In a recent blog post, we disclosed the top due diligence considerations you should make if you’re looking to sell your insurance agency. But there’s another, just-as-important factor in ensuring your agency grows and prospers into the future – grooming your emerging leaders to take over the business.
Many owners factor in operations and agency management when they mentor young leaders, but there are many other leadership characteristics to consider in an ever-changing industry. Here are a few.
Give them responsibility.
It’s one thing to teach how to cross-sell an account or your accounting procedures, but it’s another to give that young leader actual responsibility. Give them a project to tackle, like implementing a new piece of software or reviewing a specific procedure for efficiency and making changes as needed. Ownership in a specific deliverable will help build their confidence in believing they can make a difference in moving the agency forward.
Let them lead by giving them autonomy.
Don’t just give young leaders projects to manage, give them autonomy in getting them done. Communicate your expectations in the beginning, but then entrust them to make decisions on how implementation will be handled. Let them understand what success looks like and when they need to seek guidance if circumstances go a little off kilter. And if they fail, that’s ok (within reason, of course). It’s a learning opportunity. Use it to teach them how to improve.
Accountability – it’s a two-way street.
Any leader should accept the failure of an initiative and work toward improving it. When mentoring a young leader, that accountability should come from you – and that person.
Be a Cheerleader.
Not an actual cheerleader (unless pompoms are your thing). But make the space and time to praise and encourage your future leaders for a job well done. And not just during one-on-one sessions. Talk to your staff about why this person was chosen to lead, and how their performance affects the bottom line. Championing your emerging leaders’ performance in front of peers and other managers further builds confidence, trust, and mutual respect. Staff need to understand who will eventually be in charge, and their leadership characteristics that influenced you to select them for eventual ownership in the first place.
Provide peer networking opportunities.
As a partner of Keystone Agency Investors, you gain access to an exclusive-agency-led group positioned to empower the next generation of leaders through peer collaboration, intellectual capital sharing, and development of best practices. We call this initiative the Emerging Leaders. This group’s goal is to tackle challenges with operations, employee performance, leadership transition, building producer talent, and leveraging technology. Agents share ideas on marketing, sales, recruitment, and agency management strategies for growth. The influence of this collaboration has been transformational among members.
If you’re interested in learning more about a KAI partnership, click on the Join Us section and fill in your interest today.