Leader/Follower Relationships Lincoln Financial Network

Lincoln Financial is an interesting structural entity to examine with regard to leadership and how followership dynamics take root. With the varying branches and sub-groups within the parent organization, Lincoln Financial Group, there are several levels of leadership and followership taking place. With that, I will be examining how work is directed, the leadership styles of individuals at various levels, and the relationship and trust levels between leaders and members in my organization.


Within Lincoln Financial Network and the Practice Management team, work is not so much delegated amongst consultants and associates as much as they are autonomous and can determine their own work flow. For example, a typical day for the consultants on my AdviceNext team is taking calls from advisors within the Lincoln Financial Advisor group regarding various technologies they can use to best deliver results to their clients. With that said, the work flow and delegation of tasks amongst the team depends on the volume of calls and the demands coming externally from the advisors and their teams. Although there are various responsibilities and meetings the consultants have to attend to for the team, like training and briefing on overall company production, the work is much more individual than it is anything else.


Moreover, although the work is incredibly autonomous and self-directed as I stated, there are definitely leaders that I quickly identified early on in my internship and how some without more senior leadership roles have more responsibility within the organization. For example, every consultant on my team has the same title of “AdviceNext Field Expert,” but some consultants and associates take more calls, produce more for their advisors, and are generally more knowledgeable about the network and what they need to do to help their advisors. With that, Linley Martin, one of the consultants on my team, is extremely experienced, helpful, personable, and one of the most dependable consultants on the team. This causes the other five consultants on the team to come to her with questions, report to her when they arrive and leave, and double check everything with her because most of the calls and responsibilities generally come through her. Although she is not given any special title or leadership role formally, it is clear that she is a leader on the team and everyone trusts her a great deal. Her leadership style is charismatic, friendly, but definitely autonomous in her work as she takes on a great deal of responsibility.


Finally, examining the varying levels of trust between leaders and members of my organization is something I have been subconsciously doing since my first week at Lincoln. There is a great deal of trust between associates on my team, extending all the way up to the President of Lincoln Financial Network, who my team reports to. The Practice Management team is going through an expansion process, hiring more associates so they can produce more and reach a greater number of associates, so there is a lot of communication and building of trust between associates so they can grow. My manager, Lisa, is someone all of the consultants look up to and trust greatly, as she has a lot of experience within the field and is generally an intimidating figure. She is respected by all of those on our team and they trust her not only with the expansion of the team, but being a point person for all advisors if they have any questions the consultants cannot answer.


I look forward to making more observations and evaluations regarding the structure and leadership styles of those on my team for the rest of my internship, especially as the team expands and makes more hires!

One thought on “Leader/Follower Relationships Lincoln Financial Network

  • July 10, 2019 at 4:42 pm

    As you continue, I’ll be interested to see if you learn more about the trust and respect that exists within the organization. More specifically, is the trust/respect a result of the particular leaders and the environment that they have cultivated, is it a product of the individuals within the organization – that it is just the right combination of individuals, etc. Nice discussion about the colleague who is indistinguishable by virtue of title but clearly a leader among her peers. As you continue, will be interesting to see if there are any items/issues/decisions addressed by senior leadership (versus the more everyday, self-directed/autonomous process).

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