Published on February 8, 2024, 6:10 am
In today’s rapidly evolving world, technology plays a crucial role in shaping the way we live, and financial services are no exception. At Edward Jones, a leading financial services firm, Frank LaQuinta serves as the head of digital, data, and operations. In his role, he is responsible for overseeing the firm’s technology, digital presence, and data strategy. With over 30 years of experience in technology on Wall Street, LaQuinta brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to his position.
LaQuinta recently sat down for an interview with the Tech Whisperers podcast to discuss his current role and the challenges and accomplishments that come with it. He shared insights into how he continuously drives success and perseveres in the face of setbacks. LaQuinta also emphasized the importance of building world-class teams and highlighted key learnings from his experiences as a transformational leader.
One aspect that distinguishes LaQuinta’s leadership style is his clear set of principles that guide his decision-making process. Over time, he developed five core principles that he believes are essential for leading a successful transformation: Leadership, Learning, Communication, Understanding, and Playing to Win. These principles serve as his guiding ethos when it comes to effecting change at Edward Jones and ensuring the growth and fulfillment of both the firm and its associates.
At an enterprise level, these principles are imperative for leading transformations within the organization. They support initiatives aimed at future-proofing the firm, delivering exceptional experiences to stakeholders, simplifying processes through modernization efforts, maximizing cultural development opportunities for all employees, fostering inclusivity across departments and levels of seniority within the company.
Moreover – they contribute to creating an environment where diversity flourishes; where every individual feels valued by bringing their unique perspective to work each day; where collaboration is at its peak; ultimately leading to better branch operations for clients’ satisfaction on all levels.
For LaQuinta’s leadership team specifically – they serve as the cornerstone of their approach to leadership. His teams are held accountable for driving positive change, working collaboratively with a mindset focused on championship-level performance, facilitating cross-divisional change within the firm, and continuously improving both themselves and those around them. By embracing these principles, they foster an environment that encourages excitement and celebrates achievements.
The benefits of adhering to this leadership philosophy are numerous. They include efficiency and capacity gains, career growth opportunities for associates, a culture built on trust and accountability, seamless branch operations resulting in excellent client experiences, and alignment with Edward Jones’ ambitions to be the leading financial advisor in North America.
LaQuinta’s journey towards developing these principles was rooted in his profound belief in the value of people. Associates’ continuous learning and development are integral to driving successful transformations. To prepare for future challenges, Edward Jones places great emphasis on innovative strategies that allow associates to gain new skills required in this era of rapid technological advancements.
In line with this commitment to learning, LaQuinta stressed that leaders must also act as learners themselves. He encouraged a shift from being “know-it-alls” to “learn-it-alls,” acknowledging that in an ever-changing world, it is crucial to remain adaptable by acquiring new technology skills while embracing innovative solutions.
Furthermore – effective communication and understanding play pivotal roles in technology leadership spheres. By clearly articulating the reasons behind transformative initiatives and aligning these objectives with individual employees’ motivations, technology leaders can inspire their teams to embrace change collectively. Communication should not be a one-time occurrence; it should happen daily through storytelling techniques that engage employees at all levels.
Additionally – actively listening to feedback allows leaders to understand potential challenges better and refine plans accordingly. When associates feel heard and valued, they become more invested in shaping the firm’s future positively.
Lastly – LaQuinta highlights the principle of “Playing to Win.” It encompasses setting ambitious goals that benefit all stakeholders involved: the firm, associates, clients, and the communities Edward Jones serves. Leadership entails creating a win-win situation where everyone is elevated by achieving collective success.
LaQuinta’s leadership principles have not only been successfully applied in his role at Edward Jones but also extend to his personal life. As an avid athlete, he recently participated in Cardinals Fantasy Camp as a baseball player. Through this experience, he embodied qualities such as perseverance, teamwork, and the thrill of competition that align with his leadership principles. LaQuinta’s enthusiasm for both his professional and personal endeavors serves as an inspiration to others aiming to achieve excellence across all areas of life.
To conclude – Frank LaQuinta’s leadership playbook provides valuable insights into the principles that drive successful transformations within organizations. By focusing on leadership, learning, communication, understanding, and playing to win – technology leaders can foster a culture of innovation, growth, and collaboration. Ultimately – this approach leads to not only individual success but also long-term benefits for the firm and its stakeholders.
To learn more about Frank LaQuinta’s insights into leadership and transformational initiatives in the financial services industry, be sure to tune in to the Tech