FIVE WAYS YOU CAN BE AN INSURANCE AGENT FOR GOOD
Amid challenges, remember that the world is a fine place and worth fighting for
” Your legacy … can have a lasting impact, and a big part of your legacy
is the knowledge you have obtained and the wisdom of how to apply it.”
By Michael Wayne
Some of you are old enough to have seen the David Fincher film Se7en when it debuted in 1995. Some of you have seen it via some other means—VHS tape, DVD, streaming. And some of you have never seen it but may be familiar with the premise and the often-quoted line, “What’s in the box?” which Brad Pitt delivered as a distraught young police detective.
For those who haven’t seen the movie and don’t know what was in the box, I won’t spoil it for you … even though it has been 27 years since audiences were first subjected to what was in there.
The movie isn’t for the faint of heart and ends with Morgan Freeman’s character stating, “Ernest Hemmingway once wrote, ‘The world is a fine place and worth fighting for.’ I agree with the second part.”
The Hemmingway line is from For Whom the Bell Tolls, which chronicles the plight of a young American volunteer fighting as a dynamiter during the Spanish Civil War. We’re 83 years past the end of the Spanish Civil War. More wars have followed. More violence has followed. More hardship has followed. Alongside these have ridden an uncompromising spirit to rise above, to be better, and to make the world a fine place.
In the wake of two adults and 19 children being senselessly murdered in Uvalde, Texas, in the midst of another war that has the globe’s attention, in a time when it often feels like our differences are being leveraged to divide instead of diversify, here are five ways you can be an insurance agent for good.
Be inspired; inspire others
I have encountered a number of people during my life who have sworn by the mantra, “Fake it until you make it.” That’s awful advice. It basically translates to, “Be miserable until you aren’t.” Does anyone really want to live that way? If you are spending the bulk of your time lying to yourself and presenting a façade to others, how can you possibly devote the time necessary to focus on actually getting to the point where you “make it?”
Until you are real with yourself about what you want, are establishing a plan to get what you want, and are working on achieving it, you cannot possibly feel truly inspired. Until you feel truly inspired, you won’t be able to project that and show others that you really care about what they are focusing on themselves.
Establish a community, not a culture
Have genuine concern for the people you are working with and for and who work for you. Culture is thrown around as if just presenting some flashy core values will magically transform people into a well-oiled machine.
Without genuine, established relationships, core values are sentiments that ring hollow. Show those around you that who they are is more important than what their tasks are.
More times than not, people know what phony looks like. One of the greatest incentives you can give is gratitude. A heartfelt “thank you” is so much more than a mere gesture. When you recognize the greatness someone else is doing and thank them, or pay them a compliment, it truly resonates.
Pan; don’t pan
Amongst its numerous meanings, “pan” can be either positive or negative. Around colleagues, I challenge you to listen to what they say and avoid immediately panning their ideas. Hold off for a minute to fully take in what they have said. Let them know you are digesting what they have presented to you, and then pan to find any gold that may be below the surface, hiding in the gravel surrounding it.
Admittedly, this is not always easy. Thoughts brought to the table by others can be awful sometimes, but if you are inspired to discover nuggets, you can make a world of difference in elevating those around you.
Pass your knowledge on
You are not going to live forever. Your legacy, however, can have a lasting impact, and a big part of your legacy is the knowledge you have obtained and the wisdom of how to apply it.
Recently, my organization lost a valued member of our work community. He always had a warm greeting for everyone, never complained about anything, and worked smart and hard.
Of all his traits, what stood out most was his unending desire to teach. Anyone who wanted to learn what he knew simply needed to ask. He didn’t impose upon people that he knew what was best. Colleagues understood he knew what he was doing and what he was talking about, because it showed without him having to brag about how great he was.
The world is a fine place and worth fighting for. I agree with the second part and believe there are more times than not that the first part is true. In For Whom the Bell Tolls, Hemmingway also wrote, “For what are we born if not to aid one another?” I agree wholeheartedly.
Michael Wayne is a freelance insurance writer.