How Leadership Development Helped Garrett German Align Thinking to Behaviors

Leadership development coaching from Chuck Wachendorfer through think2perform helped Garrett German and Harvest Wealth put the right leadership team into place, improve their thinking about the business and align values with behaviors — setting the stage for sustainable growth.

Background: Creating a Successful Financial Services Firm

Garrett German has worked in the financial services industry for more than 20 years and is a certified financial planner. He founded Harvest Wealth Group, based in Exeter, California, with a mission of empowering hard-working families to truly enjoy the moments that matter most in life.

Challenge: Getting From Point B to Point C

Garrett built a team of about 12 or 13 employees, allowing him to focus on growing the business, leading people and managing money. But he realized that the firm needed more. Communication was breaking down as the business added headcount, making work more complicated. “My thought process was I can only take this so far,” Garrett says, “and if I want to continue to grow, I have to develop different skills, a different skill set and ability.” 

A fellow adviser told Garrett that he should pursue coaching to achieve two goals: grow the business and grow his leadership abilities. The latter was especially important to Garrett. “It was super appealing to me to grow as a leader,” he says. “What got me from point A to point B was going to be different than what gets me from point B to point C.”

Solution: Reimagining the Business

The adviser recommended that Garrett contact think2perform. To kick off the engagement,  President of Distribution Chuck Wachendorfer worked with Garrett and the rest of the Harvest Wealth leadership team. Together, they had hard conversations about the team’s abilities, shortcomings and whether the right people were in position to deliver what the business needed. 

“It helped us to see some flaws, and I don’t know if we would have gotten to that point later if he wouldn’t have helped us see that,” Garrett says. 

He praises Chuck for his ability “to help us understand what we’re seeing in front of us and the realities of the situation, so it’s not just all of us wearing our rose-colored lenses thinking everything is perfect and wonderful.” 

Think2perform also did one-on-one work with Garrett and his team, helping each person identify their strengths and align their behaviors to deliver on them. For example, Garrett credits Chuck with developing a colleague’s confidence and leadership skills, which in turn helps Garrett access mental clarity and focus on the things he does best.

Importantly, Chuck also helped Harvest Wealth establish a foundation for thinking about its work in a more focused and values-based way. This transformation not only changed how the business chooses leaders but also led to a new compensation plan, developed with guidance from think2perform. 

The compensation plan identifies the desired behaviors for each employee and aligns those with incentives. “That’s going to help us all move in the same direction, and it’s crystal clear,” Garrett says. “People are going to know where they’re at, what they need to do, what their metrics are, and each person is going to know: Am I winning? Am I contributing?”

Results: Cracking the Code and Preparing for Growth

Harvest Wealth had gone as far as it could on the business model and structure it had before think2perform. Now, the business has reinvented itself, put the right people into place, and aligned values and behaviors with compensation. “Because of the help that we’ve gotten, we’re going to be able to take a lot of ground … in the next couple of years,” Garrett says.

Garrett also notes the personal leadership benefits of working with Chuck and think2perform. “They’ve really been able to help me focus on the most important thing and not get distracted by ‘shiny object syndrome,’” he says. Garrett knows he can reach out not just for big issues but also to get a trusted opinion while working through an idea or challenge.

“It feels like cracking a code that has been a big mystery. We’ve heard about this, but no one actually has helped us get from point A to point B” until think2perform, he says.

“If you really want to build something of substance and you’re hitting roadblocks,” Garrett says, “and you want to build a team and you want this to go beyond yourself … this is a great way to invest in yourself.”

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