This blog and video is a continuation of my series on entrepreneurship, success and the independent insurance agent. In this piece, I’ll be discussing how to empower your agency’s employees to achieve their goals and meet the ongoing demands of the modern consumer.
Banks vs insurance agencies
If you've been reading my blog or watching me in a video for any length of time at all, you probably have heard me talk about banks and how insurance agencies and banks are similar.
Usually, when I talk about banks, I'm talking trash about insurance agencies because banks are actually way more progressive in many respects than a typical insurance agency. And, you know, that's been okay up until now — but it won't be for much longer.
The reason is that things are really changing, consumer expectations especially, and that's creating the need for agencies to change.
A friend of mine, Peter Diamandis, co-wrote a new book called “The Future Is Faster Than You Think.”
In his book, he points out how rapidly things are changing, even though we don't see it. He says that change is deceptive until it's disruptive. I believe Peter Diamandis is a genius and he's onto something here.
Things are changing very rapidly, whether you're changing or not. And according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 75% of all businesses ultimately fail. While insurance agencies are good businesses, and it's tough to break one, an agency can do it. The risk for existing insurance agencies has never been greater than it will be in the next five years.
Future-proof your agency with developing your team’s leadership potential
I'm chairman of the board of a bank, and I've learned in banking as well as in insurance, the secret to success and overwhelming success is really just doing two or three things well. The first one is having a great plan, but plans are worthless without execution. I will always argue that the key to great execution in any business is having the right people in the right seats. This is also the whole concept behind the book “Good to Great” (and I would encourage you to read that book if you haven't done that also.)
I find that in many businesses, jobs are given to somebody who has a little extra time on their hands. What that results in is a lack of performance and a lack of execution. You simply can't do that going forward. The business is going to get tougher and more exacting. Then, how you manage and lead your agency is going to become even more critical.
The secret to successful leadership in the 21st century is getting talented people to use what Dan Sullivan, founder of the Strategic Coach, calls their unique ability.
Develop their leadership skills by honing in on their unique ability
People have unique gift sets. Empower your people through specialized leadership training that hones in on their unique ability and when you put somebody in a position where they can flower, your execution will be off the charts.
I've seen lots of existing businesses, including agencies, fail over time. Even if they don't go out of business, they certainly fail to reach their potential. In my observation, it's execution, planning, leadership and vision. Those are the core attributes of building any great business that might've been there ten years ago but have been allowed to slip.
So if you want to be successful for the next 15 years, just execute, get the right people in the right seats, and you can't help but be successful.
Always keen on helping others make their dreams come true, Tony and his team have helped independent agents grow into more than 250 independent agencies. This has made OAA the number one ranked Strategic Master Agency of SIAA for the last 5 years, and one of Oklahoma's 25 Best Companies to Work for.
Tony loves to share his knowledge, insight and wisdom through his bestselling books as well as in free mediums including podcasts and blogs.
Tony and his family are members of Crossings Community Church, and he is very active in community initiatives: he’s chairman of It’s My Community Initiative, Inc., a nonprofit working with disadvantaged people in Oklahoma City; and chairman of the Oklahoma Board of Juvenile Affairs., and he has served through many other organizations including the Salvation Army, Last Frontier Council of the Boy Scouts of America, and the Rotary Club.
In his spare time, Tony enjoys time with his family. He’s also an active outdoorsman and instrument-rated commercial pilot.