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Sometimes we just need to laugh....cute acronyms 5 L. Luka TOT ... I do that now, guess I don't have to wait until my golden years to participate on that level.
by T. Adams
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Holiday Shopping Opportunity 0 T. Adams Aloha my fellow IAIP members ...I am reaching out to promote a fundraiser for the Bead for Life organization.  Some of you may already be familiar with this organization that does great work with women and girls in Uganda. The education and entrepreneurial programs offered to the women there changes lives and allows these women to move themselves from extreme poverty to becoming successful women business owners.The roots of NAIW/IAIP as a women's organization, promoting women, building them up with education and professional growth opportunities is something we can all understand. So, I have decided to support the efforts of Bead for Life and want to ask for your participation by purchasing a small item like a $6 bracelet to something more extravagant for yourself or someone special.I am providing a link for you to support the cause by making an online purchase.  It's a great time to get some Christmas shopping done and at the same time supporting a very worthy cause.Here's the link: hope you will show your support with a small purchase.Mahalo & Aloha,Tracy Adams, MALHonolulu, Hawaii
by T. Adams
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Education Opportunity in New England 7-31-2014 0 J. Brooks ARS Restoration Specialists is presenting it's 15th Annual Symposium on July 31st 2014 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, MA. Please visit to register. Agents, Brokers & Adjusters are invited to attend this free event and will have the potential to earn up to 6 credits for Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire and Texas (pending each state’s approval). This will be a great opportunity to network with a number of Independent & Company Adjusters, Agents and Brokers throughout New England. Please RSVP by Friday July 11th 2014 If you need additional information please contact Jim Brooks ( IAIP member) at
by J. Brooks
Monday, June 30, 2014
Leadership Shift 02/03/14 - Trust Behavior #9 - Clarify Expectations 2 C. Krier Thank you for keeping us on track. You can never stop learning if you want to grow.
by P. Holt
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Leadership Shift: 12/02/13 - Leadership Recipe 2 L. Riley Tish, thanks for the ingredients! I do come to these posts to look for new ideas and inspiration as some days I only need to make a muffin but more often than not recently I feel like I need to do a buffet for thousands. Thank you for taking the time to do these.
by S. Joslin
Friday, February 14, 2014
Leadership Shift – 01/27/14 – Trust Behavior #8 – Confront Reality 0 C. Krier "Leaders need to be more candid with those they purport to lead. Sharing good news is easy. When it comes to the more troublesome negative news, be candid and take responsibility. Don’t withhold unpleasant possibilities and don’t pass off bad news to subordinates to deliver. " Jon Huntsman, Chairman, Huntsman Chemical. In this week’s Leadership Shift – we will get "real”. As Leaders we need to ensure that real messages are delivered. I bet you can easily name a recent meeting you were in where you thought to yourself, "just say it ", "why don’t they just speak the truth instead of dancing around the issue”. Why is that? In our PC world, have we gotten too soft? Do we want to keep things "nice”? Do we get hung up on not ruffling feathers? As Leaders, in Stephen M. R. Covey’s book, The Speed of Trust, he talks about the fact that part of developing trust is by speaking the truth. Don’t let there be the "elephant” in the room, get the real facts out and the entire group will be better off because of it and trust will begin to develop. Stephen shares that the "sweet spot" for confronting reality reflects a judgment call utilizing the "4 Cores of Credibility” (you’ll need to get his book to dig into that part). So in thinking of this in a bell curve fashion, on the left side of the curve, confrontation is ignored or at best diluted. Or there is confrontation with no follow through (that will definitely kill trust). The movement toward the sweet spot comes by increasing courage (Integrity), improving Intent, working on trust abilities (Capabilities), and gaining confidence from experience. On the right side of the curve, people are into confronting other people instead of issues. Or the Chicken Little syndrome or victimization (this is awful and there is absolutely nothing I can do). Really? Please never go there. Stephen states that in your efforts to improve confronting reality – here are some things to consider: Is Fear in your way? Consider the consequences of not confronting reality.Are you confronting reality or living in "la-la land”.Be honest.Is there an issue getting in the way of creating an open, high trust relationship? Hit it head on. This week, my Leadership friends, speak the truth and confront your reality head on.
by C. Krier
Monday, January 27, 2014
Leadership Shift - 01/20/14 – Trust Behavior #7 – Get Better 0 C. Krier "The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.” – Alvin Toffler I’d say especially in our business of insurance, the learning continuum is at a constant pace. With the Technology tools that continue to be invented, the learning curve is at a constant pace. The speed in which we must adapt only gets faster and faster. There is something to be said about the person who continues to strengthen their knowledge base. Are you the person who is willing to put their best foot forward, and if you fall, you get right back up and try again? If so, you exemplify learning from your experiences. In Stephen M.R. Covey’s book, The Speed of Trust, he talks about "Get Better” is based on the principles of continuous improvement, learning, and change. There are two strategies that are helpful in maximizing your efforts to "Get Better”: 1. Seek feedback, and 2. Learn from mistakes. Smart leaders create an environment that encourages feedback and appropriate risk taking. Just as our organization does, a smart leader creates an environment where it is safe to learn. Tips from Stephen: Ask for feedback:What is one thing we are now doing that you think we should continue? Stop doing? Start doing?If you make a mistake, don’t agonize over it. Identify the learnings from it and ways you can improve your approach to get different results next time.Take steps to create an environment that makes it safe to make mistakes, and to do better next time. Continuously improve my Leadership friends. Be a constant learner. Or as Stephen points out, don’t assume today’s knowledge and skills will be sufficient for tomorrow’s challenges.
by C. Krier
Monday, January 20, 2014
Leadership: 01/13/14 - Trust Behavior #6 - Deliver Results 1 C. Krier Cheryl,   This weeks' message really rings true.  So many times friends and family make promises and we know quickly which ones we can count on to deliver and which may or may not happen.  Reputations are built on trust and actions.  Actions can make believers out of skeptics.  Sometimes we make promises which are impossible to keep...why do we do that?  To save face, look good.  Be sure to be true to your word in everything you do.  People are counting on you, and judging you.  Don't let them or yourself down.  Four Ideas to Remember:  Be Impecable, word and deed, Don't take it personally, Don't make assumptions and always do you best and you will be at peace with yourself, respectedand trusted.   
by L. Luka
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Leadership: 01/06/14 - Trust Behavior #5 - Show Loyalty 0 C. Krier Happy New Year. With this new year we continue the Speed of Trust series from Stephen M.R. Covey’s book. Showing Loyalty is Trust Behavior #5. It is based on the principles of integrity, loyalty, gratitude and recognition. Stephens talks about important ways to show loyalty. Give credit to others. Acknowledge others contributions in obtaining results.Talk about others as if they were with you.Integrity (courage and congruence), Intent (motive and behavior), and Capabilities (trust ability) play a big role in helping you stay in the loyalty area. If you are working to improve this area of behavior – Stephen shares the following: When working on a project - give credit where it is due.Create an environment in which everyone’s contributions are recognized.Give credit generously.Don’t talk about others in a negative way. So in that vein, I wish to thank and acknowledge my fellow Leadership Shift writers that worked with me in 2013: Tish Riley, Lauri Oakden, Cyndee Morton and Linda Luka. Thank you for your stories and words of wisdom this past year.
by C. Krier
Monday, January 6, 2014
Leadership Shift – 12/30/13 – Trust Behavior #4 – Right Wrongs 0 C. Krier At the end of 2013 – it only seems fitting that we discuss Trust Behavior #4 – Right Wrongs. This is the time of year when we tend to look back and think about what our successes were and where we can improve. This may be personally, or for a lot of us, this is annual performance review time. Sometimes we are big enough to genuinely think about areas that we can correct in the New Year. Well, here we are, December 30th, time to reflect. Behavior #4 – Right Wrongs – is from Stephen M.R. Covey’s book, "The Speed of Trust”. He states that, Righting wrongs is more than apologizing; it’s also about making restitution. It’s taking action. It’s doing what you can to correct the mistake. . .and more.He goes on to share that righting wrongs is based on the principles of humility, integrity and restitution. In my mind this could be big or it could be incrementally small. But it does need to be direct and specific to whatever you are trying to improve. Even though we are at the end of 2013 and thinking about this, righting wrongs should actually take place immediately. You need to quickly acknowledge whatever the issue might be and apologize, and then move on. Stephen writes that what damages credibility and trust the most is when, once something has gone wrong; people don’t acknowledge it or apologize. This causes small incidents to blow up into far bigger issues, and when people try to cover it up, it gets even worse. Apologizing and rectifying mistakes immediately will do far more to build and restore trust. Stephen’s tips: If your behavior is too far left on the bell curve – if you’re not going far enough in righting wrongs – you may want to work on honesty, humility or courage (Integrity),or caring (Intent), or alignment between behavior and desired outcomes (Results).If you’re too far on the right – apologizing too profusely or apologizing repeatedly for the same mistakes – you may want to work more on congruence (Integrity), or motivation (Intent),or on the judgment that comes from strengthening and blending core values. As we close out 2013 - think about areas you can improve. Make decisions to be more aware in the future to be direct and truthful to immediately handle a situation that may not have gone as you initially intended.  Don't let pride get in the way of doing the right thing.Here's to a congruent 2014.  Happy New Year my Leadership friends. 
by C. Krier
Monday, December 30, 2013
Leadership Shift – Behavior #3: Create Transparency 0 C. Krier In our exploration of Behaviors of Trust from the book by Stephen M.R. Covey entitled, The Speed of Trust, let’s look at Transparency. Behavior #3 – Create Transparency – is about being open. It’s about being real and genuine. Telling the truth. Being transparent will usually establish trust. Since we are the end of the year, this is normally a time of giving and receiving performance reviews. How honest are you with your feedback? How honest is the feedback you are receiving? I have found that giving the true statement of facts without emotion and sandwiching those facts with how you will support a person in their goals establishes the truth and trust. Of course, the best scenario is that you have been giving feedback throughout the year so that there are no surprises at the end of the year. It is important that you follow through and continue to give honest feedback. Being careful not to go too far with transparency as to make people uncomfortable. Transparent communication brings out the following: It gives the information that people need in order to understand what is going on at the time that they need it. It avoids surprises. It provides follow-up for concerns that are raised. It is consistent. It creates expectations that are then carried out. Information, no surprises, follow-up, consistency, and expectations carried out, are the major variables that increase trust in an organization. A focus on transparency of communication will work on increasing trust. Stephen shares some tips: Periodically ask yourself, am I withholding information that should be shared? Ask yourself why. If you’re in a position of leadership at work, rate the transparency of your organization. Then consider if we were more transparent, what difference would it make? In the end, tell the truth. Be real. Be genuine. Be open and authentic.
by C. Krier
Monday, December 23, 2013
Leadership Shift - 12/08/13 - Trust Behavior #2: Demonstrate Respect 1 C. Krier Cheryl, great segment, yes, people can smell fake a mile away, if you can't be sincere, then don't fake it.  False praise doesn't do anyone any good.  Work on trying to find the "good" in a situation and comment on what did go well, what you enjoyed listening to, etc. Remember what Mom said, if you can't say anything nice, still applies !!  
by L. Luka
Monday, December 9, 2013
Leadership Shift: 11/25/13 Behavior Matters #1 - Talk Straight 1 C. Krier Good article. Thank you.
by P. Holt
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Leadership Shift - 11/11/13 - Behaviors Matter 2 C. Krier Tossing and turning at night about something that you should/ have would have/ could have done, or that should have been explained to the client better...yikes! That's no way to live!  Putting the points in this "Behaviors Matter" article into practice will help to solve that problem.  Peel the bandage off fast and deal with the tough discussions with insureds head on. Get your ducks in a row, make some notes, ask some advice of people who know more that you do, and then pick up the phone.
by W. Pike
Monday, November 25, 2013
Leadership Shift - November 18, 2013 - Collaborate vs. Dictate 1 L. Oakden-Binder Good perspective.  I believe in the collaborative approach, although it requires some work that not all leaders are comfortable doing.  To get a group to buy in and collaborate involves clear and timely communication; in order to jump on board and help, members of the group need to know what the plan is and what help is needed.  Sometimes leaders complain that others in a group are not team players and don't step up to help.  That same leader may be very busy doing, doing, doing but allocating little time for communicating with the group; without information on the direction, the plan, other members can't step up and help or be part of the team.  They need to know that something needs to be done and what it is, but some leaders are not comfortable stopping the busy train and communicating with others.  The result is that these leaders do most of the work themselves and sometimes burn out later because they didn't have enough help. Also, communication is a two way street.  Sometimes lack of buy in from the rank and file is justified; the plan doesn't meet the needs of the group to which it's targeted; sufficient resources haven't been allocated. Whatever.  Any number of reasons could prompt members to not get on board with a plan or idea and taking time to hear those reasons is important; you never know what might be learned, what problems might be averted in advance, and members will be more enthusiastic about participating if they know their input is at least heard and they are given explanations as to how the plan avoids some of the potential problems members see.   Communicating is hard for some leaders.  They're driven to get results and get things done.  Taking time to explain the plan or to ask questions appears to slow things down so these leaders often charge ahead and dictate rather than collaborate.
by P. Hopp
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Leadership Shift 11-4-13 Skills needed 0 L. Luka Leadership Skills are in high demand. A local agency owner recently addressed a Council Meeting and said our industry is lacking leaders. Hmmm. That got me thinking about what leadership skills are needed in the insurance industry. My first thought was vision; a leader needs to put themselves behind other interests, whether that is their company, agency, or team. Successful leaders are selfless, driven, nurturing, supportive, challenging, never satisfied. That is their job; they need to be the aggressors, pushers of ideas and people. They are responsible for the success of their companies, agencies, team and ultimately human resources. Human resources are constantly challenging their ideas and striving to help them or sabotage them from achieving goals and positive financial results. A lot of responsibility rides on their shoulders; they get the blame and share the glory. Great leaders know when to push, when to back off, and when a gently nudge is needed. Leaders need to be super communicators of messages, both good and bad. They need to engage people, inspire others to go beyond and give more than they think they can. They need to show and do and not be afraid to roll up their sleeves and help get the job done. Leaders are special people, they know fun and rewards are part of the package and some down time will help rejuvenate a team. They know that financial rewards are not the only motivators; sometimes a heartfelt written thank you note means the world Yes, I agree with the agency owner, great leaders are in short supply, but I also know that many organizations have leaders that inspire, motivate, challenge their teams and achieve great results. So if leaders are scarce, what can be done to find more leaders? Education can help a good manager or owner become great. Mentoring is another great way to learn and acquire leadership skills. Books, seminars, speakers are plentiful if someone is willing to spend the time to learn new skills, to become better and be a leader. Are you ready? Are you willing to invest in yourself and your organization and IAIP? Join the team, get involved, take classes, talk to officers and management teams or HR for more information and let people know what you want to achieve. IAIP is right on the topic with the CLP. What a great program, take a class on line or with your peers at a local, council, regional or international meeting. It is possible, go out there and join the few, the scarce, the Leaders.
by L. Luka
Monday, November 4, 2013
Leadership Shift - 10/30/13 - How Did It Get To Be Wednesday? 0 C. Krier My Leadership Friends. . .How did it get to be Wednesday?  I'm still working on my "to do's for Monday!Do you ever get distracted?  Need to get something done but veer off course with other "hot” items that pop up?  Do you say to yourself, "if I just get this quickly out of the way, I can concentrate where I need to.  Such is the same for someone who is leading a group of people or working with others.  Within the group there can be so many different personalities, needs and objectives.  This week while I’ve gotten distracted in some areas of my own, I also had a discussion with a fellow leader who was trying to coach an individual.  It was tough because the person would go in so many different directions with their concerns and opinion and then ending with emotions running high.  Another person I worked with this week was trying to just get along with a teammate, but couldn’t put her finger on what the issue is.  Do you ever run into these types of situations?  Emotional?  Can't figure out how you got off course with someone?John C. Maxwell, a great thought provoking Leadership Author, talks about Distracters.  A recent excerpt that I read from John has just been screaming at me this week to "sit up and pay attention”.  I’m paying close attention now.  So I thought I would share it with you.Distracters are ones who torment and do everything possible to interfere with work. They may try to stop work by mocking and ridiculing. When that doesn’t work, tactics can shift to fear, entrapment, and political maneuvering. The Leader can counter these tactics.     John shares 4 keys lessons to consider (and I paraphrase here):1.      Expect distracters.2.      Don’t give 'the distractions' the time of day.3.      Trust yourself and your reputation.4.      Keep working forward and don’t look back.What this tells me is to be ready for distracters and distractions.  Embrace it, but control it.  Listen, but keep the discussions on course with the facts in mind.  Seek to understand, and then be understood.  Do not get caught up in the emotions, just the facts.  Trust yourself.  Keep moving forward.I gave this advice after listening to both situations I described above, and they went back, listened, kept the discussion on track; kept in mind that "there is the way you see it”, "there is the way they see it”, and there is the way that it is”.  Hummm, food for thought.Keep working forward my leadership friends; embrace the distracters, but control the outcome and don’t look back.  Leadership is a journey. 
by C. Krier
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Leadership Shift - 10/14/13 - Being Present 1 C. Krier Great Reminder of "being present".  Thanks for sharing, so often we are trying to do multiple tasks and do not "settle" as my friend tells me.  My husband and I are guilty of not listening to each other occasionally as well, believe it or not. I remember hearing him talk, but didn't concentrate on what he was saying.  I caught him as well, so we both laughed and agreed to really listen to each other better.  Communication is such a vital part of of our jobs, that we need to give "listening" a new try and really practice listening to others and "being present".  Thanks for a great reminder.
by L. Luka
Monday, October 21, 2013
Thinking in New Boxes, Good Read! 0 G. Welfringer Thinking in New Boxes: A New Paradigm for Business CreativityLuc de Brabandere and Alan InyRetail Price: $28.00LS Price: $19.04You Save: $8.96 (32%)Availability: Usually ships within 24 hours.Format: Hardcover, 252pp.ISBN: 9780812992953Publisher: Random HousePub. Date: September 10, 2013Description and Reviews From The Publisher:When BIC, manufacturer of disposable ballpoint pens, wanted to grow, it looked for an idea beyond introducing new sizes and ink colors. Someone suggested lighters. LIGHTERS? With an idea that seemed crazy at first, that bright executive, instead of seeing BIC as a pen company—a business in the PEN "box”—figured out that there was growth to be found in the DISPOSABLE "box.” And he was right. Now there are disposable BIC lighters, razors, even phones. The company opened its door to a host of opportunities. IT INVENTED A NEW BOX. Your business can, too. And simply thinking "out of the box” is not the answer. True ingenuity needs structure, hard analysis, and bold brainstorming. It needs to start THINKING IN NEW BOXES —a revolutionary process for sustainable creativity from two strategic innovation experts from The Boston Consulting Group (BCG). To make sense of the world, we all rely on assumptions, on models—on what Luc de Brabandere and Alan Iny call "boxes.” If we are unaware of our boxes, they can blind us to risks and opportunities. This innovative book challenges everything you thought you knew about business creativity by breaking creativity down into five steps: • Doubt everything. Challenge your current perspectives. • Probe the possible. Explore options around you. • Diverge. Generate many new and exciting ideas, even if they seem absurd. • Converge. Evaluate and select the ideas that will drive breakthrough results. • Reevaluate. Relentlessly. No idea is a good idea forever. And did we mention Reevaluate? Relentlessly. Creativity is paramount if you are to thrive in a time of accelerating change. Replete with practical and potent creativity tools, and featuring fascinating case studies from BIC to Ford to Trader Joe’s, Thinking in New Boxes will help you and your company overcome missed opportunities and stay ahead of the curve. This book isn’t a simpleminded checklist. This is Thinking in New Boxes. And it will be fun. (We promise.) Reviews"Thinking in New Boxes is a five-step guide that leverages the authors’ deep understanding of human nature to enable readers to overcome their limitations and both imagine and create their own futures. This book is a must-read for people living and working in today’s competitive environment.”—Ray O. Johnson, Ph.D., chief technology officer, Lockheed Martin"Thinking In New Boxes discusses what I believe to be one of the fundamental shifts all companies/brands need to be thinking about: how to think creatively, in order to innovate and differentiate our brands. We need to thrive and lead in a world of accelerating change and this book challenges us to even greater creativity in our thinking. One of the best business books I’ve read in a long time.”—Jennifer Fox, CEO, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts"As impressive as teaching new tricks to old dogs, Thinking in New Boxes is both inspirational and practical—a comprehensive, step-by-step guide to sharpening one’s wits in order to harness creativity in the workplace.”—Peter Gelb, general manager, Metropolitan Opera
by G. Welfringer
Thursday, October 17, 2013
Mentoring Program 10-1-13 Flex Those Business Muscles 3 M. Elliott Thanks, Martha, for the all the great lessons you've shared on this blog.  It was truly a pleasure working with you on the task force.
by L. Riley
Monday, October 7, 2013
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