What drives leaders in the financial services industry? Eain Johnson

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The British financial services industry is huge: as the eighth-largest in the OECD and with over a million jobs in it, it’s vital for the UK’s continued success. With high-stakes operations in all parts of the country, meanwhile, values-driven leadership built on strength and perseverance is clearly what keeps it moving forward. But what exactly is it that drives the CEOs, directors and partners in this industry, and what gives them the attitude they need to build on their success? Is it the chance to craft innovation in a changing environment? Or is it something more tangible, such as salary packages? This blog post will delve into these issues.

Creation of change

Financial services institutions are dynamic places that, in general, respond well to change. Just recently, for example, it was announced that major bank Morgan Stanley planned to offer a Bitcoin derivative product, and it now employs a head of digital assets to drive this kind of change. For a financial services leader, this sort of opportunity is exciting and innovative – and it’s a chance to leave a lasting legacy. Different leaders approach it differently, but to most there’s an element of problem-solving involved: in the Bitcoin example, banks will need to work out how to navigate the regulatory challenges while also ensuring that the organisation’s own assets are protected in the event of a Bitcoin crash or price bubble burst. As a leader, this kind of challenge is one to be relished rather than resented.

The internet is also driving this kind of change. It’s now possible to learn forex trading with forextraders.com, and a number of industry leaders are using this kind of technology to both build on their abilities and to diversify their skills. With the internet predicted to offer more and more opportunities like this, it’s likely to only get more and more common as time goes on.

Salary and remuneration

It would be remiss, however, not to look at the financial side of the equation – especially given financial services firms tend to offer some of the highest salaries to their leaders. Most people are aware that high salaries are on offer in many sub-sectors of the corporate financial services industry: starting salaries in investment banking tend to be well above the national average, and it’s well-known that bonuses are a fact of life in the industry. It’s clear, then, that this forms part of the leadership incentive.

What exactly do these salaries look like? In Britain, the average starting salary for an investment banker can be close to £50,000. A trader with experience, meanwhile, can earn upwards of £150,000. However, for those who are on a leadership trajectory, the picture changes dramatically. The CEO of a major British bank, for example, can expect a salary of around £5m. It’s obvious, then, that there’s a real economic dimension to the role. For most leaders, the long hours and significant responsibility mean that a high salary is necessary. However, it’s also not the only incentive – and the fact that many financial leaders also derive satisfaction from other tasks such as management shows that the picture is complex.

Personnel management

For many leaders, the opportunity to manage teams is also part of the incentive. The financial services industry in Britain employs lots of people, and teams tend to be quite large. It’s a big reason why leaders often gravitate towards financial services in the first place. Other sectors, such in the start-up world, don’t have the same sorts of opportunities to manage and lead so many people.

The sorts of tasks that leaders perform in financial services can vary. For some, their role is to inspire. By leading the way on innovations such as new products or computerised trading, they have the power to direct entire teams one particular way and leave a lasting legacy for their organisation. Other leaders focus on day-to-day human resources tasks. The appointment of partners and directors, for example, can be exciting and rewarding.

The financial services industry, then, is a popular one for many reasons. Leaders in this sector are often driven by the chance to create change, especially in the excitement of the internet age. High salaries and remuneration packages are also appealing, while the opportunity to manage large and determined teams is also a benefit – and with the industry now adding nearly £120bn to the UK’s GDP every single year, it’s clear that these opportunities for leadership are only going to grow in the coming years.

Work-Life Balance: How 5 Simple Goal Setting Tips Helped Me Succeed – Richard Schwartz

mickyates Best Practice, Business, Career, Inspiration, Leader, leadership, Personal development Leave a Comment

The elusive work-life balance everybody seeks represents a challenging process we have to go through if we genuinelywant to succeed. After working for many years at full power, I came to realize that my personal life and my health were paying too big of a price. When realizing I had to find this havenwe call “work-life” balance, I also realized I needed a plan. As a project manager, I know very well that any plan begins with setting the goals…

Life Goals are just as crucialas Job Goals

At work, we all know (or should, at least) what we have to do. We seewhat goals we want to achieve, in what timeframe, with what resources, and so on. But how about life? According to statistics, the U.S. is among the countries with the lowest score of work-life balance in the world.

For me, this means that most people endanger their health, personal lives, spirituality, and mental balance because they are too busy to work.

While we cannot ask companies, businesses, and corporations to change the way they encourage employees to achieve this balance, we can stand for ourselves and try making things better – without giving up on our careers also.

Making a Plan and Sticking to It

Other people may find different, more personal ways of making changes to achieve life-work balance. Since I am a goal-getter and a plan-maker, I took this challenge on the next level: set goals and implementedthe project of my life just as I would performa task in the company. Here is the path I took!

1. Your Goal Should Be SMART

All goals should be SMART, either at work or in life. To coin a SMART goal, take out a pen and a paper and write things down:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

There is a trick in this entire goal-setting process, andthat is the following: what does work-life balance mean for you? The general definition states that it represents time equally spent with your job and with your personal life (family, hobbies, spirituality, rest, etc.).

However, for many, work-life balance goes beyond somehours distributed evenly between work and home. If you are like myself, I quantify work-life balance more regardingpersonal experiences and hobbies.

My view of work-life balance means to travelmore, have new experiences in new places (time is of the essence, of course, just as is money), and enjoy free time to spend any way that I like (in bed with a book for instance).

  • When you understand what work-life balance means, you will have an easier time setting a SMART goal.Admittedly, we would all love to be astronauts, but such a goalmay be less achievable than spending one month per year traveling all over the place.
  • Be honest and realistic when you evaluate a goal on the SMART scale. Otherwise,you are on the road to frustration.

2. Set a Goal that keeps you True to Yourself

If you happen to feel unhappy, frustrated, or anxious, even thoughyou seemingly live the best of your personal stories, you are probably lying to yourself, andyou deal with cognitive dissonance every day.

  • In other words, you might want to stop and take an honest look deep down inside: are you on your right path? Is your work as satisfactory as you make it be? Is this your declared goal that keeps you going?

Offering an honest answer to these questions may put you on the right track. The first rule of goal setting, in any circumstance, is to create a goal that motivates you. Evidently, at some point in life, you planned to learn a foreign language, but you cannot say hello yet using it. Itis partlybecause you did not feel a strong enough motivation to learn it.

  • My “true to myself” life goal is to see and know the world. Nevertheless, the job was always my top burden. The moment I realized I had a goal that could motivate me, I knew I was doing things right.
  • To“test” the motivational level of a goal, ask yourself this: is this something I “must” do, orI will be miserable for the rest of my life? Alternatively, share your goal with the people in your circle of trust – can you explain them your purposeso passionately you could convince them to follow the same purposethemselves?

Work-life balance and goal achievements both require your full commitment, your amplemotivation, and your entire energy. There is always a sense of urgency toa life goal and a personal engine driving you towards your destination.

3. Break the Goal into Smaller Ones

Itis an excellent exercise you can use every day at work and in life, so practice it, as it is useful.

My goal is: Take a vacation for one month each year to travel, rest, and have fun.

Good. What does it take to get there?

  • I will need money.
  • I will also need to arrange things at work, somy absence does not disturb the company, my colleagues, the on-going projects, and so on.
  • I will need to find a good host for my pet while I am away, and so on.

You can learn how to break the big goal into smaller, equally achievable and reasonable steps, put each of them through the SMART grinder, adapt them, change them, and cross them off your list as you solve them. The sense of accomplishment is priceless.

4. Use some Tools to make things Happen

When put in writing some things get a life of their own, they become real. When it comes to turning wishes and dreams into achievable goals, you need to use the tools you usually put to work at your job.

  • Use positive words, numbers, dates, and figures. For example, I will save $250 a month for 12 months to have $3000 next year when I leave for my yearly holidays.
  • Use calendars to set dates and write down time-bound to do lists;
  • Use dedicated goal setting worksheet examples and templates, as they are godsend for those not used to work with project planning and managing on a daily basis;
  • Use forms and sheets to track your smaller goals as you achieve them, etc.

We are familiar with using tools since the dawn of time. Anything that works for you works for your goal as well. Just do not forget to return to your pages on digital sheets every time your smaller goals need adjusting or when unforeseen events seem to represent an obstacle towards the destination.

5. Stick to the Plan

Itis probably the hardest part but remember that you chose a goal that motivates you and gives you energy only when you think about it. Setting goals and sticking to them works as well in life as in the workplace. If your work-life balance means getting some extra hours to spend with your family in the evening, go back to step 2, break down everything in the smallest of pieces, write things down, create a board if you like, and keep on taking those steps no matter how exhausting it feels.

At the end of this quest, you willreach your goal, andyou will achieve the balance that we all so need.