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That's Impossible...Unless

 

Welcome to the Agent Leader Podcast. My name is Brent Kelly. I'm your host, and I'm excited to be with you today and today's podcast episode to challenge you, to encourage you to think bigger than you've ever thought before. As an individual, as a department, or as an entire agency, I want to challenge you to think bigger. See, so often we don't realize how limited our thinking really is. In fact, our limited thinking creates limited results. If we can think bigger, we have better behaviors, and our behaviors of course, drive our results. It'll be based on a statement that we heard. I heard from a book, one of my favorite books that I read in the last year or so, and we'll talk about that. But I'll tell you personally, I've had many times where I think my thinking is expanded at a higher level, and someone challenges me.

Someone asks me a question, and because of that question or statement, I have to pause, think, and reflect, and realize, you know what? Maybe I've been thinking the wrong way, or at least thinking not big enough for too long, and it gets us creative and it gets us solution-minded at deeper levels. So be ready for this on the podcast today. Again, have your mind ready. Have a pen and paper ready, because I'm going to ask you to write some things down as well. Now, before I get into that, I do want to announce or remind you all because on a recent podcast we talked about this, there is a brand new product or plan that we've released to the Sitkins Group for independent insurance agencies. That is a proven, simplified and guaranteed process that integrates your producers, integrates your account managers, and your sales leaders all into one common approach to help you build a true high level culture and cadence of accountability.

And again, we'll talk today about higher level thinking. And all of this, again, is guaranteed for your agency. So I did a recent webinar called How to Avoid the Multi-million Dollar Mistake, and shared lots of ideas about how we can avoid the multi-million dollar mistake, which by the way, is about the fact that our number one asset in our agency is our people. It's about our people. I believe that as a leader, your number one responsibility is to develop and grow that number one asset your people. And we want to make this as easy, predictable, and guaranteed for your agency as possible to do this on an integrated approach. So we've launched the Best Version Possible Fast Track. We've talked about best version possible as a mindset. We've talked about it as a book. We've talked about it as a process. Well, now it is a 90 day system to give your agency incredible momentum over just 12, 13 short weeks to help your agency get to places that you never thought possible.

And by the way, the next Fast Track program, if you go to sitkins.com/fasttrack, we'll make sure it's in the podcast notes as well. You can learn more about that and get your agency enrolled right away. We make it super easy for your agency, your team members to get involved and get momentum right away. And the next program starts October the third. So depending on when you're listening to this, it's probably coming up pretty quick. You don't want to miss the opportunity to get your team going in the end of 2023 to get you incredible momentum going into 2024. So often, and this is true with many agencies, true with many organizations, is that we start to take the fourth quarter while it's pretty busy, and we understand that there's certainly some things that go on with the end of the year and some of the 1/1's and all that.

But what happens is, is we lose momentum oftentimes at the end of the year. And of course you add in the holidays and everything else that comes into that, but we lose momentum and we start 2024 in January and January and February. We're just trying to get things going, and maybe we don't get full throttle till March and we're already behind. So allow the fast track to be an approach, a model for you and your agency to get incredible momentum the end of this year, leading into an incredible 2024. So again, sitkins.com/fasttrack. Alright, let's get into this thinking exercise that I challenge you at the beginning of this podcast. Now, I want to make sure that I give credit where credit is due. I've referenced this book in the past. I want to reference it again, a fantastic book. In fact, one of my favorite reads, probably over the past two to three years and maybe beyond maybe ever, the book is 10x is Easier Than 2x.

It's by Dr. Benjamin Hardy and Dan Sullivan, the founder of Strategic Coach. 10 x is Easier Than 2x. And the premise of the book, there's so much good stuff in this book, but the premise of the book is that when we think about 2x, we think about micro growth or just little bits of growth that could be personally, professionally, revenue, clients, you name it, is that we think about ways that we should work a little harder, maybe work a little longer, maybe try one more thing. And by the way, those are good things, right? I'm not trying to knock, trying to get better. We believe in that. But oftentimes it's just doing the same stuff. You're doing a little bit harder, maybe a little bit longer, and at some point you run out of capacity and you get frustrated. So the idea of 10 X is easier than 2 X allows you to say, if we thought about 10 X'ing, 10 X'ing, not 2x'ing, how would we think?

What would we do? Because when you ask a 10 x question, when you say, how would we grow 10 x and some crazy goal that you may have, whether it's personally for you as individual, if you're a producer or your department or your entire agency, some goal in fact, think about a goal so big that if you said it to someone else, you would feel a little bit embarrassed by it. Like, Ooh, did I really say that? Is that really what we're trying to achieve? Right? This B H A G, as you may have heard before, but we talk about 10 x. What typically happens when you even start to consider a goal or result that big, and this happens to me too, and I'll tell you a personal story here in a second, is that we think about that or ask ourself that the first thing that we typically say to ourself, whether we say it out loud or in our brain is "that's impossible."

There's no way 10 x, that's impossible. Now, whether or not it's going to actually be done, that's a separate question. Asking yourself and challenge yourself to think 10 x will allow you and challenge you to be more creative and solution-minded than you've ever been before. So here's the caveat to that's impossible. I want to challenge you all to think about something. Again, that's almost an embarrassing goal, something really big that even when you say it, you kind of go and you start to say, that's impossible. Here's the word. That's impossible, Unless. That's impossible, unless. So, if something out there, well, we're going to 10 x this or whatever that number is, or some big hairy, audacious goal for you, and you go, that's impossible and say, unless what? Now, to give you a personal example of this, we had a team leadership meeting, an offsite meeting a few weeks back, and we were out for a drink after a long day of strategizing discussions, and we were still challenging ourself as a leadership team.

Roger Sitkins, our founder and CEO came to me and another leader and said, what about this? What if we did this and some very big goals and dreams? And me and the other leader, in fact, I'll just speak for myself, was like, I don't, kind of crazy. I mean, that's impossible. And even Roger stopped. We've talked about this and said, well, that's impossible unless, what? Unless we do what? It was really interesting, those next few minutes, the conversations that we had already went up a level or two or three because we had to expand our thinking. Well, it's not possible. Well, unless we consider that, unless we change that, unless we did this, unless we did that, it doesn't mean we're going to implement all of those things. But the level of thinking became much, much higher in a very short amount of time. So for you as an agency and a leadership team, an individual, put something out there that's going to challenge you and then ask yourself, well, that's impossible unless what? What are some things you can do?

Because if you tell yourself it's possible, probably is right. So here's some things to consider, and again, just some ideas. I don't want to put too much on you. I said, have a pen and paper already for you to think about this. This is about your solutions, your ideas, but here are some things in regards. For example, like a producer, right? If you're a producer listening or you're an agency leader who still produces or your production team, oftentimes you start thinking about goals, and you got to be careful with goals because sometimes you just put stuff out there and you don't really articulate how and why. But when you start to think about bigger ideas and goals, and a

Producer would say, well, that's impossible. Well, here's some things that you could say that's impossible, unless that's impossible, unless you limit the head trash that you have. Number one, we talked about your level of thinking. That's impossible unless you begin to design a future that gets you compelled and excited to go achieve it. If you're not excited about something, you're not going to go do it. You're just not. You're not going to be as consistent, right? You're going to quit at some point. So begin to say what's impossible, unless you really begin to design something that compels you and excites you and gets you moving in that direction, knowing that even when it gets hard, you're going to want to overcome, right? That's impossible. Often the producers, well, that's impossible. That well, yeah, it's impossible unless you've doubled your time, for example, or increase your time that you're out in the selling areas as we talk at Sitkins, the green zone, your productivity, right?

Unless you increase your time doing the things that you're supposed to be doing, for example, as a producer, which is defined as one who produces, you're not going to do that. That's impossible. Unless you truly build high performance teams with sales and service, it's impossible. It's impossible for you as a producer to do it. Why? Because you're running out of capacity. Unless we'd be able to really appreciate respect and trust our teams to build high level teamwork, that's impossible. Brent, unless I start writing every account or I start thinking that every prospect is a good prospect, unless I realize that there needs to be some kind of minimum account size for me, that's impossible. Unless I have a target account size and I create a target account strategy plan of obtaining the larger clients. Listen, you've heard me talk about all the time, and again, this is one example, but just think about this.

If 20% of your clients is 80% of your revenue, which by the way is always true, I mean like 99%, so maybe I shouldn't say always, but it's 99% true. Then are we replicating those accounts? Because just think about the growth and the possibilities and the capacity that can be freed up if we begin to uplevel who we write, which means we uplevel our game. It's not impossible unless I prepare at a much higher level. It's not possible unless I truly see myself as a risk professional, unless I truly expand my skills by working at my skills, that is impossible. If I don't get better, my clients won't get better. That's impossible. Unless we begin to design a plan or process or a set offense in our agency, for example, or for me as a producer, that's not possible unless we move away from look, copy, quote, and pray to, let me share with you a unique process that our agency has for clients like you, right? These things all go together. Again, I'm just throwing out some ideas, certainly things that we teach around at the Sitkins Group and we see that agencies and the producers use, but it's just interesting that one of the things that we see in our programs in our camps, now, I mentioned the beginning of the fast track program. A big part of that is the ProducerFit program, which is one of the three programs included. There's a ProducerFit, the Account ManagerFit program, and our Coach the Coach for sales leaders, and of course those integrate. But one of the things that's so exciting about this is we get in and work with agencies and the producers, the account managers, and the sales leaders. The first thing that begins to change is their level of thinking. I've always just assumed I would be an X dollar producer. I always just assume I would be just an account manager doing this stuff the rest of my life, not part of a really winning team. I just assumed as a sales leader, I'd always be frustrated with chasing around producers trying to nail jello to a tree, so to speak, right? There's these assumptions and head trash that we have to go, wait a second. What if we did things a bit differently?

What if we changed the narrative? What if we set the tone? What if we up to our game, all these things that we talk about, and again, not every single thing can and will be implemented, but the thinking changes, the behaviors changes, and of course, then the results change. That's why this statement is so important. That's not possible unless. So I really want you, regardless of your specific role or title or position, obviously this is the Agent Leader podcast. You have influence. I want you to consider that. I would love for you to reach out to me or my team and say, you know what? I always thought this was impossible, and I have a couple lessons I want to share with you because that's the exciting part. Different awareness creates better actions, higher level awareness, surrounding yourself with people who will challenge and encourage you not to settle, not to look back in years and go, it could have been great, but I settled.

I don't want to have regrets. Putting yourself in a position to win again about being with the right people, the right information, thinking deeper, challenging yourself, none of us are going to be perfect. This is not a perfect straight line that any of us are on. You haven't had a perfect life. I haven't had a perfect life. You'll never have a perfect life. But are we on a quest for never-ending growth and development? One of the things that I shared in the recent webinar that I did was the fact that people truly at their core desire growth, they do. Now, if you've got certain people on your team who absolutely don't want any of it and will never change, well then maybe there's some exceptions. They shouldn't be on your team, but most people do desire growth, change and improvement. They want a better life for themselves, and by the way, they want to be fulfilled, that they are becoming a better and the best version of themselves.

We want that. We desire that from a soul level. As agency leaders, we need to show our team how they can do that. We need to tell them why it's so important, and although we are not perfect, we have a desire as a leader. And by the way, the number one goal, role of a leader, goal, role, mission of a leader, whatever you want to say above all else, is to develop and grow your people. It is the number one asset in your agency. There is nothing more important in your agency than your people. Whether you've got two people or 200 people, those people are the most important asset in your agency. It is our duty as leaders to do whatever we possibly can to help them develop and grow for their sake and certainly for the sake of the agency. And part of growth is getting people to think bigger and better and deeper than they've ever thought before.

So I want to challenge you on that. Think about those questions today or that statement. Not possible, unless I do. Again, want to remind you the fact that we do have the Best Version Possible Fast Track. If you go to sitkins.com/fasttrack, we have a mission to educate and empower and equip agencies at the highest level. We want to make this absolutely simplified, predictable, and the word, again, is guaranteed. In fact, we say this all the time. We don't have agencies that ask for this, but if you did, if you don't believe me, get your team into the program and after they go to the program, you go, you know what, that wasn't what you said it was, then you'll absolutely be guaranteed to get your entire investment back. But we believe in what we do because we believe in independent insurance agencies. I believe in you as independent insurance agencies or independent insurance agency leaders.

What you do is not easy. We know that we see it. It is not easy. The market's crazy. You've got team members that have different needs and wants and desires and frustrations. You've got all this stuff going on, clients, future clients, centers of influence, community involved, and all that's there. So we want to allow you as an agency leader to do this. And if you're watching, if you're not watching me, you're just going to have to hear me to move from this inhale of all these things you have to take on to be able to say, you know what? Someone's on our side and go, exhale. Exhale. So appreciate you being a listener as always, that this podcast added value to your life, to your agency, to your team. Please give it a share and review. We would appreciate that. And as always, I wish you and your team all the best in your success. Thanks so much for listening. Take care.

 

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