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Merrill FA Strategy Boss: Sharing Spotlight Key to Leading

January 6, 2017

Building trust as a boss requires flexibility and the ability to let others take the spotlight, Merrill Lynch’s new head of advisor strategy writes in Fortune.

Particularly for new bosses, letting others step into the spotlight is a quick path to building rapport and trust, according to Cheri Lytle, head of advisor strategy and development at Merrill Lynch Wealth Management.

Following this approach shows confidence and encourages other team members to work together, Lytle writes. She also suggests leaders “minimize hierarchies” and involve team members as often as possible regardless of their salary level. In addition, Lytle writes that even in times of disagreement, it’s sometimes prudent to let the employee make the final call.

It’s equally important for successful leadership to tackle any issues in a transparent fashion, she writes. Doing so together and utilizing the whole team further builds a sense of unity, according to Lytle. That involves both being open and letting others voice their opinions, she writes.


Lytle also recommends extending the open-dialogue approach to taking on larger challenges, pointing to Merrill’s team financial advisor program as an example.

Merrill trainees, she writes, get to work with existing teams of advisors, which lets them both gain skills and build lasting relationships while making them feel like part of a larger whole.

Lytle also suggests leaders show their own vulnerability in difficult times, and at the same time empathize with the concerns of the rest of the team.

By Alex Padalka
  • To read the Fortune article cited in this story, click here.