Since 2014, I’ve published 678 podcasts and the vast majority were interview shows. In 2022, I published 45 shows. Here are 10 ideas from my top podcasts of 2022 that particularly resonated with me and my audience (in chronological order).

1. Create a “path to partnership” for your team members who want to be on that track with Lisa Salvi.

If you have a top team, they want to know what their potential career path looks like. They want to know what criteria you’re using to determine promotions and pay raises. And if they’re talented and ambitious, they’ll step up to the expectations you have of them.

By contrast, if your team is not asking for this information, that means you’ve either already shared this info with them or you have the wrong team. Why the wrong team? Because they’d rather “act their wage” than focus on going above and beyond to get promoted.

And while putting this career planning roadmap in place may not be why you became an advisor, it’s critical if you want to attract and retain top talent.

Lisa Salvi, Managing Director, Advisor Services at Charles Schwab, discussed the importance of career pathing and how it fits into an overall employee value proposition in my Barron’s Advisor podcast with her.

This is a popular topic with my coaching clients as we frequently discuss staffing and comp issues. For advisor roles, I developed a “Financial Advisor Career Path to Partnership” roadmap that shows 5 levels from Paraplanner to Partner and the education, experience, responsibilities, expectations, and compensation at each level.

Download my Financial Advisor Career Path to Partnership roadmap for free here.

2. Decode your emotions to drive top level performance with Denise Shull.

“Control your emotions” is terrible advice. Emotions contain information, and if you try to override that information by controlling it or ignoring it, you miss out on interpreting your lifetime’s worth of accumulated wisdom.

Performance coach Denise Shull says we need to “feel the feeling,” put the feelings into words, and then try to sort out whether the feeling is coming from unresolved psychology, relevant intuition, or just incidental noise.

One of her key questions she asks clients to answer is, “What am I feeling and why am I feeling it?”

As Victoria Song said to me in an earlier podcast, “If you don’t feel your emotions, then the energy patterns get stuck and metastasize, creating dis-ease in the body, which becomes disease.” In a similar vein, Denise said, “If you suppress and don’t want to feel it, sooner or later you’re going to act it out. Period.”

Digging into the realm of emotions is uncomfortable for many of us. But a key to unlocking high performance and more effective decision making is to feel your feelings, discern, define, and process them, and then move forward based on the meaningful information those emotions are signaling to you.

Trying to make better “sense” of my emotions is one reason why “sense” is one of my 3 words for 2023.

3. What separates the excellent CEOs from the average CEOs is the MINDSET that the excellent CEOs bring to bear on their six key responsibilities with Scott Keller and Vik Malhotra.

Few organizations are better known as “CEO factories” than McKinsey & Company. So I was excited to interview McKinsey execs Scott Keller and Vik Malhotra, two of the three authors of the new book CEO Excellence.

Through their research, they identified the 6 key roles of the CEO, but more importantly, they discovered that the difference between the excellent and the average CEO is the mindset they bring to each role.

Specifically, the authors identified a key mindset that was associated with each of the six responsibilities.

 Key CEO Responsibility Associated Mindset
1.     Set the Direction Be Bold
2.     Align the Organization Treat the Soft Stuff as the Hard Stuff
3.     Mobilize Through Leaders Solve for the Team’s Psychology
4.     Engage the Board Help Directors Help the Business
5.     Connect with Stakeholders Start with “Why?”
6.     Manage Personal Effectiveness Do What Only You Can Do

In my 30 years of experience leading companies and coaching advisors, it’s clear that very few people are wired to succeed in the CEO role. You can’t “part time it” and expect to be successful. Even the most successful CEOs, whether in the financial advisory space or corporate America, all struggled at various points in their time in the C-suite.

As you work on growing your company and expanding your leadership team, make sure you’re clear on who has not just the skills to be a C-suite leader, but also the mindset and the DESIRE to fill that role.

I did a series of podcasts on the CEO role in advisory firms in 2022. For a good summary of each, click here.

4. Growth comes in spurts and you gotta be ready for them with Scott Hanson.

Every firm owner reaches a point where the business starts to get complicated and you must decide if you want to “hang out” at your current size or if you want to reconfigure and prepare yourself for another growth spurt. (Side note, you can never just “hang out.” Your business will atrophy and you’ll slide headfirst into mediocrity.)

Typically, these key decision points happen at every 3x and 10x of your business.

For example, at $350,000 in revenue, it’s just you and it’s simple. At $1 million in revenue, you need a couple employees, and it gets a little complicated. At $3 million, you need a new tech stack. At $10 million, you have 25 employees and need a senior leadership team, and so on.

Unfortunately, what got you to your first million in revenue will not likely get you to $10 or $20 million in revenue. You have to keep reinventing yourself and the company.

Top advisor Scott Hanson is a great example. He started in the early 1990s offering retirement seminars to Pac Bell employees. His next growth spurt happened when they opened new offices outside their Northern California base and grew to $2.5 billion in AUM. Realizing opening offices from scratch was a grind, he sold a piece of the company and started acquiring other advisory firms. Today, he’s at $15 billion in AUM and sees a clear path to $50 billion.

The point is, to jump to a new curve of growth, you need a new growth accelerator. Listen to my podcast with Scott Hanson for details on how he did it.

5. More women and diverse team members are very good for business with Julia Boorstin.

I asked CNBC tech reporter Julia Boorstin how women lead differently than men. She shared two key areas.

First, women tend to be more communal leaders than top-down dictators. Communal leaders try to gather as much data as possible from people all over the organization. They believe that the closer to the customer that the information is coming from, the more valuable it will be. And they believe that a great solution, a great idea, could come from anywhere.

Second, women tend to be more adaptable and open to new opportunities as they arise. They don’t have any ego tied up in doing business as usual. They can pivot quickly and efficiently. And companies that have a high adaptability quotient also tend to be okay with failure because they understand that if you’re going to adapt and try something new, there may be a quick failure, but you can use that information and data to pivot to a greater success down the road. As Julia said, “I think all of this stuff comes back to humility and a willingness to follow the data and to listen to diverse perspectives.”

And speaking of diverse perspectives, Julia added,

Invest in diversity. I think there’s this myth that diversity is a philanthropic thing and we should give women a chance in business because that would be a nice thing to do. That’s not the case at all. It is better for business and the data says so, and we need to change the conversation around diversity to understand this isn’t about philanthropy. This is about dollars and cents.

For the full episode with Julia Boorstin, click here.

6. Take your client experience to a new level by fostering client communities with Carrie Melissa Jones.

Financial advising is a relationship business. Yep, we all get that. But most advisors focus on 1 to 1 relationship building and completely neglect the relationship power and scalability of building “client communities.”

Creating communities with and among your clients—and your team—is one of the most underrated ways to create a moat around your business.

Communities have four main characteristics.

  1. Membership: there’s a clear sense of belonging, boundaries of who’s in and who’s not, and group identification.
  2. Influence: each group member is impacted by the group and can impact others in the group.
  3. Integration & Fulfillment of Needs: there’s an alignment between what the member “needs” from being part of the community and how the community is designed to meet those needs.
  4. Shared Emotional Connection: community members value the shared history and continuity of the community as the members go on the journey together.

There is a process and framework for building communities and you can learn it from Carrie’s book, Building Brand Communities and listening to my podcast with her.

7. Get committed to improving your and your clients’ relationship to money with Lynne Twist.

My podcast with Lynne Twist is one of my all-time favorites. She’s the author of The Soul of Money (I HIGHLY recommend this book for advisors and clients) and her newest book, Living a Committed Life.

I’ll cut to the chase. Almost all of us have a dysfunctional relationship with money—me included. My wife and kids can share ridiculous stories about me and money and while I’d like to blame my parents, I have to own up to my role. Today, my relationship with money is much better and I attribute part of that to what I learned from Lynne when I read The Soul of Money nearly two decades ago.

At a high level, Lynne talks about our unconscious, unexamined mindset or belief system around money. She describes three toxic myths: 1) there’s not enough, 2) more is better and 3) that’s just the way it is and there’s nothing we can do about it.

What’s really crystallized for me over the years is to get away from a mindset of “I can never save enough” to one where I can (relatively) freely spend now and have the confidence to know that even if I haven’t saved “enough,” I will always be in a state of sufficiency.

I encourage you to listen to my podcast with Lynne and read my article, Can You Ever Have Enough?, based our conversation.

8. Find your specific path—not a cookie-cutter approach—to overcoming your darkest moments with Jess Bost.

Jess Bost was in a “dark night of the soul” due to personal trauma. She shared with me, in raw, real terms, her journey of personal and professional self-discovery that brought her to a place of strength where she now coaches others who want to make major life changes and plan for a successful future.

CrossFit and positive psychology figure prominently in her story, but there’s no one predefined path that will lead us through the challenges and heartbreaks that we all face in life. Often times the best that we can do is learn to accept and explore our emotions while remaining open to the opportunities in front of us. That willingness to explore and grow can help us heal, and help us redefine who we are going forward.

Jess said,

Something inside of me was like, girl, you gotta fight. Like you have to fight. You have to make it through this. Whatever this dark void is, we’ve gotta figure out a way through. And the way through that was to start learning my own strength.

I can’t thank Jess enough for what she shared. You’ll really appreciate the depth of this episode.

9. Master the skills of storytelling and story listening to explore the full range of human connection with Dr. Preston Cherry.

How well do you really know your clients?

Not just their kids’ names, their hobbies, and whether they like red or white wine. I’m talking about how well do you know what makes them tick?

Do you understand what’s driving them to react the way they do when the markets are soaring or tanking?

Do you know their hopes, dreams, and aspirations for themselves and their loved ones?

Do you know what and who is influencing their financial decision-making?

Do you know the stories living in their heads that are holding them back from living a more fulfilled life?

Having a bank of the “50 best questions for financial advisors to ask clients” is nice, but that’s also just table stakes. If you can’t go beyond the interrogator level to a richer level of sharing, transparency, and vulnerability, you’re missing the boat.

When you become a master storyteller and engage your clients in the story, they see themselves in the story and all sorts of new possibilities open. And when you master story listening, your clients feel heard—which is a longing we all have.

Dr. Preston Cherry and I dive into the intricacies of storytelling and story listening in my Barron’s Advisor podcast.

10. Invest your money to create the future you want to live in with Rachel Robasciotti.

A few years ago, I attended Anthony Scaramucci’s SALT conference and heard Lynn Forester de Rothschild speak.

She related a story about attending a town hall meeting for a large insurance company, and during the meeting, a 30-year-old woman stood up and said, “I want you to invest my money in a way that creates the world I want to retire into.”

Now, that idea has stuck with me ever since and what I heard from my Barron’s Advisor podcast guest, Rachel Robasciotti, the Founder and CEO of Adasina Social Capital, is this idea that everything is connected, that we have to expand the definition of what it means to invest to include not just the ROI, but what I’ll call the ROL, the Return on Life.

So, ask yourself, how does the way you invest affect or create the kind of world you want to live in or the kind of world you want to leave to your kids and grandkids?

How you invest can shape the world you want to see and Rachel and her team are leading the way.

Next Step to Benefit From the Top Podcasts of 2022

Pick one or two of these ideas from the top podcasts of 2022 that really resonate with you and go deeper with them. Determine how you will follow through and make progress with the idea.

The best investment you can ever make is investing in you and your future growth. By making a commitment to bettering yourself and your firm, you get on a path of permanent improvement that has compounding effects and the highest ROI.