Always Room to Improve

Always Room to Improve

One of the great motivators of our time is Mike Krzyzewski, head men’s basketball coach at Duke University. Not only is he a great tactician, but he also teaches his players and assistant coaches many life lessons. Recently, I stumbled on a repeat episode of his Sirius XM radio show. His comments made me think.  

At the time of the recording, the Blue Devils had just come off a three-game losing streak – a losing streak is unheard of with Duke Basketball. But, Coach K remained positive. He pointed out how they still had a lot going for them: 

  • His teams had more national championships than losing streaks 
  • All three losses were by one possession, and not all of them were the last possession
  • They had great players, and his staff was excellent

Though most coaches wouldn’t be able to eat during a losing streak like this, he really didn’t have anything to complain about. 

So, instead of being down and angry with his team (as many coaches would have been), he encouraged the assistant coaches to think about some little area where they could improve, then use that improvement to better the team. “There is always somewhere to improve,” Coach K emphasized. He challenged everyone to look at their body of work and find a spot where they could get better – even in the slightest way. 

Improving Your Practice

Using Coach K’s methodology, we always have room to improve as financial professionals. In the coming months, the fiduciary standard will force us to look at our business differently. We will all have to look at ourselves and ask the same question: “Where can I improve?”  

Best interest standards will mean that we must look at things we might not have considered in the past, or collaborate with other professionals who possess the expertise to fulfill a client need. At the end of the day, we are fortunate to be in this business. Just like Coach K’s teams had more success than not, there are so many positives to the financial services profession. 

In the same light, there will always be room for us to improve. I’m looking forward to looking in the mirror and improving with the fiduciary standards.  


Bottom Line

There is always room for improvement. Coach K turned a perceived negative into a positive for his team. Use the pending fiduciary standards to make improvements in your business and enhance the client experience.  

About the Author

Mike McGlothlin is the Executive Vice President of Annuities at Ash Brokerage. His strength is helping advisors become more efficient and effective in their businesses. He and his team provide income-planning solutions focused on longevity and tax efficiency, and they also assist advisors with entering defined-benefit termination planning and structured settlement markets.