Three ways to change the (financial services) world

By Noreen Mejias-Bennett | January 24, 2012 | Last updated on January 24, 2012
2 min read

Our economy has become dysfunctional.

Many experts have suggested the solution to our global economic crisis is to grow our way out of it. As Mark Carney said in a December 2011 speech, “The most palatable strategy to reduce debt is to increase growth. However, in today’s reality, the hurdles are significant. … There are no effective mechanisms that can produce the needed adjustment in the short term.”

Carney is right. While growth is the way out, it won’t happen if things stay the same. To change the status quo, we have to let go of our current mindsets. This applies to our economy, and it applies to women in leadership.

Yet people are scared of facing the truth. Here are three mindsets we need to change:

1. We must stop having only the money conversation with clients. When I would talk to clients about what is meaningful, it was never just about the money: everything is deeply interconnected. Find out what really matters – be it their children, their volunteer work, or their careers – and how you fit into making their passions possible financially.

2. We are all starved for genuine, authentic conversations with another human being, and that includes your clients. They want to connect with you on more than just a superficial level. Yet you cannot change the conversation you have with another person until you change the conversation you have with yourself. When was the last time you asked, “Why am I here? What motivates me to engage in this process and define myself this way?”

3. Business as usual is not a viable proposition. It is imperative to reach beyond the familiar. Ask yourself, “How much of what I am doing is by choice, and how much has been shaped by the expectations of others? How much of my life is propelled by habit? Am I choosing this life because it lights me up? Or because I don’t know how else to choose?”

Louise LeBrun, founder of the WEL-Systems® Institute, says women are uniquely placed to change these mindsets. “We move through the world with a much greater attentiveness to connection and interconnection – we must engage that fully, to create successful business that nourish the soul.”

To ensure women in the business do not get disillusioned and frustrated, we all need to make space for new ways of thinking to enter the conversation. And if we are truly honest with ourselves, and find the courage to use our collective voice to push for change – as opposed to feeling like victims at the mercy of the system – we are tremendously powerful.

Noreen Mejias-Bennett was a wealth advisor for over 25 years. She is now a speaker and Affiliate of the WEL-Systems® Institute and offers leadership program experiences, emerging futures conversations and retreats for women advisors.

Noreen Mejias-Bennett