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America the Leader

In the financial services business, we often form service teams to help our clients.

I like to think of these units as “ensemble casts of superstars” that deliver outstanding performances.

The planner will make financial goalsetting seem dreamy.

The investment advisor will make investing an adventure.

The attorney will work his magic with the law.

The accountant will mystify with numbers.

And the insurance guy will make it all seem like a lovefest (the purchase of life insurance is, after all, an act of love).

Who brings it all together

Who drives the team?

Who is the impresario that brings it all together?

More often than not, it is the life insurance salesman.

I think this is because a very unique combination of factors leads to success in our field:

  • We must be focused on the needs of our client.
  • We must be determined to get it done.
  • We must be able to work effectively with other professionals who complement our own expertise.
  • And lastly, we must wait for our pay: no commission comes our way until the client smiles and signs. Lots of incentive there for us to make sure everybody is on the same page and willing to do what it takes.

The leadership of these client service teams is a natural role for us to play, but our skills don’t all come naturally.

To excel at this job we have to work hard and keep learning.

Very importantly, we must set the tone for people to act accountably and responsibly.

As President Harry S Truman famously said, “The buck stops here.”

That must be our motto.

America and personal responsibility

It is this ethic of personal responsibility that I admire so much in America.

Our founding fathers knew the evils of oppressive government.

But they also knew that if we citizens want to keep the government off our backs, we must behave responsibly.

If we can’t manage our own affairs, the government will want to do it for us…and that beast must always be fed.

This is one of the big lessons that I think America has to teach the world:

Stand up and be counted!

Nobody in his right mind would want to be a vassal of the State.

But if somebody grows up in an environment that encourages dependency, he’ll end up looking for such servitude.

Our message is that every man and woman can take charge of his life if given the chance.

If we expect – no, if we demand! – the best from one another, we will get it.

In spades.

Stand up, America! Show the world how you make your life count for something.

We can be great leaders. Let’s do it!