Category: Leadership Speaker

Resilience is Forged by Determination & Grit

 

Last year in a virtual speech on resilience, I was asked if a resilient manager is the descriptor of someone without conviction or an objective.

“Oh no,” I said, “it is quite the opposite.”

In fact, as a keynote speaker on resilience, I know that the most resilient managers are determined, highly focused and always have a strong sense of purpose. To illustrate my comment, I gave her an example of a basic household item we all take for granted: the rubber band. I might start by saying that the rubber band hasn’t been made of natural rubber in decades!

Born of Vision

When we think of resilience, our minds tend to wander to elastic objects that stretch, bend and return to their original shape. But an elastic object, be it a rubber band or stretch band is first formed by heating chemical compounds, then poured into hardened steel molds, cured by steam heat and eventually cut by hard steel blades to an exacting thickness.

To make an elastic rubber band requires design, engineering, a manufacturing process, quality control and constant refinement.

The purpose of this post isn’t to teach organizations the art of rubber band making, but to illustrate that even the most flexible of objects or resilient of practices is rooted in solid ground or strong tradition or singular mindset.

While the willow tree may bend in the breeze, its strong roots do not; while the lifelong study of Tai Chi is seen as a process of flexibility and flowing movements, its practitioners are extremely aware of their core and connection to the earth.

Resilient Changes

In these times of constant change and the resilience required to meet those changes, the most successful organizations are those that cultivate three key practices: Vision, Mindset and Grit. Whether your organization is devoted to legal, accounting, healthcare or rubber band manufacturing, resilience must be deeply rooted in purpose.

Having a resilient vision means that although pandemic and recovery will cause our organizations undergo constant change this year, we must develop a plan that will connect us to “the earth” of our mission. This plan means we must be determined to be imaginative, creative, deliberate and powerful.

Having a resilient mindset requires not just our teams, but every individual on our team to work at being at their best. To be the best, we must be determined to develop a resilient mindset by honing our skills and strengths to handle with any problem or task that comes our way. The strong roots of the willow tree did not develop that way because of light breezes and plentiful water, but to cope with the changing terrain.

Developing resilient grit is to know that each day, every hour in that day we will face unexpected challenges that must be overcome. Times may change, workplace stressors and opportunities change, but grit is constant.

Resilience is forged of hard determination; to stand against the change and the challenges and ultimately to win, whether your company is involved in insurance, biotech or rubber bands. Resilience in tough times creates winners; narrow thinking or losing intent leads to failure and defeat.

 

To hire Scott Burrows, Motivational Resilience Speaker for your next in-person or virtual event, contact him today through this website or his office at: (520) 548-1169

 

Now, More Than Ever, Associations Must Engage Members

 

In my role as an association keynote speaker, I know that now, more than ever, associations must re-engage their members. Association membership has been in trouble for quite some time, and membership loss and membership engagement with those organizations have worsened during the pandemic.

In February 1, 2018, Associations Now published the results of a Member Loyalty Study that listed several reasons why members did not renew their memberships to associations.   Of the top reasons, three of them deserve note here:

  • 34% of members who dropped out said it was too costly
  • 26% of members who dropped out said the association was providing little value
  • 9% of members who dropped out said the organization had declined in quality

Unfortunately, with the pandemic, these same problems increased.  Michael Hickey, also writing for Associations Now (September 25, 2020) noted:

“Losing members is an unfortunate reality for every association. This is especially true in 2020, when new outside pressures—particularly the financial turmoil caused by the COVID-19 pandemic—might have more people ready to cut membership fees out of their expenses, on top other reasons [reported above] that people let memberships lapse.”

Business as Usual or a New Mindset?

There is no doubt that 2020 was a year of “financial turmoil,” but as a keynote speaker for associations I know that to attribute membership declines and a lack of engagement to lockdowns does not tell the whole story.

Unfortunately, in some associations the decline has gone on for years. Ironically, associations are needed now, more than ever. The glue that holds professionals together is the professional association.

Jan Hill, writing for Onelegal.com, a website directed at law associations, listed 10 advantages to belonging to an association. Among those advantages were: getting your name “out there,” job prospects, mentoring programs, networking and resources. If we couple those advantages with the survey above, it is apparent that there is a vision and mindset problem because the advantages an association offers are exactly the things members need.

Associations should be “blasting off” with new members at this time – and they’re not. COVID should be serving as a catalyst for expanding association membership and not a damper.

What is needed is a new association mindset. Whether the association addresses financial services, accounting, agriculture, manufacturing or dentistry, members need the combined expertise and common bonds shared with like-minded people.

Does your association have the mindset and the vision to engage existing members and to attract new members? If, as the survey showed, more than a third of your members may be dropping out because they think it’s too costly, or if more than a quarter of your members have left because they see little value, what is your association’s vision for new programs or services or engagement messaging? Very seriously, if members are leaving because of the declining quality of your association’s professional benefits, what is the collective mindset for improving that quality?

As we are being led out of the pandemic, the association must be there to lead the way and to put a public face to your industry. A healthy industry must have healthy associations. It will take mindset, vision and grit.

 

 

Book Scott Burrows, association keynote speaker by contacting him through this website or his office at: (520) 548-1169

 

Are You Determined to Know the Truth About Insurance Sales?

 

My career as an insurance and financial services keynote speaker wasn’t something, I fell into one fine day. I learned the insurance and financial services industry from the bottom up. Despite personal and physical hardship and sacrifice, I made it into the Million Dollar Round Table in five years.

Keeping Current

It’s important to me that I keep current with the insurance and financial services industry from a motivational speaker point of view and also for my knowledge base. As I am a virtual as well as in-person speaker, I was interested in a link sent to me by an old associated that was entitled The Truth About Being an Insurance Agent. As it was published recently, I wanted to understand the current thinking.

As my passion is motivating insurance and financial services industry sales people to achieve their best, I was interested in the section in the article “Why do insurance agents fail?”

The authors listed several reasons including: unrealistic expectations due to a lack of renewals; a lack of sales mainly due to a lack of industry knowledge and sales savvy; inadequate lead generation; running a business can be overwhelming and focusing on commissions instead of the needs of the customer. While it is impossible to find fault with the points, they seem to fall short of the actual reasons for the failures.

Mindset, Determination and Grit

My philosophy of insurance and financial services sales is based on three underlying principles: mindset, determination and grit.

As to the issue of unrealistic expectations leading to a lack of sales, if this were the case, no one would go into the profession at first, nor would anyone focus on generating leads. Or, for that matter, who would create an insurance and financial services business or want to make a difference in the lives of their clients?

If a new agent has a realistic mindset about what it takes to create a business, if they are determined to go after business and to generate leads, if they have the daily grit to deliver exceptional customer service and to run an outstanding business, they will succeed.

My philosophy is not based on hollow words. When I entered the insurance and financial services business, I was still undergoing physical therapy following a horrific automobile that left me a quadriplegic.  In my recovery, I developed the mindset to see myself heal, the determination to do whatever I could to improve inch by inch, step by step and most important, to have the grit to get better and be better every day.

It’s Not Beyond Your Ability

Never think that success is reserved for other people, it is right there for you. If you are determined to be successful in the insurance and financial services business you can do it. When I was recovering from my accident, I was surrounded by many terrific people who encouraged and pushed my healing. No one pushed me harder than I pushed myself.

However, there was one type of “visitor” I never allowed in my life: negative people. On your road to success, there will be negativity.

The truth is this: you can be successful. Be determined to be successful and have the grit to build something great for yourself. Let no one tell you otherwise.

 

Book Scott Burrows, Insurance and Financial Services Keynote Speaker today, for your next convention or sales meeting, through this website or by calling (520) 548-1169