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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

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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.

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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

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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 – don’t get complacent 11
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 organization’s 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 16
Building Effective Leadership Skills | Creating your own leadership legacy

Summary

 The essence of leadership is service to others


 Don’t 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. Have strong convictions
2. Develop and communicate a clear, winning vision
3. Create a high performance culture
4. Convince rather than control
5. 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