5 characteristics of great insurance agency leaders

 March 30, 2022     UFG Insurance    Business  Read Time: 4 min

Female insurance agency leader speaking to a group of employees.

“What characteristics or traits make an effective leader?”

We’ve all heard that question before. The answer that follows depends on what you value in leadership. Maybe you like a leader who is a good orator or possibly someone who is very inspiring? Maybe you just want someone who will give you the tools needed to succeed and get out of your way? 

In the insurance industry, agency leadership is incredibly important. From the strategic direction your agency is headed, to ensuring all people are rowing in the right direction, there are a lot of traits that can help one become a great insurance agency leader.

Today we’re giving you our top five characteristics of great insurance agency leaders.

1. Show empathy 

Above all else, be a good person.

Showing your people you care through the actions you take could be your number one priority as a leader. Being there when your team needs you and being intentional about being inclusive is a great way to show your empathetic side. Empathy means understanding your people, from how they want to be celebrated (publicly or not), to what projects they should or should not be involved in. An empathetic leader is one who understands their people and ensures they have what they need to succeed.

2. Inspire and empower others

One could argue that this is the number one job of any leader, whether they work in insurance or not. Painting a picture of your vision for the company, division or your individual team helps connect people with purpose. It encourages them to use critical thinking skills and challenge themselves as they think about how they can contribute and add value as well. 

Empowering is just as important as inspiring, but very different. Do your people have the tools needed to achieve? Do they have your full support? Have you mentioned that to them lately? Another way to empower your team is to recognize their skillsets and put them in a position to win. Inspiring your agency team helps connect the goals to a purpose, while empowering helps translate to action. 

And remember: Leadership is not a title. Any single person in any position can inspire and help empower others — you don’t need to be a manager or director to do that.

3. Encourage action

Leaders are successful because they help the people around them be successful. Success comes from actions, actions come from confidence and confidence comes from empowerment. Confident people take action and you can help empower team members by building their confidence through interactions, coaching sessions and more. 

If you can think strategically and encourage your people to take action on high ROI activities, the agency will win in the long run. We’re not talking about just any actions, but about tactics that can translate to achieving strategic goals for the company. Remember that failure is okay, and it also provides a learning moment for all involved. 

“The greatest failure of all is the failure to act when action is needed.” – John Wooden.

4. Open-minded and willing to change

First, start by asking yourself this: Would you consider yourself a learner?

If so, then you must be willing to change your mind as you learn. Admitting that you don’t know everything is a positive and will help you garner more respect among your peers — you don’t need to have all the answers! After all, that’s what the rest of the agency is for. You should not be afraid to challenge the status quo and encourage your team to do the same, even with you. 

Our experiences shape us, but as we learn more, we become more open-minded and willing to change. Plus, you’re setting an example. If you are willing to change and can display that to your team and co-workers, they will take notice and could become more open to the idea of change themselves. 

5. Effective communicator

Last, but not least, none of the above characteristics can do any good if you are not an effective communicator. Being a great communicator helps you excel in every aspect of your life — family, friends, work, home and others. 

Here are a few tips on how to be a better, more effective communicator:
• Listen first, always.
• Pay attention to body language.
• Reread your messages before you send them.
• Consider the timing of your communication.
• Know your audience.
• Be specific.

There you have it! As previously mentioned, there are many traits that make a great insurance agency leader, but we wanted to share five that we believe are crucial. Do you agree? What would you add to the list?

Make sure you follow us on LinkedIn and let us know what you value when it comes to a great insurance agency leader. 

 

The information provided is for informational purposes only. Every attempt is made to ensure that the information is accurate; however, it is not intended to replace professional advice. For more information, see Disclaimers & Other Legal Documents.