March 1, 2011
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Like lost car keys, learning turns up in the most unexpected places. Sunday’s Oscars were swept by The King’s Speech – a movie which provides some powerful lessons for financial advisors.
After a recent workshop on client leadership, I’ve been reading The Trusted Advisor by David Maister, Charles Green and Robert Galford. It’s a comprehensive, well-structured handbook aimed at those in professional services who need to build and reinforce their business relationships.
Brimming with anecdotes, checklists and how-to tips, it’s thorough and full of examples. Almost too thorough; no matter how many notes I made, and key paragraphs I underlined, it wasn’t sticking. It's one of the shortcomings inherent in the handbook form – I needed something to make it come alive.
Then yesterday I went to see The King’s Speech.
Geoffrey Rush plays Lionel Logue, the Australian speech therapist who helped Prince Bertie, the Duke of York (Colin Firth) – and second son of King George V – to overcome a debilitating stammer. To make matters worse, his elder brother (David aka Edward VIII) abdicated the throne to marry a divorcee, and Bertie became king on the eve of World War II – at the time when the country needed a clear voice of leadership.
Like all great pieces of entertainment, it’s a movie that works on multiple levels: It’s the story of a man trying to conquer his demons. It’s the portrait of a leader struggling to step up to his role. It’s a study of class and social hierarchy. It’s an essay on the impact of radio broadcasting on politics and society.
And it’s a masterclass in becoming a trusted adviser. Here are eight scenes from David Seidler’s original screenplay that beautifully illustrate many of the principles in Maister’s book:
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