In a Nutshell: New CEOs, like my previous guest, Mary Beth Storjohann of Abacus Wealth Partners, have to decide what kind of impact they want to make in the near term so that they can take real ownership of the CEO role. Achieving longevity challenges the CEO to adapt that vision and develop new skillsets that will scale up along with the company.

Guest: Scott Hanson Co-Founder and Senior Partner, CFP® of Allworth Financial. Since 1993, Scott and his partner, Pat McClain, have grown the company from $10 million in AUM to $15 billion in AUM, serving 15,000 families. 

My Key Takeaways:

  1. Give yourself and your company room to grow. Your personal and professional priorities when you start out as CEO might be very different than your priorities after five or 10 years in the job.
  2. Identify inflection points. Scott knew his business reached an inflection point when complexity became a limiting factor in growth. At that point, (actually happened multiple times on the path to $15 billion in AUM) he knew he had to change thing because “what got you here won’t get you there.”
  3. “What can I do to help the company?”  Scott says that his commitment to answering this question over and over again is how he grew from an “accidental CEO” into the leader of a multibillion-dollar AUM business.

Also Learn:

  1. How Scott prioritizes his company’s myriad systems and best practices based on the needs of the core business.
  2. The decision-making process that led Scott to pursue outside capital when the company was already managing $2.5 billion in AUM.
  3. How Scott has worked successfully with a partner for nearly 30 years and how they divide key responsibilities.
  4. Why Scott started thinking about Allworth as a “hundred-year company.”
  5. What a $15 billion AUM firm looks like on the inside, including c-suite roles, meeting rhythms, and how Scott manages his relationship with the board.

Complementary podcast: In the first episode in this series on CEO Excellence, Scott Keller and Vik Malhotra of McKinsey & Company discussed their new book on the mindset that separates high-performing CEOs from the rest of the pack. Listen/read here.