Tag Archives: Team Work

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!

6 More Positive Ways to Help Your Team at Work

Andy Albright & Jon GordonWhat was that?

Poor communication can ruin even the most talented staff or team. It can cause mistakes to happen and it can mean missing opportunities. When you have to spend time get clarification, productivity suffers. Keep people in the know. If you know a client checks email often but doesn’t take calls, then email them. Doing little things like that will help set your team up for success. Give clients what they want and deserve. Be clear about directions and expectations.

Stay organized with National Agents Alliance

If you are not organized your productivity will suffer with National Agents Alliance. Accidents can happen, but not being able to find documents, information, etc. should not be the cause for setbacks. If a meeting is slowed because of this, energy is sucked almost immediately and the excitement level dwindles. If you don’t have what you need, don’t just rush to ask others for help. Try to find it on your own first. Formulate a system that will help you know where to go next if you need help. If you have an organizational whiz then ask that person to help you be more like them in that regard.

Don’t pass the buck on somebody else

It’s understood that you have a lot to do. You want to complete tasks and try to clear your desk. Don’t rush to move a project from your desk to another if you haven’t done all you should have first. Rushing means you might have typos, mistakes, etc. and that’s not fair to the person who gets the task next. Focus and take the time to do your best work. Pay attention to details, double-check your work and make sure you followed the guidelines with National Agents Alliance.

Deadline dodgers beware!

Missing deadlines throws everything off. It creates new obstacles for not only you but the whole team. Not meeting a goal on time should be the exception not the rule. Missing deadlines badly should be a sign that people aren’t giving their best or they don’t care about what they are doing. Maybe they are overloaded, but this still means the team’s productivity suffers. Set reasonable goals, have clear deadlines and hold all people accountable. Don’t set people up for failure.

Look forward, but remember NOW too!

Looking ahead is OK, but you still have to remember what you are doing that minute, hour, day, and week too. Tunnel vision can be good and bad. If employees get discouraged because you are asking about only unfinished goals and projects, then morale will be lower. Try to remember something positive and verbally let your team know they did a good job on that. Then, you can shift to something that needs to be done so you can talk positively about how well the team did that task too. You don’t have to high five a person every day, but it’s nice to acknowledge those that did something well.

Don’t point fingers

Why do people pass blame toward others when they were part of the problem too? Pointing fingers is one of the worst things a person can do. Claim your share of the blame and work to fix the problem. Keep things constructive or people will start to shut down on you. Be humble, but be confident too. Be open to suggestions and criticism. No person wants to be at fault, but owning your mistakes will make you better in the long run. Learn from previous experiences and help make the team at National Agents Alliance the best it can be.

5 Positive Ways to Help Your Team at Work

Andy Albright & Jon GordonAuthor Jon Gordon writes in his book, Soup, “While work is a convenient scapegoat, the real culprit is often the negativity of the people you work with – their constant complaining, and the pessimistic culture that is the norm in a lot of workplaces.”

The fact is your exhaustion might not be due to your tasks or long hours behind a desk. It might actually be the action of your co-workers, teammates and colleagues that drain you and your enthusiasm.

Gordon talks about “drainers” in the workplace. It’s the people who suck the energy and liveliness right out of you! Let’s talk about several ways to change that around for the better.

Avoiding “energy vampires”

Gordon calls people who are never happy, non-supportive and less than enthusiastic about work energy vampires. How do we handle these people? Be positive; respond constructively when an idea is pitched. Even if suggestions are off the mark, hear them out first. Let others know when they brings ideas they will be received with respect. Insist others do the same. Limit negativity and reward creativity and initiative. Encouragement will keep positivity going!

Avoid the complain game!

People who complain rub off on others. Before you know it, the whole office is griping about something and it snowballs from there. Don’t let this happen to you or your team. When people complain, nothing is getting done. Find solutions fast. If dialogue is heading in a negative direction, ask the complainer what can be done to fix or solve the problem. Create problem-solvers!

Voicemail and e-mail can last forever, be careful!

Voicemail and e-mail can come across the wrong way. It can also leave a lasting scar. Try to talk in person when possible. If there is a conflict it is best to talk it out instead of going back and forth. By doing this, you can make sure your tone and intentions are clear. You can immediately take a constructive stance. You can find ways to improve the situation more effectively in person. You can also end the chat on a positive note.

Don’t confuse activity with progress.

There is no doubt you know people at work that seem busy but never meet deadlines or accomplish much. When projects are doled out, people hope this person is not on their team. Help set goals and hold yourself to them to get results with National Agents Alliance. Goals should be things that matter and are visible for the team. Make sure goals are CRYSTAL clear and they will be easier to accomplish.

Set the bar higher

Low performers tell the rest of the team it’s OK to underachieve. They bring the team down. They let others pick up the slack and make life harder on others. If this continues, your best employees are going to look for work elsewhere eventually. Find ways to hold people accountable for meeting goals Set your standard high and perform at a higher level so that others want to do the same. If one person misses the mark, take action with them. Let others see how important you value hard work and don’t let others do less and get away with it.

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