Capital at Play January 2020

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The Power of Your Posse

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Why your squad is the new professional network.

L

l aur a webb ,

CFP®, is President and founder of Asheville’s Webb Investment Services, a wealth management and investment consulting firm since 1995.

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S A BUSINESSWOMAN, THERE ARE

a range of resources within your reach, from professional development organizations to online trainings to industry conferences to entrepreneurial grants, but perhaps the most invaluable, yet underutilized, is also the most universal: your posse.

Your posse—a diverse group of professional mentors, acquaintances, and friends—can be both a rewarding channel for your unique skill sets and a foundational support system and resource when you need it most. I was recently reminded of the power of the posse when a wonderful female advisor I know (we’ll call her “Mary”) turned to her posse for support and solutions when she received the surprise of her life. Mary was a rising star. A substantial partner in an advisory firm, Mary had started at the bottom of the ladder and climbed it rung by rung. Along the way, she contributed significantly to the development and evolution of the firm: She improved the firm’s investment process and its operational efficiency; managed and developed client relationships; and served as an important advocate for women in the business. Throughout her career, Mary established an honorable reputation and was frequently tapped to serve on advisory groups and panels to share her expertise and experience.

| January 2020

Unfortunately, Mary’s male partners did not appreciate the impact she was having outside of the office. Despite the tension that was mounting, Mary never expected her partners’ next move. Without the formality or process of a shareholders’ meeting, and without consulting their third partner, the duo made a shocking decision: Mary was out. They no longer wanted her to be a part of the firm. Mary called her closest friends in the business— not her “posse,” but her “peeps”—to share the news and start to plan her path forward. Your peeps are the core group of your posse, but more importantly, they’re your emotional support system. When crises strike, they’re the first calls you make after the inevitable call to your spouse or partner; your peeps are your shoulders to cry on, open ears to listen to your gripes and grumbles, and your safe space to vent so that you can move forward with a clear head.

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