NAILBA Perspectives - May/June 2014 - (Page 9)

chairman's corner Lifelong Learning T BARBARA CROWLEY NAILBA CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD he NAILBA community may be unique because of the part we play in our industry but the knowledge we continually require is not. Personal development coach Keith S. Aul said, "Learning is the acquisition of knowledge or skill through education and experience." How true that is. We must make a commitment to lifelong learning so we can progress. Everything we do to reinvent and update our knowledge allows us to grow. That makes learning vitally important because it helps us make informed choices about our own businesses. When I consider education, there are so many necessary facets and options worthy of our attention. Obviously the fundamentals are quite important. Understanding the basic function and purpose of the products and services that we represent is a critical first step. Business skills are also as important as sales skills in our industry. Understanding the discipline and drive necessary to succeed in such a difficult but rewarding industry can go a long way toward helping the talented young people who enter our industry achieve success. In my opinion, the most important education of all is that which we provide to help people understand the need for the various products and services that we represent. While there is a plethora of sales and product training opportunities available to our staff, not enough has been done to continually reinforce our responsibility to educate the public and offer our services to families in need. When blinded by sales concepts and scripts, we can at times forget that when a family is emotionally devastated, our products and services ensure they do not suffer financial devastation. This is a noble field indeed. Having a young sales force well educated in the history and importance of our industry is as important as the knowledge of the products within it. While learning is important, for those of us who have been blessed to spend many years in this industry, we have an equally important obligation to teach. Few things can foster learning more effectively than learning through the experience of others. While we must always be on a quest to learn and grow, we have to understand our obligation to share and teach. Everyone who achieved success in this industry, regardless of how we define it, did so with the guidance of mentors. We have to remember to pay that mentorship forward and constantly look for opportunities to give back the education that we have received. This opportunity to both learn and teach is most available through the industry's wonderful membership organizations. We have so many opportunities for education and learning. In addition to NAILBA's many learning resources, we are fortunate to have sister organizations who also specialize in enhancing our knowledge. One of those is The Society of Financial Service Professionals (FSP). Part of their mission is to promote professionalism in financial services among its members by delivering top-quality continuing education on a number of insurance and life planning topics. Their meetings are content and CE driven. AALU is a networking, advocacy, and learning organization in the life insurance profession whose visibility outreach is very important. Life Happens (a nonprofit organization formerly known as the LIFE Foundation) promotes financial responsibility through Life Insurance, Disability, and Long Term Care Insurance materials. To educate the public they provide a wide range of educational communications and provide 3 industry-wide awareness campaigns (Editor's Note: See page 20 of this issue for more on the Life Happens educational resources). I believe NAILBA members possess the necessary skills to deal with change professionally and adapt as needed. We are very fortunate to be part of an organization that boasts the best minds of our industry. There is literally nowhere else you could go to find the talent and ingenuity we find at the NAILBA Annual Meeting. It is the best opportunity to share ideas with NAILBA member agencies, carrier partners, and industry vendors. We have access throughout the year to these resources. I have never been turned down by a fellow NAILBA member when I needed information or guidance. This goes to another learning point: we need the humility or willingness to ask for assistance and learn from others. No one person can have all the answers. Only by being willing to try new approaches can our result be different. To create the results we desire we must take the path of lifelong learning. Learning and sharing allows us to stay ahead of the game. So when you are taking a break from your emails, texts, and phone calls-ask yourself a few questions. What have I learned today? What new skill or piece of information will allow me to move forward to where I want to go? Who can I speak with that can help me broaden my horizons or vice versa? Most importantly ask, whom have I taught today? Then think of NAILBA and all its resources-including our unmatched intellectual capital. 9

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of NAILBA Perspectives - May/June 2014

NAILBA Perspectives - May/June 2014
Chairman’s Corner
CEO Insights
How to Train New Marketing Reps
Reading Ahead
Life Happens
The 3M Formula for BGA Marketing Success
NAILBA Charitable Foundation
Member Profiles
Agency Successor Networking Group
Agency Resources
member Profiles
MDRT Annual Meeting
Legislative Update
Calendar of Events
Index of Advertisers

NAILBA Perspectives - May/June 2014