Our guest for this episode of In the Suite, Teri Shepherd, is a true chameleon with the ability to adapt whenever necessary. In a world moving at warp speed, Teri understands the importance of adaptability—a core value at Carson Group. There’s something powerful about adding new challenges into the mix. It’s all part of being able to adapt. Teri has found a way to mix motherhood, work, and fun to remain on the cutting edge of things at Carson.
Teri Shepherd is President of one of the fastest growing financial services firms in the country – Carson Group, based out of Omaha, Nebraska – which bears the name of its visionary founder Ron Carson and also comprises Carson Partners and Carson Coaching. As President of Carson Group, Teri leads operations, technology, compliance and legal. With over $12 billion in AUM at the time of this recording, Carson Group services over 32,000 families across the United States and in more than 120 partner offices across the country.
An important fact about Teri is that she was the first woman executive to join the Carson Group team. And when Teri joined Carson over 8 years ago, the number of female advisors stood at zero – it has since increased to 40% and keeps on growing.
At Carson Group, Teri shares the role of President with her C-suite colleague Aaron Schaben. Teri focuses on team growth and the day-to-day operational aspects at Carson Group while Aaron, a nextgen leader, is geared towards business growth and development. A fun fact is how they went to bat for each other and recommended each other for the role, which speaks highly about the culture and leadership at Carson Group.
Prior to joining the Carson Group team, Teri previously held the position of Executive VP, CFO and COO at an independent Broker/Dealer, RIA and insurance company for 10 years as well as the Corporate Controller of a publicly-traded biotech firm for two years. Teri has been recognized by multiple publications, and most recently as a “Top Woman in Asset Management” by Financial Planning and InvestmentNews Women to Watch Award in 2018.
Teri credits her rise at Carson Group to Founder and CEO Ron Carson and finding her voice and speaking up. She reminds us that by sharing our voice, we can develop other leadersɘ—After all, the quietest voice is often the one that needs to be heard the most. Teri encourages us to pause, think, and allow self-discovery by not allowing ourselves to stay quiet in times of injustice especially. Teri shares that the whole profession needs to come together and the value of leaning into each other at home and at work to stand on the side of justice.
One the many gifts you’ll discover about Teri is her approach and what she describes is her higher calling. She speaks truth and confidence in others and can see things in other people they maybe can’t see in themselves. For female leaders wanting to pursue leadership opportunities in the C-suite, Teri encourages people to grow their careers by asking for help. Mentorship and training can take you far, both in life and at work. Be a mentor or have a mentor is her guiding philosophy.
From hiring more females at Carson Group to finding mentors to learn from, Teri loves to help others reach their potential. Take a listen to the episode and take the below three steps to apply to help you navigate the next step in your career:
- You Have to Be Adaptable: Build for different scenarios. You don’t always have a clear end goal, but you do have to have an idea. Work toward that, strive for it. Get rid of noise, barriers, drama. Get focused on where you want to be and you can get where you need to go. If you have to implement change to get there, implement change.
- Find a Mentor – Even if You’re Shy: You have to be proactive in learning and finding mentors, even if you’re shy or introverted. If you want to be mentored, seek it out. The chances are someone will say yes if you ask them. Mentorship and training can take you far in life and at work.
- Have Confidence in Yourself: You’re the right person for the job. Don’t doubt yourself and your talents. Own it, grab it, and run with it. If you have a higher level of confidence, it can take you further. Leaders can show confidence in their team. Encourage them and let them know you believe they are ready for the project at hand.
Note from Tina: I deeply apologize for the audio quality on this particular episode during my questions. Our post-production editor did his best to improve the sound overall.
This week In The Suite welcomes Teri Shepherd into the guest chair. Teri is President of Carson Group and has the distinct honor of being the first woman appointed to Carson Group’s Executive Team. But it didn’t come easy nor arrive on a silver platter; on the contrary. Teri’s professional journey to the C-suite was decades in the making after working numerous roles, receiving mentorship, and what she describes as ‘finding her voice’—thanks in part to Ron Carson, Founder and CEO of Carson Group.
Teri and I also speak about how Carson Group achieved its goal of recruiting more women and fostering diversity within their organization, beginning with her own hire. At the time, it was a mission-critical decision. “Ron Carson hired me with the goal of doing more,” Teri said. I swear I could hear a pin drop when Teri said, “Yes Ron gave me a seat at the table, but Ron also helped me to have a voice at the table.”
Carson Group is a family of companies – Carson Wealth, Carson Coaching, and Carson Partners – led by Barron’s Hall of Fame advisor Ron Carson, which serves financial advisors and investors through its businesses. At Carson Group, they remain focused on having a diverse set of advisors to help everyone and are committed to being the most trusted for financial advice and guidance through serving advisors and investors.
During my time with Teri In The Suite, I also discovered a few of Teri’s own super powers: adaptability and leadership. At the heart of everything, neither Teri nor Carson Group doesn’t get distracted. They do what’s best for the client, the advisors, and their internal stakeholders. Furthermore, Teri can see things in other people that they may not see themselves. She has a higher calling to help women and shares her thoughts on the importance of mentorship and how leaders of today can step up their game.
Join the conversation to hear more about:
- How Carson Group navigates through current events (4:30)
- The power of adaptability (7:30)
- Teri’s tips for self-care (9:32)
- How Carson Group is structured (14:00)
- What leaders need to do to get rid of the noise (18:00)
- Teri’s advice to encourage a fresh approach to leadership (24:20)
- How Ron Carson encouraged Teri to find her voice and gave her a seat at the table (29:50)
- How to get a mentor if you’re shy/introverted (34:00)
- What makes a good mentor (37:00)
- How women over 40 can receive more yeses than nos (44:25)
- Switching the narrative to reach new heights (49:30)
- Teri’s superpower (52:00)