Thursday, October 1, 2009

Your strengths and your finances

Stengthsfinder Ronny and I have been spending some time over the last year thinking about the Clifton Strengths Finder assessment and its applicability to personal financial success. We had the opportunity to take part in a 3 day Strengths Performance Coaching seminar here at Gallup and we were really immersed in the psychology of strengths and how they interact together. Typically, strengths coaching centers around helping an individual understand their talents and how they can leverage those talents to be successful with goal setting and in team interactions. But what if we took it a few steps further, what if the coaching went from personal goal setting to financial goal setting to full blown financial coaching?

Let’s face it guys, the traditional format of banking is broken. A bank is the only business on earth where the customer is truly intimidated by the service provider – well maybe the auto mechanic is another. What would happen if the loan officer at the bank was a coach? What if rather than trying to hide the requirements for approval with smoke and mirrors like the Wizard of Oz, loan officers coached members on the underwriting process and helped them make good decisions with their borrowing?

Those of you who have had the opportunity to take part in the Strengths Finder assessment know about the power of understanding your talents. Here at Gallup we get to think about talent every day and really get to put our knowledge of strengths and team interaction to work – that’s part of what makes this such a great place to work! What I have been meditating on for the last several months is what would a financial institution based on strengths and a coaching spirit look like? How could it impact the way people feel about personal finance? How engaged would those members be?

How much more successful would your savings pilgrimage be if you really understood your talents and realized the power of your strengths with your finances? financial_freedom

Living life through the lens of your strengths and talents will change your perspective – ask one of the 3 million people that are armed with the knowledge. For most people, thinking about their bank account is a struggle, saving is a tall mountain and planning for the future is as uncertain as the lottery. Finding out what your talents are and then working with a coach to kick butt on the things you struggle with will change your life. Take that thought and put it in the realm of your finances… I am already getting excited.

We are going to run with this idea, we believe that relationships matter and that by helping you succeed we are helping our business succeed. There is a certain intangible piece to this business, people still value community and integrity. People want more than a secure spot to park a few dollars and you know what, they deserve more! Think about your talents this week – I would love some feedback on how you think you could apply your strengths to your savings pilgrimage.

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