Tag Archives: Mentors

What Mistakes Do You Make As A Leader?

Oops!Everybody makes mistakes, even the greatest leaders have stumbled along the road to success.  No one is perfect, and everyone has shortfalls; but when you are able to recognize these faults you can create a positive impact within your agency.

According to the Great Leadership blog, these are the top five mistakes a leader can make:

  1. Focusing on the urgent and not the Important: This is a trap that many leaders fall into. Have you asked yourself how much time you’re spending on unexpected and urgent activities, instead of working towards your goal? Many leaders fall into the crisis zone and lose sight of what they should really be taking care of—their goals.  Instead of becoming engulfed in last minute crises, dedicate at least one day a week to work on tasks that will move you closer to achieving your goals. This will help you keep your end goal in mind, while still taking care of more pressing matters.
  2. Lack of Consistent Communication: There is no such thing as “over communicating,” especially when technology today allows us to consume mass amounts of information every day. You should be communicating frequently and consistently through various methods like emails, phone calls, meetings, audio, video, and hard-copy print outs.
  3. Ineffective feedback: It’s easy to look past things and not sweat the small stuff, but when your employees display unacceptable behavior or are doing tasks wrong, you need to give clear feedback right away to avoid conflict down the road. “Be clear about what you observed, how it impacted you, and ask for ideas from your employee about how they could approach it in the future. And then get their commitment to make the change,” says Beth Armknecht Miller, a leadership development advisory firm accelerating the leadership success of CEOs and business leaders.
  4. Failing to define clear goals: Employees need to understand how they will be measured and evaluated. “Defining clear goals provides a roadmap for the employee. And more importantly, when an employee is part of her goal setting process, she has more ownership in successfully attaining her goals. Without goals, employees will not meet your performance expectations because they don’t know what they are,” Miller advises.
  5. Misunderstanding motivation: Once you have met an employee’s baseline extrinsic motivators, salary and benefits, you should focus on creating a foundation that encourages, autonomy, mastery, and purpose. Daniel Pink’s recent book Drive states, humans are driven by these three attributes. Autonomy is all about control of tasks, time, technique, and team. Mastery is providing an opportunity to get very good at something and to continue the process and understanding that you will never be perfect. It is the pursuit of perfection that motivates. And finally purpose, working for some greater good and not just profit. Profit provides a means for a company’s purpose, Miller stated.

If you were to ask your team which mistakes you make, what do you think they would say? Let us know by commenting below!

How to Polish that Diamond in the Rough

The key to any great business is to have the right people behind it—driven, ambitious and enthusiastic people, who love what they do.  But, finding these types of people isn’t as easy as you would’ve hoped for; it’s almost a needle in a haystack scenario.

A Diamond in the RoughWhile you won’t always find a gem in the stack of applications, there may be a diamond in the rough. With a little polishing and some extra attention that person can become the leader you were seeking.

At National Agents Alliance (NAA) we offer a wide array of training programs and educational forums for our insurance agents to ensure that they too can be polished into that shining star.

NAA offers two training programs called NAA University and President’s Club, along with other educational opportunities like weekly conference calls and webinars; rotation meetings and conventions.

It’s also up to our agency managers and up lines to make sure their agents are getting the right training. Beyond what we have to offer at National Agents Alliance, we advise our teams and their agents to do the following:

  • Read:  Andy Albright provides a list of books in which we advise our agents to read, including Albright’s 8 Steps to Success and Millionaire Maker Manual.
  • Mentor: Agency managers and growing up lines should be constantly mentoring and working with their agents to ensure that they too become successful.
  • Listen:  As Andy Albright said in 8 Steps to Success, “Successful individuals are active listeners.” When you listen you open yourself up to a whole wealth of new knowledge. Learning from others is key to helping ourselves grow and avoid pitfalls that others have endured.
  • Let people go: No sense beating a dead horse. If you have an agent that feels that this is not his gig, then let them go—not every candidate has what it takes to become a leader. Concentrate your time on the agents that want to grow.

As Andy Albright said, “Learning something new should be a daily part of your life.”

Creating Leaders

leadersAs an agent in National Agents Alliance you probably want to build your own agency so you can leverage your way to a bigger income without having to produce every dollar yourself.

Here are some tips that may help you to build a big, strong and long-lasting agency:

1.    Do It For Them

Perform the task while understudies watch and learn.  Whether it’s making phone calls, assisting in making a list, showing the plan or doing a follow-up, leading by example will show them the right way to do it.  Repetition is very helpful, and about 6 to 10 live demonstrations should solidify the methodology.

  1. 2.    Let Them Do It With Your Supervision

Watch, evaluate and make suggestions to your pupils for improvement.  Help them gain confidence so they will be able to perform highly even without you.

  1. 3.    They Do It On Their Own

Turn over the responsibility for everything in their business to them.  Follow up with them regularly for reports, and to assist in areas where questions, concerns, or difficulties have arisen.

  1. 4.    Help That Agent Train a New Agent

Now the leverage really kicks in!  When you train your new agents properly you will begin to see real duplication occurring.  This is an important step.  Give plenty of support here and your business will grow exponentially.

  1. 5.    Get The New Agent Involved in a Personal Development Program

Developing leaders is a process that is difficult to do on your own, especially when your agency begins generating new hires every week!  Provide access to training materials, and encourage the new agents to read, listen to positive MP3’s, maintain a positive attitude, and utilize all the resources that National Agents Alliance provides.  Remember to also develop their motivation for creating massive goals and a process to achieve them!

  1. 6.    Become Their Mentor, Friend, Business Partner and Biggest Supporter

At this point you will be building a great relationship with your new leaders.  This relationship is at the core of long-term business success.

Empower each team member to be the leader of their own agency.  Be sure to recognize them for their accomplishments.  Allow them to have center stage without stealing the spotlight.  Get to know their family and include them in the business.  Help them set higher and higher goals and challenge them to reach for the stars.  Have regular strategy sessions to set the course for the future.

These are just a few of many possible guidelines and paths that can help to develop a leader.  As ever, National Agents Alliance wants you to keep in mind that a great leader is continually developing and ever evolving personally as well:  So in your quest to build others, be open to the ever present work of building yourselves also.  Your newly minted leaders will notice it, learn from it, and grow into great leaders also.  Once you’ve got that character built…let them run!

Event Reminder Time

While we’ve been going over important topics like referrals, body language, social media, and all kinds of stuff, it would seem that the end of December is creeping in.  In addition to the coming of the new year and all that brings, there are also a couple of other important items you should have on your radar.

National Agents Alliance 2012 National ConventionRemember that the National Agents Alliance 2012 National Convention is coming up from January 26th-29th at the Raleigh Convention Center.  Keep in mind that after December 31st, the ticket price will be going up!  If you haven’t gotten your ticket already don’t put it off any longer, grab it before the price increase.

Another important booking date is also fast approaching.  Both the Sheraton and Marriott were running special rates for National Agents Alliance.  The Marriott rate expired on December 26th, but the Sheraton’s special is still available until January 2nd.  Be sure to book before they sell out so you can stay where the rest of the team is!  For further details and information, check out the hotel info on the 2012 NatCon site, near the bottom.

Also, if your December production month qualifies at Team Builder or above, you are invited to the Foresters pre-party before the convention starts.  With the month in its final days time is of the essence!  Make that final push right now!  Questions on qualification?  Check out this news release with all the information and a video breakdown.  A lot of this kind of information is included in our NAAtv videos that are done for you, so remember to check in on those frequently (especially the Rewind and Did You Know? segments).

Be sure to make use of all of our social media outlets on a regular basis too.  We’re on all of them, and put up all kinds of information on events, company happenings, and even just some questions so we can hear from you good folks.  Please feel free to comment on our posts, blogs, and videos – We like the attention and like you involved!  Click away below!

National Agents Alliance – Facebook
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National Agents Alliance – YouTube

Your Attitude Makes a Difference

Attitude is Opportunity

The ability to work well with people is key when you are looking to make the leap from average to great. Life is full of interactions with others. Your attitude and your ability to be positive in all situations will affect your relationships and ultimately lead to your success. Below are a few principles to follow when finding the right attitude and building a thriving business:

  1. Practice makes perfect – The more you do something the better you become and the more success you will achieve. High aptitude comes from doing; acting on the things you learn by using National Agents Alliance and its abundance resources.
  2. Mentorship with NAA –Mentorship is a two way street in improving aptitude. While it is vital to your personal growth and leadership to follow mentors, it is equally vital that you mentor others. The more you share your knowledge and experience selling, the more room you create to increase your own knowledge and experience. One of the best ways to keep learning is to teach and be a role model for your downline agents. National Agents Alliance is here to help. It is a major element to our company’s foundation and we help you implement into your business foundation.
  3. The Right Direction – Your passion must be led by direction. You cannot have burning passion for your work but lack the direction to guide your passion. Passion is what will get you through the hardest times at work and in everyday life. It gives you the energy to burn the midnight oil. It pushes you to go the extra mile and give 110%. However, this energy must have a direction or path. Without direction, your passion in life goes all over the place and will lead you only to frustration. Your efforts are not concentrated and you will not be able to complete your priorities with that 110% passion. At National Agents Alliance we lead our agents in the right direction so make sure you’re using your upline and our wide variety of training to guide your passion on a path that will take you to the top.
  4. Action – Having a belief is important when building a successful business. It is important to align your game plan with your beliefs. National Agents Alliance has a belief that is based on action, effort and positive energy. Have a plan of action on how you can help others achieve their goals and at the same time achieve your own success.

Remember help is a click away so make sure you’re utilizing our websites. We have many sites that you can utilize for training purposes, finding events, reading other agents experiences, finding the right book to read from our online store, giving us feedback on our support site, or adding a comment that will help another agent in the future. Interaction is key and the more you do it the better leader you will become.

Find Good Mentors with National Agents Alliance

National Agents Alliance has many mentors that will help you accelerate your business to the top such as Andy Albright, Barry Clarkson, Alex Fitzgerald and Gina Hawks to name a few. You can find great mentorship at a higher level with President’s Club where you can get one on one time with our top Agency Managers and plenty of training material.

When you first start a business, you want to find people who have already achieved what you wanted to achieve and asked them for their help and guidance. In most cases, these people were so flattered that I acknowledged their success; they were more than happy to share some of their wisdom with me.

Find these people. Flatter them and don’t let your ego get in the way. Pay them the respect they deserve, and don’t try to prove how smart you are. Let them teach you and just listen, learn and apply the knowledge into your own business. National Agents Alliance is about helping each other. If one fails, we all fail.

If you don’t already have several mentors in your life, go out and find great people to model yourself after. Believe me, National Agents Alliance has plenty and it will be well worth the effort.

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