What is good management? Even supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart may find a definition elusive (he famously dodged the need to define obscenity, saying that he knows it when he sees it).

The parallels end there, I suppose, but suffice it to say that good management is hard to define because it can be so situational. It takes just the right combination (staff, economy, etc.) for a certain manager to thrive. And in the wrong situation, even great managers can founder (just think how often it happens in sports).

Some would argue that a truly great manager can thrive in any situation, whether from sheer talent or a willingness to change his or her approach.

While the scholars debate that, we have some great management talent from the bank advisory space to share with you this month. You'll see our annual Top 20 Program Managers, complete with profiles and photos. We think you'll enjoy this year's ranking as we made the analysis significantly broader to determine the Top 20. We considered the extent to which their teams increased assets and production (each as a percentage basis) as well as our usual metric: average production per advisor. Finally, we included the number of FAs on the team in our one nod to size. We think you'll enjoy reading about their career paths and their successes.

We also have the usual fare in the issue. For the advisors, we have a practice management article from longtime contributor Rick Rummage on how to grow your business. We also have a careers story from fellow long-term BIC scribe Paul Werlin on various ways to differentiate yourself from the mass of other advisors in the field. By the time you read this, we will have offered abridged versions of both these articles as slide shows on our website, but this is the first time they are available in full.

Give us your feedback on the Top 20, as well as the rest of the issue and the website, at bankinvestmentconsultant.com.

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