot & Keynote Speaker
We kicked off Focus with Nicole Malachowski, a trailblazer who succeeded in a traditionally male-dominated career field - the world of the fighter pilot. She defies stereotypes as a leader, combat veteran, first woman Thunderbirds Air Demonstration Squadron pilot, White House fellow, and an inductee into the National Women’s Hall of Fame and the Women in Aviation International Pioneer Hall of Fame.
Nicole asked us: “Have you ever had a dream or goal, so big, so gnarly, that the idea of speaking it out loud gave you a knot in your stomach? A dream so big that the voice in your head said ‘That dream is too big for you.’”
Her dream was to become a fighter pilot but there was a narrative in her head: Other people become Thunderbird Pilots Nicole, not you.
It’s hard to be a Thunderbird.
You know Nicole you probably won’t get picked.
They’ve never had a woman Thunderbird Pilot before.
What was coming out was the unconscious bias, and other people’s expectations about what she should or shouldn’t be doing. But then she thought, “Why not me?”
She went on to explain exactly what it took to be a woman vanguard and break tradition.Everyone faces barriers, both personal and professional, that may appear to place limits on what’s possible. When people pursue only what is expected, accept cultural norms that hold them back, and view barriers that appear unsurmountable, their personal and professional lives become limited—scripted. Nicole inspired us with this message rooted in her personal mantra – “Nobody wants to live ascripted life.”
With this change in mindset, she became a powerful trailblazer herself: one of the first women to fly a modern-day fighter aircraft, the very first woman to fly with the Air Force Thunderbird aerial demonstration team, and she was inducted into the Women in Aviation International Pioneer Hall of Fame. As uncomfortable and risky as stretching the limits of yourself and your surroundings might be, Nicole explained that there is no reason to allow that to dictate your goals and aspirations. And reminded us to not let others draw our boundaries.
Take-away: Sometimes change has to happen in your own mind to take you to the next level. Great accomplishments involve breaking barriers. Define your own possibilities and overcome self-doubt.
2. Erik Wahl - Entrepreneur, Artist, Keynote Speaker
Erik Wahl is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, best-selling author and graffiti artist. Wahl has also been described as the Picasso of Productivity, the Warhol of Wall Street and the Renoir of ROI.
He began by asking – “What is a creative idea worth?”
Using on-stage painting as a visual story for his core message, he inspires organizations to increase profitability through innovation and superior levels of performance.
Erik’s challenged us to take back the creativity we so naturally had as children and allow ourselves to think outside of the box (even in a highly regulated industry). He inspired us to make time and space for our creative selves. We are committing to more reading, reflection and question asking as we evolve the future of SMB.
Take-away: Invest in ideas that disrupt the status quo because creative ideas have high ROI. How are you creating space for your brain to reflect and invent?
3. Dan Arnold – CEO of LPL Financial
It’s not every day that we have a chance to sit with a Fortune 500 CEO and hear his perspectives on how the Financial Services industry is evolving and where opportunities lie. We enjoyed listening to him describe how LPL is focusing and investing in the advisor experience, so that advisors can be better dream makers for their clients. He described how LPL has invested over $400 million this year alone, in new technology and services that help us deliver more value and to help us be the best dream maker for our clients today and for the next 20 years. That investment in technology in LPL platforms is being felt as LPL evolves and helps SMB serve clients faster, more efficiently and with more ease. We want you to feel that impact in your client experience with us.
A touching point Dan made was focusing on supporting LPL advisors like us, who are the secret sauce because of our unique and personal relationships with clients. That relationship built through time spent truly listening is what makes the most difference for clients. Then he asked, how can LPL do the same thing for their advisors and truly listen and support their life goals? He asked, “Who has your back while your being the backstop and support for so many? I hope you all agree that’s a really important question to explore. While you are helping others achieve their goals and dreams, how can we we help you achieve your own goals and dreams?” Hearing LPL commit to listening and making advisors lives better through support, technology platforms and listening to feedback was exciting. The future is very bright for the SMB and LPL partnership. We know that when people are supported they thrive, it’s important to be part of a culture where that is a core value.
Take-away: It takes support to thrive and LPL is committed to investing in and evolving their level of support for SMB to be even better dream makers for their clients.
4. Sarin Barsoumian – “Unlocking The Value of My 3rd-Party Tech Stack and Client Works” breakout session
Sarin was invited to be a panelist for the “Unlocking The Value of My 3rd-Party Tech Stack and Client Works” breakout session at Focus. She shared valuable insights about the the core technology we use in our day-to-day work at SMB and how it has created efficiencies and elevated the client experience. Sarin discussed core technologies such as AdvicePay which allows digital billing and payment, Holistiplan for tax planning, and Wealthbox for Client Relationship Management and to create efficient workflows for the team.
Sarin noted how valuable it is for a leader to take the information from her brain and document it. By utilizing workflows the SMB team is able create a better client journey and experience. During this bearkout session, Sarin shared her experience of over 18 years and taught other advisors how to utilize new technologies to stay on the cutting edge and improve processes.
At Focus there is a large expo where we watched presentations of new financial services technologies being offered. At the expo, we learned about Precise FP and we have implemented it! PreciseFP is a program that digitizes the paperwork necessary for client onboarding and client meeting preparation so that they are both secure and easier to navigate for the client. We hope you will enjoy this updated and streamlined process!
Take-away: SMB uses cutting edge technology to improve your client experience and be dream makers!
That is all four diamonds we picked up at the Focus conference (okay, there were more than that, but this blog would be way too long if we did more than four). Which takeaway was most impactful for you?
Take-away 1: Sometimes change has to happen in your own mind to take you to the next level. Great accomplishments involve breaking barriers. Define your own possibilities and overcome self-doubt.
Take-away 2: Invest in ideas that disrupt the status quo because creative ideas have high ROI. How are you creating space for your brain to reflect and invent?
Take-away 3: It takes support to thrive and LPL is committed to investing in and evolving their level of support for SMB to be even better dream makers for their clients.
Take-away 4: SMB uses cutting edge technology to improve your client experience and be dream makers!