Another day, another exciting episode packed with insights! This time the Idudes interview the amazing Phil Geldart, who offers valuable insights tailor-made for the insurance industry.
One of the central themes followed in this episode is the concept of experiential learning in insurance. Phil introduces an innovative approach that employs games and immersive experiences to impart crucial lessons, creating a dynamic and engaging learning environment for insurance professionals.
Apart from experimental learning, the conversation flows from the criteria of good leadership to fostering relationships in the workplace.
📻 tune in to learn all about equal onus, workplace relationship building, and good leadership and mentorship.
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The Insurance Dudes are on a mission to find the best insurance agentsaround the country to find out how they are creating some of the top agencies. But they do not stop there, they also bring professionals from other industries for insights that can help agents take their agencies to the next level.
The Insurance Dudes focus on your agency’s four pillars: Hiring, Training, Marketing and Motivation! We have to keep the sword sharp if we want our agencies to thrive.
Insurance Dudes are leaders in their home, at their office and in their community. This podcast will keep you on track with like minded high performing agents while keeping entertained!
About Jason and Craig:
Both agents themselves, they both have scaled to around $10 million in premium. After searching for years for a system to create predictability in their agencies, they developed the Telefunnel after their interviews with so many agents and business leaders.
Taking several years, tons of trial and error, and hundreds of thousands of dollars on lead spend, they’ve optimized their agencies and teams to write tons of premium, consistently, and nearly on autopilot!
Bio of Phil Geldart
Early in his career as a corporate trainer, Phil felt there was a better way to help people learn new skills and ways of behaving than the classic approaches to training.
Phil had over 18 years of experience working for Nestle. He was Senior VP of Human Resources, leading a strategic initiative that drove profitability through HR and facilitating various executive training programs.
Phil has authored 8 books to date. Phil earned his B.Sc. from McGill University. Though his work takes him across the world, he calls Ontario home.
Hi, my name is Phil. And let me just tell you a wild story here. Before I recognize myself as an insurance dude, which is great. The, you know, we're a company that does experiential learning, which means you have all kinds of very cool stuff which we ship out. You got 150 People are all waiting for a great session. And we're there and we did a session in the Bahamas and we were ready to go, we open the door to get to the boxes and the boxes weren't there. Okay, how in the world kind of 150 people in the next three hours go through an experience that requires a ton of stuff. So what we did is we took all our facilitators, and they scoured the island for those little cute little umbrella things, those little pink umbrellas. They scoured the island for slices of lime, and lemon. And we ran an experience around negotiation, where all the things that you were negotiating for were slices of lemon slices of lime, little pink umbrellas. And the participants bought it was fantastic because they thought that's exactly the way we customize it for the Bahama Islands. So it was a great experience. We fortunately avoided getting sued. But it was a lot of fun.Craig Pretzinger:
Insurance dudes are on a mission to escape being handcuffed by our agents.Jason Feltman:
How? by uncovering the secrets to creating a predictable, consistent and profitable agency Sales Machine.Craig Pretzinger:
I am Craig Pretzinger.Jason Feltman:
I am Jason Feldman. We are agents. We are insurances Wow, boom,Phil Geldart:
borrow. I'm an experienced I'm an insurance dude, I get it. I get it.Jason Feltman:
Dude, I love that first off, that had to be very stressful. But I love how like the like, did they even question whether or notPhil Geldart:
they said how cool is that? Man, we're in the Bahamas and everything is themed around the Bahamas. And we thought you knewCraig Pretzinger:
it's funny, like how we internalize and think that, you know if something changes, doesn't go to plan that that? Oh, no, it's wrecked. Right? But a lot of times they have no idea. Right? They have no clue. It's like a no. And like a group. You know, the guitarist will say, Oh, I've missed so many notes. And nobody noticed. Yeah, right. Maybe the drummer does, because they're paying attention. That'sJason Feltman:
fun. So I would love to know, Phil, I'd like to know a little bit more about your company. But how did you get where you're at? What took you there from from diapers to now?Phil Geldart:
Well, I did a lot of Christian ministry in my youth, which meant I was working with kids and kids. And teenagers and college kids were all absolutely depth on anything that was learning and boring and sit in a class and kind of figure stuff out that way. And I when I went to university, I hated it as well. I just hated being lectured at. So I thought there's got to be a better way to teach people things, and came up with what you would consider games, but they're actually experiences. They're really fun you trek across the desert, or you're in the Wild West, or you're up in space somewhere. And you go through this game, and you are yourself. You're working with a team of half a dozen people. And at the end, the facilitator says So how did you do, we actually didn't do that? Well, well, that's exactly the way we are at work. And as a result, you can then debrief the way they performed in the game to draw learning out. So that became an incredibly powerful way to help people actually learn, which then helped my career to go really well, because I was all of a sudden, like Super Trainer, because I had all these games that worked. So that was really good. And then I worked for an phenomenally great leader. And I learned a tremendous amount about leadership. So I could then integrate my ability to teach with his knowledge around leadership, but the two together and continue to get promoted and ended up actually in charge of driving profit through people and large organizations HR function. But I wanted to do more ministry and my kids, parents were getting older. So I left which was like jumping off the Queen Mary to a little bitty rowboat and went to Eagles flight where our focus became teach people how to be better using these games. And here I am. Super cool. Quite the story. Well,Craig Pretzinger:
no, I'm sure that everybody listening is curious about like the games, right? Like because this is fascinating to me, right to struggled with sitting in class, I would either fall asleep or totally zone out and not remember anything that was said, right? I mightJason Feltman:
do that on this podcast.Craig Pretzinger:
Ya know, like if, if my wife is talking that will happen if you know just if Jason's talking, especially, especially when Jason's talking so, so how do you and I Totally understand the notion of gamifying it that makes it interesting, right, especially to the monkey mind. So how does that work? Talk? Yeah.Phil Geldart:
Talk about it. So that makes it the game, and the debrief go hand in hand. So I can run this game for five very senior executives at the Four Seasons, and debrief it against their reality, or I can run it for 5000 salespeople in Vegas, because the game is the same. The only difference is in Vegas, we theme it up, everybody's in costumes, we bring in live camels, but the learning is identical. So I'll give you a I'll put you in the seat. You think, Okay, I've registered for this training class, I gotta go. I hope my phone is charged because I'm going to be bored to death. I'm going to spend the day and you walk in, and it's like, wait a minute, what am I on the table, there's a map this this big map. There's pith helmets, there's envelopes with money in it. I think I'm in the wrong class. The facilitator comes in and says, Ladies and gentlemen, good morning, we're going to be crossing the vast and perilous desert today. And what I mean, of course, on strategic planning, I don't I don't quite get this. So he said, Now look around, you've got tables of five, and you've got about a dozen tables in this room, and you're all in competition. And your goal is to leave home base, which you'll see at the bottom right hand corner of your map and go to the mountains, which is the top left hand corner. And between the home base and the mountains, there's some squares, and every day you just go from one square to the other. And in our world, they will feel kind of like about three minutes and you have 25 days, they go out. All right, I got to start at home base and basically go up to the mountains and come back what's in the mountains is well, there's gold. And the longer you stay in the mountains, the more gold you get. So and because this is a market economy, if you're the first team back, you'll get more for the gold you bring back than the second team than the 30. So people don't know I got this. This is a race no problems. And now I'veCraig Pretzinger:
already won. Oh, yeah.Phil Geldart:
A couple couple things you need to know There's sandstorms in the desert. And there's super heat in the desert, and you'll starve and you'll die of thirst. So before you leave home base, you probably should buy some water and you'll see there's money at the table there. And you probably should buy some food. And you probably should be aware of the fact that you need enough to survive sandstorms and superheat where you eat a lot more and drink a lot more. And between you and the mountains, there's a very mysterious tomb of Kings can't tell you too much about it. I don't know very much about it. But people are a little nervous of that. And over here in the corner, there's a very old man. He's very, very old, and he's very lonely. And he'll talk to you. But anything that you want to ask him, it'll take him about a day to tell you. Now remember, I told you 25 days, I told you was a race. And you want to talk to the old man, you got to stay at home base and talk to us. So it's kind of slow, but he's got good information about the desert. And people go, Okay, we get it. And I think we got it. And there's lots of different routes. And in fact, if you take the most direct route to the mountains, it's six days up, and six days back, if 25 days, so you should be able to spend six plus six is 12 minus 25, you should be able to spend 13 days in the mountains. In fact, you can only spend 10, because you got a camel, and a poor camel doesn't get overloaded. So 10 days in the mountains, 10 bars of gold is the optimum. Alright. So people buy their stuff, and off they go. What happens about 30% of those people die in the desert, they never make it back, they run out of food, they run out of water, of the ones that make it back, you usually have them come back and say, Hey, we made it we survived. We got like four bars of gold were fantastic. We got four, four, or maybe even five bars ago. And we said okay, so let's just take a look at this. You all started with the same resources. You all started with the same information. But some of you actually didn't make it. And some of you came back with four or five bars of gold and you celebrate 10 more possible. Why didn't you get 10 bars of gold? And they begin to say, well, we didn't know what was happening in the mountains. So well. Did you talk to the old man? Well, no, we didn't. But why didn't you? Well, because it takes time. I know. But you have the time. Oh, yeah, you're right. We actually didn't think about that. Did you avoid the two kings? Oh, yeah. Well, the moment you avoid the two kings, you can't get up in six days. It takes you eight days. So before we even started, you were committed to do less than optimum. Yeah, but we didn't know about that. Well, you could have had information there was information available. We didn't think about that. So the debrief, which lasts about an hour and a half, they realize we play gold of the desert kings just like we do on our real world, we rush out. We don't do our planning upfront. We're afraid of the unknown. We don't use the information that says They will to us. And we don't maximize, because maximises 10 bars of gold was unbelievable. That's okay. So how would you like it? If for the rest of the day, I show you how to get 10 bars of gold at work? How do you get 10 bars of gold out of a podcast? How do you get 10 bars of gold out of a sales call, how to get 10 bars of gold out of a marketing initiative. And it's not just willing to work hard and get going and get started. There are some things you can do, which, if you had done them in gold in the desert kings would exactly relate to your job. So that game, all of a sudden, people go, Well, that's not really a game at all. That's just a metaphor for the way I live. But they're highly engaged, they have a lot of fun, they listen to the debrief. And literally, I will walk through an airport with an Eagles, white t shirt on, and someone will come up to me and say, I played gold to the desert kings 10 years ago, and I still remember talk to the old daughter, boy, the two of kings. So we have, I don't know, four dozen of these games. So depending on what it is you want me to teach you. I pull out the game, you play the game, we do the debrief, and then we show you how to apply the debrief on the job. Series. Oh,Jason Feltman:
cool. Wow. Talk about from a marketing perspective, talk about a way to differentiate. Like, that's your game, right? That's, like you created that right?Craig Pretzinger:
Yep. And the game is his game. The game? That's right, the game he plays.Phil Geldart:
That's right all the time. today. So thanks for asking. But it's fun. You know, it makes learning so much more fun people. They just love it because they go I you know, the whole point of learning. If you want people to be more accountable, if you want people to be better influencers. It's not about what you tell them. It's what they believe. You have to first build conviction. So how do you build conviction? Oh, nice hats is believe on that nice. So you can't build conviction by lecturing someone, you can only build conviction by putting them in a situation where they perform in a certain way. And they draw their own conclusions and realize there's a better way, once you have conviction, your soil is tilled. And now you can put the seed in. So the game lets me build conviction. So then I can put the seed of here are the things to do differently. So that's why it's so powerful. When you actually bring this into an organization that actually changes the behavior. ICraig Pretzinger:
think there it seems like it would also really lower their defenses, right? Like they come in, and they're like, oh, I don't want to talk to like, I know how I am. When I go to a place like I'd like I don't want to talk to anybody all. I'll tell Jason, I gotta go, I gotta go the room and hang out for a second I need to know. So there's always some way, you know, it's anxiety, if social anxiety a bunch of people you don't know, everybody kind of gets awkward, like the hiker dance or whatever. But then now there's a game, all of a sudden, you're laughing you're having fun. And now you're all best friends. So you're, you're engaged, right? Because Exactly. You're turned on. And now not in that way. Jason? And a cow. Yeah, you get it exactly. Right. That is exactly right. It's so powerful. And then they're gonna listen to the part that they normally wouldn't listen to, which was the actual lecture in a way, right? Yeah, they're involved. It's like, it's like assessing somebody with a personality assessment. Like, nobody wants to read about behaviors or whatever. But then when they take the test, they're like, oh, I want them. I want to read about this. It's me. Yeah. I love that. Yeah.Jason Feltman:
And even on a lower level, I mean, how many times we we talk, we always talk about, you know, our teams and our sales teams and having meetings all the time. But what a great way to engage like a like a small sales team, just throw them off at the beginning, and put them in a situation where they're all kind of working on something and it actuallyPhil Geldart:
gets to, if we run a sales training program, sometimes it'll run for five days, we might have six different ones of those one talks about ethics and how you're how you're perceived one talks about partnership. So all the topics that your salesperson needs to master are buried in these games, and they just go like us. Fantastic. I learned about partnership by going into the old less. I learned about making sure that my integrity is high by slipping out into the days of King Arthur, it's just it everyone is just compelling.Jason Feltman:
That's so cool. What are some tips that you would give some insurance agents that have a smaller property and casualty insurance agency like like, you know, like the state farms, farmers, I can't even say the one that we're with because legally they'll chop our heads mad in the desert. ButPhil Geldart:
yeah, what would I say to them about whatJason Feltman:
about sales like like just about managing our teams like what are some what are some tips that you would give an agency owner? Yep, leading their team.Phil Geldart:
So I would say think of the worst person you ever worked for, which they can do pretty quickly. Yeah. You say, Okay, now, what value did you bring to the organization working for that person? Not how hard you worked or how committed you are, but against your potential, what value pick a number from one to 10. So they think of that number, you guys can do that right now. And I say, Okay, now think of the best person you ever worked for. Right? What value did you bring working for that person? Pick a number and subtract the two. So typically, you guys want to give me a number of numbers? Would you give me?Jason Feltman:
I would say, a one. And like a nine. All right, yeah, there'sPhil Geldart:
a point different. Okay. So there's an 80% increase in value. And all I did was change your leader. So you think I'm gonna pay doesn't cause me anymore? Your fixed cost? So why did I get 80% more value out of you, from one leader to the other, it's because the Great Leader valued you saw you as having worth, they saw your potential, they listened to you, they gave you an opportunity to contribute, they gave you an opportunity to bring all that you were to the job, what we call the sandbox, they gave you a big enough sandbox that you could do this. So if you say to me, what one bit of advice would I give to someone manage any insurance team, I would say you've got to understand whether or not you are fully releasing the potential of your employees. Because I will tell you right now, without ever talking to any of them, if I asked them that question, and I go and say, Okay, let me talk to your subordinates, your people, the team, your team, without exception, that team would say, I could contribute more, I could contribute more. So the question is, why don't they it's not because the leader maliciously wakes up in the morning and says, Oh, can I just make it really miserable with these, I don't impose my will on them and be the autocratic idiot. They just do not know how to be that great leader that you guys had. So if I can teach them, here's what a great leader does to release the potential of the workforce, then your workers come and bring you things that they would never bring you ideas, commitment, innovation, support, teamwork, all the things that you ask for, it all comes back to the quality of my leader. So most of the time, I say, you know, if you're not happy with your team, you probably should go look in the mirror. It's not that your team doesn't want to be more, it's that you don't know how, and I don't fault you for that. It's not like like, you're an idiot, you're probably great, probably. So a lot of insurance and you probably manage your team adequately. But are you managing it at a world class level? Well, no, that's where the money is.Jason Feltman:
Gosh, such a theme today, I was just talking to one of our teams with Craig, about something that I've been doing recently, and every day reminding myself for my quarterly goals. And one of them is to connect more with my family. And one of the one of the ways to do so is to that I have a written down I go to this every morning is serve my family with zero expectation, which is a hard thing. I mean, it's a really hard thing to do. So like every opportunity serve them. And don't be disappointed if you get nothing in return whatsoever. Which, you know, there's, you know, a bunch of micro situations that normally, you know, would want something in return. But I've been doing this now for a couple of weeks. And it's, it's paid me back, like 10 fold of anything that I would have expected, which is crazy, right? So just that little shift. And it's exactly what you're saying here. It's it's showing up. And it's essentially serving your team with zero in return,Phil Geldart:
what you are doing is demonstrating the worth of the other person. And they are responding to that, which is in this the way we want to be treated. We want our worth. Now, I will You didn't ask me this, but I'm just going to jump in here. There is a Latin term called equal onus, onus means burden or weight. So if you think about I mean, I just talked about the importance of the leader, but there is an equal burden or an equal weight on the employee, in my mind, in my judgment, they have got to step up and take the initiative, they have got to have the courage of their convictions. They have to speak what's on their mind. They have to ask questions. They have to demonstrate integrity. They have to behave in a way that reflects the fact that I'm honoring you for your potential Okay, well then demonstrate you're potentially it just sit back. It's not a one way street. So I think one of The things and people don't quite understand this, often one of the things a great leader leader will do is sit down and say, Look, I will treat you with respect, but I have expectations. And the expectations is you give me all that you can. And if there's something that I'm doing that's inhibiting that you tell me, but I am expecting you to bring your full self to the party. And I think that that second half is important. And in my experience, people responded, I think are great. I'm not, I'm not adverse to it. But the fact that you have articulated it and demonstrated that you do expect me to perform to my fullest is a challenge. And I will raise that. Now I'm expecting you to be a great leader, but collectively, will change the world. But you do need both sides of the coin, I think, yeah,Craig Pretzinger:
that communication is so important. And it's that's the proactive communication on the same subject, that you would come in negatively, saying, Hey, you're not doing it, right. Nobody wants to hear I'm not doing it. So it's just being out ahead of it. And I was thinking to Jason's deal. It's all about that intention behind it. Right? Like you had you had a different intention behind it, not in it. I didn't help her because I wanted to be able to go go to the events or whatever, right? No, I didn't say the other. Or the other one that happens with every, a lot of relationships, which is I did I did the dishes hoping that, right? And, and that'll never work, right? Because now you're going to be disappointed a lot of the time. And instead, if the intention is if my intention is just to serve, I think the energy behind that intention creates the perception that they have of how you're doing it, right. Yeah.Phil Geldart:
And I think if I can understand I want to speak for you, Jason, but your motivation was not to benefit yourself. It was to benefit them. And without that motivation, it looks manipulative. Yeah, pure pure of heart, so to speak. And without that, you go, well, that's really good. I'll just pretend like everybody's more important to me. That won't work. You went there and said, I have no expectation, and therefore, that purity of intention, what I call integrity, you know, your your character, was what people saw and responded to more than your actions.Jason Feltman:
Yeah. Yeah, definitely. I can see that. It's funny too, because it's like, it's always like little it's subtleties, right? It's like just being disappointed. It's maybe a little mad after some Well, why don't you do this like to something out right? It comes out in a different time about something else, but like, it won't come out at a different time about something else because you literally let it go and there was nothing built up. It's funny how like parallel this is, but I definitely agree with you in when it comes to business in a workplace. There has to be an agreement of why we're giving you right, it's a two way street. I definitely think that