Dan Boyce Offers Insight Ted Talk-Style

Contributed by: Center for Financial Planning, Inc. The Center

Dan Boyce, founding partner of Center for Financial Planning, has a passion for doing things the right way. And often doing things the right way comes down to doing them in the right order, he told the audience at the Raymond James National Conference. He was asked to deliver an insightful Ted Talk-style speech of things he’d learned in his 28 years with Raymond James. For instance, is it a successful business that makes for a successful life or does living a successful life open the doors for a more successful business? In the late 1980s, when Dan had been in the business about eight years, he met a fellow advisor who managed to take three months off each summer to spend time traveling or camping with his wife and kids. It was then Dan decided he would design the kind of business strong enough to serve him, instead of him simply serving the business. So he planned ahead to make it a possibility – and determined that there were three principles to get him from where he was to where he wanted to be.

Dan’s Key Takeaways: 3 Principles to Help You Succeed in Life (and in Business)

1. Strive to grow; strive to know.

Seek and embrace honest feedback – Dan sets aside two hours a week to meet with his partners and have honest discussions. Their commitments to each other are inviolate and as important as their commitments to their clients.

Develop intellectual curiosity – At one time, Dan hired the wrong people. He now realizes his staff must be as curious about best practices, best research, best ways to do things as he is, and he won’t hire them unless they demonstrate that curiosity.

Become a better person – It is the only way to become a better advisor. Reflect each day to see if you lived up to your values or fell short. Study your experience – it can lead you to be better.

2. Focus on the inputs – don’t focus on success as a goal, focus on the behaviors, attitudes that make for success.

Dan is a big-picture guy. He realized 15 years ago that he wanted a team that gelled in order to generate growth, so he put in writing how he would approach professional development – from support staff to partner. He oriented incentive compensation around behaviors that lead to outcomes – not simply the outcomes themselves. And he began tracking the activities that drove results – e.g., public speaking, contact with centers of influence, client contacts, print exposure and social media. His team also tracked outcomes such as new clients, added revenue and greater profits, but incentivized based on the activities – they focused on the inputs.

3. Be yourself and be true to yourself – be awake to feelings, talents, strengths and weaknesses – know what you want and who you are.

Dan believes it is very important to be true to yourself – to know your core values and to act on them. He encouraged the audience to take the values of “have,” “do,” “be” and turn them around to “be,” “do,” “have.” Determine who you want to be. Then figure out what you need to do. Then decide what you can have.