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Building Effective Leadership Skills

Creating Your Own Leadership Legacy


2007 CANE Spring Meeting
Dan Hogan
Vice President, Personal and Small Business Insurance
The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc.

Building Effective Leadership Skills | Creating your own leadership legacy

Background/Overview
The rate of change in the insurance industry is accelerating,
and the lengths of decision and marketplace cycles are
shrinking.
Effective leadership skills are needed more than ever to stay
ahead of the competition.
Through the examples of five leadership legends, you will
hear ideas and strategies that you can incorporate into your
personal leadership style to help drive winning results in your
organization.
Historically, the training of actuaries has underserved the leadership
component. Using effective leadership skills can help actuaries be
more impactful, and better influence the businesses they support.
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Building Effective Leadership Skills | Creating your own leadership legacy

The essence of leadership is service to others


On a basic level, as a leader, you exist to:
Inspire others to strive for excellence
Ensure the work environment is safe, challenging, and fair
Teach, mentor, provide guidance

True leaders put the welfare of the group ahead of their own
self-interest
Selfless does not mean hands-off
Great leaders enhance institutional capability by driving the
actions of others to achieve greatness
Leadership is all about helping others to succeed.
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Building Effective Leadership Skills | Creating your own leadership legacy

The perceived complexity of leadership arises from


its seemingly overwhelming number of duties

Create and establish strategies


Ensure effectiveness and efficiency
Communicate openly and often
Build solid relationships
Act with integrity and fairness
Provide counsel and direction
Exert influence in the absence of ownership
Foster collaboration
Motivate, coach and develop others
Produce results, meet objectives and
exceed goals

How can a leader avoid being overwhelmed by this complexity?


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Building Effective Leadership Skills | Creating your own leadership legacy

Focusing on a few key qualities and incorporating


them into every action simplifies the act of leading
others, and increases leadership effectiveness

There is no standardized approach to effective leadership


Your effectiveness as a leader is directly proportional to how
well the key qualities you focus on align with your values
and your personality
My five qualities of a great leader are:
1. Maintains and demonstrates strong convictions
2. Develops and communicates a clear, winning vision
3. Creates a high performance culture
4. Convinces rather than controls
5. Continually learns
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Building Effective Leadership Skills | Creating your own leadership legacy

Maintain and Demonstrate Strong Convictions


Leadership Profile: Joan of Arc

Building Effective Leadership Skills | Creating your own leadership legacy

Maintaining and demonstrating strong


convictions gives leaders their credibility

Integrity
Lead by example
Personal accountability
Strive for excellence
Play for your paycheck
Bring your A game every day
Average is defined as the best of the
worst, or the worst of the best
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Building Effective Leadership Skills | Creating your own leadership legacy

Develop and Communicate a Clear, Winning Vision


Leadership Profile: Martin Luther King, Jr.

Building Effective Leadership Skills | Creating your own leadership legacy

A clear, compelling, winning vision is the


cornerstone of building organizational success
Establish and articulate a clear vision of the future for your
business to inspire commitment from others:
Should be stretch, but not folly
Include measurable indicators of progress and success

Develop compelling long-term business strategies to


achieve the vision:
Built with a strong understanding of the external environment
Takes into account perspectives and capabilities of your
organization and those with which it interacts

Ensure broad strategies are translated into clear and


effective operating plans and tactical initiatives

Building Effective Leadership Skills | Creating your own leadership legacy

Create a High Performance Culture

Leadership Profile: Herbert D. Kelleher, Southwest Airlines

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Building Effective Leadership Skills | Creating your own leadership legacy

A High Performing Culture engages, challenges,


and fully leverages employees, which promotes
innovation and continuous improvement
Build your team to win!
Assess, then stretch/challenge top players
Seek to Redeploy, Rehabilitate, or, if needed, Remove underperformers
Hire winners

Execute aggressive performance management as part of


your overall talent management strategy
Set clear performance objectives and expectations
Monitor and document performance; reward success, and hold people
accountable for poor performance
Provide direct, helpful feedback
Take corrective action when necessary

Pay for performance, pay for potential


Drive a culture of open and fast communication to support
rapid response to changing business conditions
Build inclusion, leverage diversity
Continually raise the bar dont get complacent

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Building Effective Leadership Skills | Creating your own leadership legacy

Convince Rather Than Control

Leadership Profile: William Wallace - Braveheart

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Building Effective Leadership Skills | Creating your own leadership legacy

Any leader can get work done by barking


orders

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Building Effective Leadership Skills | Creating your own leadership legacy

But the enlightened leader convinces people to engage


in the right behaviors, gains buy-in, and gives them
choices while influencing them to perform at a high level

Clearly articulate your point of view and persuade


employees to accept your proposal and/or
recommendation
Project self-confidence without arrogance
Develop effective and constructive strategies for
influencing important decisions, sometimes
shifting the organizations direction or way of
looking at things
Use high-impact, efficient communication vehicles
to get your points across
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Building Effective Leadership Skills | Creating your own leadership legacy

Continuous Learning

Leadership Profile: Jack Welch

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Building Effective Leadership Skills | Creating your own leadership legacy

The Profession of Leadership requires


continuous learning, just like Actuarial
Regularly conduct an honest self-assessment
Initiate efforts to develop skills that will enhance
performance in current role and/or accelerate readiness
for future roles
Take full advantage of available learning and
development programs, e.g., executive development
programs, courses, professional certifications
Solicit feedback and guidance from mentors or coaches,
then genuinely listen to feedback and apply learnings
Seek challenges that provide opportunities for on-the-job
development of critical knowledge and skills
Ask questions to learn from others with different
knowledge, experience or perspective

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Building Effective Leadership Skills | Creating your own leadership legacy

Summary

The essence of leadership is service to others


Dont be overwhelmed by the seemingly endless number
of tasks and obligations leadership requires
Rather, focus on a few core attributes as you practice the
profession of leadership, like these:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

Have strong convictions


Develop and communicate a clear, winning vision
Create a high performance culture
Convince rather than control
Be a continuous learner
What qualities of a great leader would you add to this list?
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Building Effective Leadership Skills | Creating your own leadership legacy

Some Final Thoughts

Your role as a leader is more critical


than ever
Identify a take-away to work on
towards building more effective
leadership skills
What will be your leadership legacy?
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Open Discussion