When I walk into the office, look at my staff, see their family pictures on their desk, I am constantly reminded of my role as the leader of our ship. Depending on my guidance is how their family will survive. At the end of the day, my grade as a leader is the difference between open doors or closing up shop.
As a leader, I find myself constantly evolving and being influenced by others around us and the business in front of us. When I speak at different venues, the most important story I tell is often the one that goes unnoticed. The story of realizing I was a bad leader, and how I reinvented myself to be the leader that my staff needed.
By doing this, I realized several key points that have been universal to all successful leaders, including myself.
Identities Need To Flourish
To be a successful leader, it’s essential to allow your employees exude their best qualities and traits into their workflow, whether that is sales or service. There are no two alike personalities in my office, and in turn, our clients feel comfortable knowing there is at least one specialist that can cater to their needs, and their personality. A foundation and structure is necessary, but to create drones is missing the point of a small, independent agency.
Nurture The Quality, Not The Quantity
Often times as leaders, we naturally get greedy. When one lead comes in, we want 40 more to follow. We want less service time, more leads, and good quality clients and maximize growth.
Growth is a must, but nurturing the clients we have is essential first. Instead of 200 leads per month, 75 leads consisting of homeowners, auto and life policy for each client equals better relationship, loyalty and referrals. Growth by numbers and Growth within clients both lead to higher numbers and more money, but one can lead to more later and one can lead to more initially however leave more quickly as well.
As a leader I have embraced good quality marketing, without losing the independent agent feel. My leadership role is to lead and facilitate my agency to capture our role as an independent agency and why people choose us. It’s too easy to allow greed to supersede our agencies philosophy, when in fact it’s our philosophy is what will lead us to prosperity.
The photos on the desk are good motivation for everyone. Appreciate your thoughtful post Chris. Too many consultants these days – not enough actual do-ers.
Great reminder…Chris & I oten struggle with being the strong leader our team needs.
I like your thinking, Chris.
Before 2008, the mantra was all about “making money.” By doing so we shot our businesses many times over in the foot. The Great Recession was a big shooting in the foot.
As leaders, our mantra is: To give every stakeholder an exceptional experience. If we do that, we’ll make as much money as the market will allow. Best, Peter Arthur-Smith
Things have certainly changed, Peter! You’re dead on: “To give every stakeholder an exceptional experience. If we do that, we’ll make as much money as the market will allow” Well said!