Your Sacred Duty
“To whom much is given, much is required.” - Luke 12:48
Regardless of your faith system/worldview, the message of the above passage is universal. As leaders in this industry, we have been given much. I have a friend who regularly says, “If I had settled for my wildest dreams, I would have sold myself short.” I feel the exact same way. If that is true, then I am REQUIRED to pay it forward, even if I wasn’t in leadership.
So what does the “REQUIRED” mean? You will have to figure that out for yourself. As for me, it means I owe it to the people that are counting on me, the people I lead, to give them my absolute, level best every single day. Regardless of my own personal circumstances. Regardless if I feel like it. Regardless if I am tired. Regardless if the last two people I tried to help didn’t listen. Regardless if people sometimes try to take advantage of me. Regardless if…
Being in leadership is not always puppy dogs kissing unicorns while under rainbows. In fact most of the time it is hard work. It is easy to get jaded at times and wonder if you are really making a difference. People let you down and no matter how hard you try, more of them than not, are going to fail out of the business. It is easy to start doubting your leadership ability when this happens.
It really doesn’t matter what has happened in the past. Because you have been given much, you are REQUIRED to give the person standing in front of you your very best effort.
What You Can Control
Let me be clear, you can’t make anyone be successful and you can’t make them fail. To think you can make someone successful is very grandiose thinking. What you can do is model the work, mindsets, and characteristics it takes to be successful.
The last time I checked, I can barely control my own success, let alone anyone else. All I can do is make sure that I give them the keys to the kingdom. Whether or not they choose to use them is on them.
If at the end of the day, I can honestly say, “I did absolutely everything I could to help them be successful,” I can sleep very easy. It is only when I give less than the REQUIRED effort that their lack of success gnaws at me.
20+ years ago, I was recruiting a gentleman by the name of Mike. I was incredibly excited about bringing him on. He knew everyone in his community and had the drive that I always look for. He had never been in insurance. In fact, for most of his career, he had been a youth pastor.
Mike asked me to sit down with his wife before they made their final decision. After the pleasantries were over, she looked me dead in the eye and asked me if I could guarantee her husband would be successful. I told her absolutely not.
I told her I wasn’t sure that I was going to be successful. I had just started less than a year before. I had opened several groups and made some decent money but I wasn’t sure I could even spell insurance yet.
I’ll never forget what I told her that day. I said, “I can’t promise you that Mike will be successful. But I can promise you this, Mike will never fail alone. If he is putting in the effort and doing what is necessary, I will be with him every step of the way.”
Mike was an animal. He would want to work WELL past 5:00 pm most days, which was fine. The challenge was that once we were done, I had over an hour to drive home…In the pouring rain. (I’m not kidding. We lived in Washington.) But I had made a promise that I would be there with him. I felt that it was my sacred duty to keep my word. I believed it was REQUIRED.
Mike’s insurance career has been (and still is) one of the biggest success stories I have ever seen. To be clear, Mike did the work. All I did was make sure that he knew I was in his corner and model what it took to be successful. If I’m being honest, Mike probably pushed me harder than I did him.Mike also understands how much this business has given him. He get’s it. He has consistently helped others get started and modeled what it takes to be successful. I know Mike sleeps well at night knowing he has given what is REQUIRED of him.
What Is REQUIRED Of You Today?
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Would you also forward this to every leader you know? I need the reminder of what is required of me, and they might too.