How to Lead an Insurance Agency: Have a 10 Year Roadmap
How well do you know how to lead your insurance agency? If you’re an agency leader, this may seem like a silly question to ask yourself. But all this week, we’re talking about this topic mainly geared towards agency leaders, owners, and anyone in a leadership role. And yes, we’re diving deep into exactly how to lead an insurance agency, with our four strategies.
“Many of us, we went to college and we learned a set of skills, maybe it was business, maybe it was marketing, maybe it was accounting, and then we kinda got sucked into this crazy thing called the insurance space. Now, whether your parents had an agency or family, or you found it on your own, one of the things is that no one really teaches you leadership.”
Here’s why this question is so important: many of us went to college and learned skills like accounting or marketing, and probably never planned on entering this crazy space called insurance. But for one reason or another, it’s where you ended up. Whether your parents or family had an agency, or you found your way here on your own, the truth is that no one really teaches you leadership in an insurance agency.
You have to figure things out on your own, on the job, and that’s a huge challenge.
And that’s exactly why we’re here to help.
Leadership is Learned Through Experience
The truth is that leadership is really something that cannot just be picked up. You can read books, and try any number of personal teaching methods, but real leadership is something you have to experience.
We often equate it to being in love: it’s difficult to explain it to someone who has never been in love. Likewise, if you’ve never been led by a true leader, it’s very hard to explain leadership and the impact it can have.
If you weren’t taught by an insurance agency leader, you’re definitely not alone. But that doesn’t mean you have to leave your leadership skills to chance.
The best way to start taking your leadership into your own hands is with our first strategy: building a 10-year roadmap.
Breaking Down the 10-Year Road Map
Far too many agencies take a very non-specific approach to their growth strategy and leadership vision. They say things like:
“Well, maybe we’ll acquire this type of business,” or “Maybe we’ll open an office here!”
And to that we say: it sounds like your leadership and growth strategy is hope.
It’s like saying if the stars align or something happens to come together, then it’ll happen.
What ends up happening to many team members is that they experience a knee-jerk reaction. The idea sits and marinates in your brain, and when it crosses the right intersection of life, then you jump on it.
Instead of just waiting for the stars to align and springing into action when they do, we say you should have a 10-year roadmap in place. Because, when you do, you’ll be looking for opportunities that can lead you to growth, actively seeking them out, and creating them.
The 10-year roadmap is a way to create real, strategic vision, instead of just relying on hope. And that’s a much better approach to leadership, wouldn’t you say?
Hope isn’t a Strategy
Some people struggle to create a 10-year roadmap because they’re undecided with what that roadmap might look like, or because things are in flux. To that we say: it’s okay if you create the roadmap, and then it changes. At least, when it exists, everyone understands where you’re going and can follow the vision.
That means goals are clearly documented, shared with your team, and discussed regularly, such as on a monthly basis. Then, every quarter, there can be a large meeting around your 10-year roadmap, where everyone looks at the plan together. That’s a great opportunity to also make any changes, and to discuss them.
The bottom line is that having a 10-year vision really helps people understand why some things are happening. For example, why you’re using virtual assistants, or why management systems are changing.
Now, you might be convinced that a 10-year roadmap is the right choice. But the next step, which is actually creating it, can definitely be challenging.
The 10-Year Roadmap Challenge
While you probably see how useful a 10-year roadmap can be, creating it is much easier said than done. Especially in the aftermath of COVID, which led to many new changes and challenges in agencies. Who didn’t experience a wrinkle in their plans after the pandemic?
So how can you start creating your 10-year roadmap?
Start by asking yourself, “Where do I really want to be in 10 years?”
One place to start is with your lifestyle. What do you want your lifestyle to look like?
Maybe the way your life is right now is just fine, but you want something different in the near future.
As you go through those questions, you can start making the decisions and changes that are necessary to get to that place that you want to be.
You can start right now: we actually have a course on how to build your agency’s roadmap. It talks about everything you need to know, like what metrics to pull, and how to roll out your roadmap.
At the end of the day, your approach to leadership and growth definitely shouldn’t be hope. By creating a 10-year roadmap, you’ll have a concrete vision, and everyone will understand exactly what you’re all working towards.
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