Three Questions Everyone is Asking About You


In this podcast episode, Brent Kelly discusses three important questions that people are asking about you as an agency leader:

  • "Can you help me?" (3:00)
  • "Do I trust you?" (8:43)
  • "Do you really care about me?" (15:00)

Brent emphasizes the importance of these questions in determining a leader's impact, influence, and results. Listen in for practical examples and suggestions for improving your status in each of these areas.

There are three specific questions that every single person is asking about you, the agent leader. These three questions, more importantly, how these three questions are answered in relation to you, will determine your impact, your influence, and ultimately your results. Welcome to the Agent Leader podcast. My name is Brent Kelly. I'm your host. Thanks for joining me on this episode. Excited to be with you and very excited to share something very close to my heart. Obviously this is the Agent Leader podcast. We want to talk about leadership principles, philosophies, and practices, and this episode and these questions is absolutely impactful for you as an agency leader. We spent some time in the last few episodes, the solo episodes that I've created about questions to ask others to open files and unlock doors and create curiosity and be more interesting, all these types of things. But today I want to flip the script a little bit and I want you to think about the questions that others are asking about you.

What are some of the questions that people are asking about you? And by the way, as you're going to hear on today's podcast, these questions aren't often directly verbalized, meaning that most people aren't going to come up and say this specific question, but they are going to be thinking through these types of questions and how they feel and relate and are influenced by you, the agent leader. Now, before I get into the content today, I want to share with you a reminder, I mentioned this in some other podcasts. We've released an Agency Transformation Scorecard, the Sitkins Group. We want to make it as easy and impactful for you, the agency leader, to hop on our site, take a very brief scorecard quiz, it's a transformational scorecard. You can go in, answer some questions, it only takes a few minutes, and then get a report back of where your agency stands today.

It's a great awareness tool. We want to provide this for all the podcast listeners, anyone that goes to the site, it's So again, go to, take you a few minutes to get a report. It's a great way to see where you stand, and of course, have greater clarity and awareness of where you want and need to go. So check that out, Alright, let's get into the three questions. I want to get right into this, and what I'm going to do is I'm obviously going to share the three questions, but then I want to provide some practical examples, some tangible ways for you, the agent leader, to take steps to improve your status in these questions. Because I don't think this is ever going to be a hundred percent yes or a hundred percent no. There's probably always some middle ground. So to me it's how do I stand? And by the way, obviously when you're leading multiple people, right, most of you are certainly with agency teams or leading clients or people in your community, you're going to have some that are going to be higher than others, so to speak when you think about the answer to these questions. But how do you improve your status on these questions? I'm going to share some of those. So here we go. Here's question number one. This is going to be pretty straightforward, but let's Take some time to unpack it.

Question number one is this, can you help me? Can you help me? Every single person that you lead somewhere in their conscious or subconscious is asking themselves, can this person help me? Can this person help me get from where I am today to where I really want to go? Everyone's on a path, on a journey, and part of that is just really understanding where it is they want to go. But that question is very simple. It's help me get from point A to point Z faster and easier than I could on my own, right? Ultimately, that's what it is. So without you, this would take longer and be harder with you. You'll make it easier and simpler for me. That's really what people want. That's a very straightforward question. By the way, most leaders are pretty darn good at this question, or at least they try to be good at this question because we want to help people get from where they are to where they want to go.

Now, this also comes back to my belief in what is the number one role and responsibility of leadership? Well, I believe the number one role and responsibility of leadership is to grow and develop people. And a great way to do that is by helping them get to where they want to go. In fact, the late great Zig Ziglar said this, "if you help enough people get what they want, you can have anything you want." I always love that quote, if you just help enough people get what they want, you can have anything that you want. So what are some ways that you can help people? And again, you may already be doing some of these things, but also it might be some reminders or, oh, you know what? I didn't think about that. So here's some ways you can help people get what they want.

Number one, it's just provide mentorship. Just provide mentorship to people. Share your experience. Share your prior knowledge of things that's happened. You know what? When I used to do this, here's what happened, and here's why. This is an idea of helping people quantum leap the results by sharing the things that worked and the things that didn't work, right? So mentorship and experience. Here's another way to help people. It doesn't always have to be about you. I think that happens, especially if we think about this in the insurance agency space with younger producers, for example, or even younger leaders is, well, I don't know that I know enough yet to share mentorship or experience. You know what you can do? You can share connections and people, you can share connections. Hey, I know someone that can help you. Here's a person that I want to connect you with.

Those are extremely powerful, certainly in the insurance agency world. For newer producers, it might be, I've got a great team around me, I've got supportive underwriters, whatever it is, but utilize people around you to help you get where it is that you want to go. Maybe you've got a plan or a process that can help them navigate some of these murky waters, so to speak, faster, right? So what is your plan? What is a process that you have or shared? We do this all the time with our agency members of the Sitkins Group. We try to actually use all of these things. We provide mentorship, we provide connections and people to help them. And also we'll give you a plan or process. Well, what are you doing to provide people a plan or process?

And the last one I want to hit on is more emotional, but it's very, very powerful. People can be helped by being both challenged and encouraged. Now, there takes some emotional intelligence to know when to do what, so to speak. Is this a time that I challenge someone? Is this time that I encourage someone? Every situation's unique, but there are people who will certainly get help by you challenging them. I don't think that's your best version. I know there's more in you. I don't want to see you take shortcuts. Whatever it may be is that I want to challenge you because I see more in you than you may see in yourself, right? That's a great way to help people. That's great coaching. If you think about people in your life, maybe it was a teacher, maybe it was a coach, maybe it was someone in business that may be at a point you were like, gosh, I didn't really want to hear that.

But you know that because you heard it and because you made changes and because they challenged you, grew, you developed, and you became a better version of yourself. So that is critical. Secondly is encouraging people. It's not always about knocking people down. And by the way, I don't think that's what challenging is anyway, but it's also about lifting people up when they need it. We can be very self-critical as human beings. I mean, just ask people questions about themself. Oftentimes, not every time, but many times you'll hear answers where they diminish themselves, they diminish their values, their worth, what they've done. I'm going to give you an example, and this is going to sound kind of weird, and I don't want this to be ego thing at all. It's not. But I'll never forget this. I was going through a very difficult time in a transition in my career, and I was working with a coach.

In fact, I was paying a coach at a time when I probably didn't have the funds to pay this coach, but I knew it was important for me, and I'm glad that I did. And I'll never forget this. She said, "you know, Brent, yes, you've had challenges. Yes, you've gone through some tough stuff. Yes, you've made some mistakes, but I don't think you see the brilliance that's actually inside of you." And I am like, what do you mean brilliance? I've screwed this up and I've made this mistake and I've done this and I've done this. He goes, no, there's brilliance inside of you. You just need to continue to unlock it. And maybe that sounds cliche or whatever, pie in the sky, but I'm telling you those things, those examples that is truly helping people, that first question is ask yourself the people that you lead, that you have influence around, if they would ask them, does this person help you?

How would they answer? I know that's a challenging question, but how would they answer? Can you help me? And in most cases, would they say, sure, absolutely. This person helps me and here's exactly how they help me. So that's question number one of three. So let's get to question number two if you can help them, great. Let's go to number two. Do I trust you? Do I trust you? I never forget reading a book years ago. This comes from Jeffrey Gitomer in a book. He said this, and this was big and bold. It said, "no trust, no nothing." right? If we don't have trust, you have nothing. And it was really interesting. I'll give you a very real life agency example that was recent, by the way as well, is that as we were running through one of our programs, actually it was two different programs.

You have a producer program and our account manager, our service professional program, we ask a similar question to both producers and account managers. We ask the question of what is the greatest challenge in communication and a high performance team? Now, that's a term that we use at Sitkins, but high performance team is an ongoing relationship, a performance team between sales and service, same goal, different roles that we know that we have the same goal to retain and obtain ideal clients, but we have different roles. So what is the biggest challenge of communication? Or what is the biggest thing that jumps out? And there are a lot of different answers, but the number one thing on both boards was trust. The number one challenge was trust. Now, just think about this for a second. I think sometimes agency leaders and agencies don't think about this at this level.

It's just, well, why isn't this working? And why isn't this person doing this, and why isn't this happening? Or why aren't we getting this result? And whatever it is, we can give a number of examples of plans, processes, strategies, and at the underlying part, if there is no trust between sales and service or a lack of trust, it's not going to work. It's not going to work. Certainly not long term, right? No trust, no nothing. And so one of the things that I want to just caution you as a leader, I caution myself on this because it is very easy as a high level entrepreneur, business leader, producer, a go-getter, that you can make lots of little promises slash agreements without putting much time or thought into them. Yeah, yeah. We'll just do that. Yeah, yeah, I'll just do that. Yeah, yeah, we'll get that done, right?

And I don't think it's done out of malice or even ego, which we want to help. We want to do the right thing. We think we can take care of it, but maybe we don't communicate it to other people. Maybe it's not reinforced. Maybe the ball does get dropped. And of course, when that happens, whether we make big agreements or even micro agreements, micro commitments, and we don't follow through on those, we instantly lose trust and credibility. So what are some tangible things to think about this? Well, here's what I would say, and I don't have a better way of saying this, and this speaks to my own life very clearly, is simply don't make promises, agreements, or commitments without actual thought.

I don't have a better way of saying it. Don't make commitments, agreements, promises to other people around you without giving it real thought. Don't gloss over these things because for you, it may not be a big deal, but for the person you're agreeing to or committing to or promising to, it can be an incredibly big deal. And this is true personally. This is true professionally. And I continue personally to struggle with this. It's a challenge, but I'm more aware of it. It's, hold on a second, right? Hold on a second. I'll never forget, years and years ago, my daughter, who's now almost 17 years old, she was very little. I don't know how old she was five or six years old, something like that. And she would always say to me, "dad, you have to make a promise, dad, you have to make a promise, dad, you have to make a promise."

Then I would say, Abby, I don't have to make a promise. I have to keep the promises that I've made. That's the challenge. So you think about this, I'll give you a board game example. It reminds me of trust. When I think of trust and building trust a little bit like shoots and ladders. I know, bear with me here, but if you ever played shoots and ladders, you had little kids you played a long time ago, you know that you can just hop up the board and you get a ladder and you get to go up and you hop on the board again. And the minute you hit that shoot fact, there's one really big shoot where you crash all the way to the bottom. That is very true in trust that you might be doing pretty well. But one big blunder, I absolutely will get this done.

And by the way, you make another person look stupid. It involves other people around it. It's a big deal that can drop you down to the bottom of trust. So some questions that I wrote down on my preparation, here's some questions to consider. Here's one of these on trust. Am I too flippant in my commitments? Am I too flippant in my commitments? Here's a question. How do I ensure that I keep my commitments? And I mean this. If you make a commitment, how do you ensure you keep them? Meaning that if you make a commitment, where is it written down? Who do you tell? What is the next step? What is the process? Because you're probably very busy, even though we hate that word. You're busy, you're doing stuff all over and you will likely forget. Here's the last question. Just think about this on a positive note.

What would authentic trust mean for your key relationships? What would having authentic deep level trust mean for your key relationships? Those people on your team going, you know what? This person isn't perfect. This person's made mistakes. This person sometimes says stupid things, but you know what? Above all, I trust them. Wow, that's big deal. That's a really big deal. So this question, do I trust you? I just want you to, I think sometimes we can gloss over you. Yeah, I trust you. I trust, but how well are you trusted? And sometimes don't think about, well, no, I mean, I'm not a bad person. No, I don't think you are a bad person. But you'll never know until you really think about micro-commitments, micro agreements or promises that because we don't keep, are holding us back from our best leadership and our best version possible, and ultimately, obviously, the relationships that we desire. Alright, so

First two questions. Can you help me? Can I trust you? Which leads me to number three. And yes, this is a bit of a softie, but I would also say is right up there with trust on importance. Here's the third question that people are asking about you. Do you really care about me? Do you really care about me? I can remember, it's been many years now, but I was leading an organization, this was not in the insurance space. I was doing some training and consulting with another sales organization, and we had a couple different situations. We would do some work with the entire team, including the sales leaders and leaders, and we would do some where we were just working with the sales professionals. And I actually used this frame with the salespeople because something wasn't clicking. And I asked 'em the question. I said, do you think that your leadership team can help you? And they said, oh, yeah, they help us. They're pretty good. They're not perfect, but they help us. And I said, do you trust them? And they said, yeah. I mean, when they say stuff, they do it. I feel good about their trust. And I stopped. And I said, okay, great. I love that. I said, do you believe that outside of these four walls or outside of this organization that they really care about you as a human being?

And I saw heads look down to the ground, sheepishly not really, right? So listen, this may sound like a softy question. Do you care about me? John Maxwell says this, and there have been different frames of this, a great quote by Maya Angelou, but John says this, "people don't care about how much you know until they know about how much you care. People don't care about how much you know until they know about how much you care." And it does matter. It does matter. By the way, I think it also makes us better leaders in terms of getting to key information. I think it makes us better producers of getting to risk or benefits diagnosis because we really care, right? I don't think it's just a softy thing. I think the fact that when we actually care and we're curious and we want more for the people that we're surrounded with that guess what? We do a better job.

Not in spite of this, but because of this. It's a big part of this. So to me, the thing that I want to share on this, because again, you say how much you care. I mean, this gets a little more difficult tangibly, but here's something I do want to stress. It doesn't take a lot more, it does not take a lot more to show someone that you care, but it does take more. It doesn't take, I mean, oh, well, now I have to do this and no, no, no. Think about one small additional deposit that you could make with someone that you work with, that you lead, that you care about. What's one more thing? It's sending a card. It's a quick word of appreciation.

I mean, it could branch from all over the place, but what could you do? Because it really is the power to authentic relationships. So I do want to give you, and I was thinking about this as I was doing some preparation. I was thinking, well, what are some tangible ways or ideas or action items I can give this audience to say, Hey, here's some ways to show people you care because there's so many. But I do think there are three things that override a lot of these that we could use as a template. In fact, as I was working on this, I'm like, wow, the great thing about teaching and leading and sharing some of these on a podcast and in our trainings that we do, is that I learn a ton. It gets me to think. So here's three things you can do to show up and really show that you care, right?

That you care deeper than I need you to get this job done. I need you to make this sale. I need you to complete this task. So here's some things to think about. Well, you care. Number one, be prepared. One of the best ways you can show someone you care is that when you show up for a meeting or a conversation, you show up prepared. And that may sound like, oh, come on, that's common sense. But you'll be amazed. Maybe this has happened to you. It's happened to me. You showed up to a meeting or a phone call or zoom call. I don't care what it is. And you really weren't prepared. You just kind of like waltzed in, and maybe you're even leading or running part of that meeting and you think, I can just wing it. I don't care how good you are.

People can see through that very quickly. And when you show up for a conversation and say, in preparation for our meeting, in preparation for our conversation, and by the way, this doesn't have to be three days of preparation, right? Maybe it's three minutes on some conversations, but you're going to get your mind right to be fully engaged, be fully prepared. Because it leads me to number two, when you're prepared for conversations or meetings, it shows you care, but it also allows you to do, number two is be present. So be prepared and be present. I've shared this, and I don't know if it's been a recent podcast or not because quite frankly, I can't remember, but I do believe this. The bottom of my heart with my core being is that in today's noisy, distracted, crazy world that we live in, the best gift you can give another human being is your complete, your a hundred percent undivided time and attention that when I'm with you, I'm with you.

You want to show someone you care. Look them in the eyes. You want to show someone you care when you're on the phone with them, stop doing email. You want to show someone you care. When you're at a networking event and there's 50 people there, and there's a person you kind of want to talk to, but this person's talking to you now, be with that person. You'll have your chance to get to the other person. And if you only want to talk to the person, don't waste the other person's time. So just be with the person you're with. So number two is be present. And then number three, you want to show someone you care.

Be persistent. Be persistent. Well, what do I mean by that? Well, a few different things. If you tell someone or show someone, or even going back to the help someone one time, and then you never do it again. Well, I showed 'em. No persistence is I'm going to come back and do it again. I care enough about you to not go away. This is very true, certainly from a prospecting sense for insurance producers, that if you really care, I mean this, think about it. If you really care about the wellbeing of this future client you want to obtain in your business, you wouldn't give up until they said, listen, I need you to give up. Don't talk and talk to me anymore. That happens. But until that time, if you believe that their business or their life would be better off after working with you and doing business with you, then for you to care about them, you shouldn't go away.

Think about that for a second. It's not about you. Well, I got to make this sale. No, it's about them. I know what we could deliver and bring to the table that would bring added value and benefit to them. And because I care about them so much, I'm going to keep trying. I'm going to be persistent. So those are the three things to think about. You want to show you care, show up prepared, be a hundred percent present and be persistent. The last thing, and I've already kind of referenced this, is look for what I call one mores. What's one more thing you could do in this situation? What's one more thing I could do, right? It's always a little thing is you're in a situation, you go, "Hey, what's one little additional thing I could do right here?" And again, it doesn't have to be big.

It doesn't have to be glamorous. All right? So there you have it. Three questions that every single person is asking about you as a leader, leader of teams, leader of clients, leaders of communities. And I really hope this added value to you and got you thinking. I know it gets me thinking when I think about these three questions in different ways, because guess what, as leaders, we're all trying to get better. It's not easy. It's not easy to lead people because they have different experiences, different backgrounds, different personalities, you name it. But I do think we need to be as leaders who are trying to grow to become that best version possible. We need to be aware of questions like these that allow us to make better choices and decisions and actions to be more influential, to get better results, to have deeper, more developed, more impactful relationships. If this podcast and other podcast, the Agent Leader Podcast are adding value to you and your life, could you do me a couple of favors? Number one, I would love a rating and review. Please. I know that's obligatory in a lot of these podcasts. Number two is please share it. If there's another agency leader who you think would've gotten value from at least one of these questions, then please share it. Say, Hey, you want to check this out? Question number two. By the way, quick note, don't

Go to the leader and go, Hey, I heard this podcast on three questions and you stink at these. Okay, maybe just give 'em a nudge. Hey, you may want to take a listen to this. So with that, I want to thank you. As a reminder, if you go to, you can learn about all of our programs. In fact, our second quarter programs are all starting in April. If you want to get your team on a holistic and integrated approach for your producers, your account managers, and your sales leaders, your leaders, all on the same page, to get a common language and culture to work better together, and of course have proven strategies and behaviors that ultimately just work, go to and also transformational scorecard. Go to And with that, I wish you all the best in your success. Go be a great leader, become your best version possible. Thanks.


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