NAILBA Perspectives - Spring 2018 - 14

"Each succession candidate should be
considered on their own merits and abilities to
lead and build a business," Melinda Meyer said.
tunities and new excitement here
at TNBC."
Gilbert's father, Tom Gilbert, is one
of the principals at TNBC. John Gilbert will succeed him during a time of
"an excitement and exuberance in the
next generation of potential agency
principals. It can be seen at industry meetings, inside the agency, and
with the firm's customers. The ways
in which the brokerage business will
grow and thrive in the future will be
determined by the new and innovative ways our industry adapts to the
changes in consumer behavior and
how we implement technology. Hopefully the next generation of agency
principals embraces and will excel at
delivering these solutions to the customer and to our distribution partners
as well."
ASNG has been a valuable resource
for Gilbert in preparing for his succession. "ASNG has been instrumental in giving future agency owners
the platform to learn about issues
they didn't even know they had by
asking tough questions in a safe and
understanding environment and gaining access to some of the most generous and insightful minds in our industry," Gilbert said. "The thought of

14 perspectives SPRING 2018

becoming an agency principal is overwhelming for many. The actual implementation is twice as hard as most
think. Put those two things together and you get a lot of procrastination because the process is daunting.
ASNG helps by breaking things down
into digestible topics and not trying to solve the entire puzzle in an
hour conference call. I still strive to
attend every call and attend every
meeting because there is always
something to be learned from this
great group."
Two important things ASNG taught
Gilbert are, first, "You can never ask
enough questions. There is such a
wealth of experience and knowledge
in this group and with those who give
their time to the group that not asking your question is just hurting all
involved. Many are in the same spot,
struggling with similar issues, and
your panelists, guest speakers, and
presenters want to help. That is why
they volunteered. I have learned so
much from everyone and I am still
asking a ton of questions.
"Second is it will be harder than you think," he continued. "I distinctly remember the
first meeting of ASNG in Phoenix at

NAILBA 30. One panelist said, 'However easy or hard you think the transition of your agency will be, it will
be twice as hard as that.' They were
100 percent correct. That isn't meant
to scare anybody or to say don't try.
It is meant to say 'Start now, you are
farther away from completion than
you think.' Thankfully ASNG is there
to assist you along the way."
Discovering that his agency wasn't
unique and that everyone experiences the same issues was Gilbert's biggest surprise. Because of that, he says
it is likely someone among the group
members and mentors will have advice
to help with your situation. People in
line for succession should join ASNG,
Gilbert said. "The amount of information and pitfalls existing in this
industry that are somewhat unique
to this industry are plentiful. Why go
through that maze alone? If someone
is offering to help you because they
have been through this or helped others through it seems like a no brainer to me."
Even though Gilbert is still in the
transition phase himself, his firm is
already thinking ahead to the future
beyond his leadership days. "Identifying future possible successors and
getting them deeply entrenched in
our business will be a priority of our
firm over the next several years," he
noted. "If they have the desire and
the aptitude for this business and you
do not offer them a shot, someone
will. There are too many BGAs without
natural succession plans that would
gladly take your all-star employee and
make them a successor/owner."
Brittany Cross, former ASNG Chair
and NAILBA Board member, advanced
to the position of President of LFS-
Labyrinth Financial Services in 2010.
She rose through the ranks over her
years in this family business. She
credits her involvement in ASNG as
the primary and necessary catalyst
for her professional growth.

A key mentorship relationship was
formed with Daughenbaugh, whom
Cross describes as "a naturally compassionate and brilliant leader." She
also made important strategic partnerships, including a connection with
Meyer who is now her business coach.
For Cross, the ability to network
with colleagues to leverage solid relationships and outside resources was
the most important benefit of participating in ASNG. Like Gilbert, she
was surprised to find "I wasn't alone
or in a vacuum. As a second generation you grow up thinking that this
or 'our' way is the only way or process
or access point, and when you participate and engage with others you
learn there are options. We need to be
continually monitoring, adapting, and
tracking to make sure we are reaching
our goals." She offers her gratitude to
all who helped her in her succession,
including Daughenbaugh, Meyer, her
father Tim Cross, Mark Sheer, Jason
Cavalier, and Varsha Grogan. She is
also looking ahead to the next generation in her firm by working on this
future succession with the help of her
business coach.
Is it time for you to join ASNG?
"ASNG is looking to expand its membership with some new BGA successors and other agency leaders,"
Thomas pointed out. "We have found
that not all family businesses have
a perceived successor like a son or
daughter or niece or nephew, but
those agencies have leaders who may
run or manage the BGA. The ASNG
platform wants to encourage those
leaders to join so they can benefit
from the discussions and help move
their agencies forward."
"I recommend anyone who qualifies to join ASNG," Cross agreed. "One
of my first business coaches told me it
takes more than one person to achieve
your highest potential. It takes community, comradery, a teacher/mentor,
and connection." Those are exactly
the things ASNG provides.
Would you or someone at your
firm benefit from joining ASNG? Visit
asng for more information and a link
to the application form.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of NAILBA Perspectives - Spring 2018

NAILBA Perspectives - Spring 2018
Chairman's Corner
CEO Insights
Succession Planning: Why You Need to Plan Now and How to Start Even if You'd Rather Not
NAILBA Charitable Foundation
Mooers Award Nomination Materials
Member Profile
Legislative Update
Life Happens
Agency Successor Networking Group
Calendar of Events
Brokerage in Motion
Index of Advertisers
NAILBA Perspectives - Spring 2018 - NAILBA Perspectives - Spring 2018
NAILBA Perspectives - Spring 2018 - Cover2
NAILBA Perspectives - Spring 2018 - 3
NAILBA Perspectives - Spring 2018 - 4
NAILBA Perspectives - Spring 2018 - 5
NAILBA Perspectives - Spring 2018 - 6
NAILBA Perspectives - Spring 2018 - Contents
NAILBA Perspectives - Spring 2018 - CEO Insights
NAILBA Perspectives - Spring 2018 - 9
NAILBA Perspectives - Spring 2018 - Succession Planning: Why You Need to Plan Now and How to Start Even if You'd Rather Not
NAILBA Perspectives - Spring 2018 - 11
NAILBA Perspectives - Spring 2018 - 12
NAILBA Perspectives - Spring 2018 - 13
NAILBA Perspectives - Spring 2018 - 14
NAILBA Perspectives - Spring 2018 - 15
NAILBA Perspectives - Spring 2018 - NAILBA Charitable Foundation
NAILBA Perspectives - Spring 2018 - 17
NAILBA Perspectives - Spring 2018 - Mooers Award Nomination Materials
NAILBA Perspectives - Spring 2018 - 19
NAILBA Perspectives - Spring 2018 - Member Profile
NAILBA Perspectives - Spring 2018 - 21
NAILBA Perspectives - Spring 2018 - Legislative Update
NAILBA Perspectives - Spring 2018 - Life Happens
NAILBA Perspectives - Spring 2018 - 24
NAILBA Perspectives - Spring 2018 - Agency Successor Networking Group
NAILBA Perspectives - Spring 2018 - Index of Advertisers
NAILBA Perspectives - Spring 2018 - 27
NAILBA Perspectives - Spring 2018 - Cover4