From time-to-time walking the hallways of Bridgeworth, you will hear a story coming from one of the founding partners about the “fun” they used to have while learning about the financial planning profession. While your definition of fun may not consist of being locked in a conference room with your peers studying for a finance exam, most can acknowledge that going through the growing pains of any new experience, such as the early years of your career, is easier with a group.
As the firm has grown, it has been challenging to recreate the group learning culture that existed in the past. So, in January 2019 Bridgeworth launched a formal training program known as Bridgeworth University. Bridgeworth University is designed to serve a range of staff, from entry-level planning coordinators who aspire to be an advisor one day to current new advisors who are learning to lead client meetings.
Bridgeworth University is led by advisors Patti Black and Jonathan Millican. We have bi-monthly meetings, that normally last about 5-6 hours, with lunch included. Our curriculum has included several components, one of which is books and how those can be applied to our careers. Our reading list thus far has consisted of:
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Steven R. Covey
- Raving Fans, Ken Blanchard
- The Checklist Manifesto, Atul Gawande
- The Power of Moments, Chip Heath & Dan Heath
Other activities have included roundtable discussions, where experienced advisors share stories of their own successes and failures as well as answer questions from the group. These long-term advisors have also discussed their “best practices” for preparing for client meetings.
We have taken a DiSC® personality assessment, which helps you to understand your personality and how to effectively communicate with the different personality types you encounter. We have also been encouraged to begin building our professional network by networking and becoming involved in professional and charitable organizations.
Overall, Bridgeworth University has been a positive experience by allowing an opportunity to learn in a classroom type, low-pressure setting, that most of us have not experienced since college. I look forward to what this program has in store for the future.