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.
Keep listening to become a Pro Insurance Dude with us!
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.
In today's world, I don't need you to tell me how to get it done. I need you to support me in the doing of it. That's what I need. And therefore I need to trust you. So trust is kind of like the currency of the age. Wow, how can I trust you? While you demonstrate integrity and character and honesty and empathy? Okay, now I trust you. So help me do this.Craig Pretzinger:
Insurance dudes are on a mission to escape big hit by our agencies.Jason Feltman:
How? by uncovering the secrets to creating a predictable, consistent, and profitable agency Sales Machine.Craig Pretzinger:
Hi, I'm Craig Pretzinger.Jason Feltman:
I am Jason Feldman.Craig Pretzinger:
We are agents.Jason Feltman:
We are insurances. What happens if somebody clearly like you, you lay that out there? And they're just like, whatever. They're not buying into this? Yep.Phil Geldart:
So the answer to that is you think of an hourglass. So you take an hourglass, and you flip over a bunch of the sentence. And it drops right down. Some of it just kind of takes its time it's on its way down. And some of it just hangs around on the side it didn't like forever. But ultimately it gets there, what you have to decide is, is this person who's obviously not sort of an early adopter and just flows right down? Are they just having to wrap their head around what this is all about? I don't quite get it. I'll get there if you give me time. Or are they just culturally not aligned with you. And so I've my advice is give it time, be patient, everybody's different. Help people to see what it is that you see and stay with them. But at the end of the day, if they're clearly not on board, I say, look, I appreciate the fact that you don't have the same point of view about people as I do, and I respect that. So unfortunately, you're gonna have to go find an organization that aligns with your culture instead of this one, that's okay. And that's not a judgment, it's just that this is the way I'm going to run my team. And if that's not the way you want to be run, no problem, but go find a place that you're more comfortable. Yeah, but that is rare. If you are willing to help the person make it down through the hourglass. You got to be willing to do that. And which comes back to devalue the potential of people, right, give them time to get where they gotta go. Sorry. At whatCraig Pretzinger:
point do you make the determination that maybe you want it for them more than they do?Phil Geldart:
So a simple test is whether they are influencing negatively those around them. They they're beginning to have a negative influence around then you're you're past the point, it's time to act. Because a person who is struggling to get it is not a negative influence. They're not a positive influence. But they're not a detractor. But when you see that they're starting to work against you, then you got to act.Craig Pretzinger:
Oh, yeah. Because then it's just insidious. It just, it can destroy the culturePhil Geldart:
quickly, and and you lose the respect of your team, because they're saying, Why is he letting that guy get away with that doesn't make sense to me. And then your whole credibility is down. So you have to have to manage that. SoCraig Pretzinger:
in this world, what what can happen a lot is it's challenging to find the folks that are performing this in at the, at the level that we need to be successful because the margins are small on the PNC side. And then when you get a really, really, like, I've done this a couple times, where you have somebody really, really strong but they affected they affect the rest of the team, and Jason's had it too. And I think a lot of people listening probably have have stuck with that person way too long. Because of the Hey, I'm getting a lot of production here, you know, double everybody else, but at the end of the day, they wreck everything.Phil Geldart:
Absolutely. And it's a tough decision for leader to make, it's one of the it's one of the classics, you know, their height, their high productivity, but they're bad for the culture. But at the end of the day, the impact that they have is far greater for for far greater than you realize. Now again, if you're a great leader, you're not like an idiot you think okay, this person is definitely not a good cultural fit, so I'm gonna have to act on them but I don't have to act today I can put a plan in place and do it in a way that doesn't hurt the business and you know, transition and groom somebody up so it's not like it's not like it's out of the blue you see it you see it coming you should you should be taking steps and say I'm going to try to help him or her but if they don't turn around I have a game plan in the back of my pocket ready to go. Let's go to the desert kings don't rush across the desert until you've planned for the food and water then go.Craig Pretzinger:
Do you see that a lot with with business owners especially in smaller organizations where maybe cash flow is needs to be managed very carefully.Phil Geldart:
I would say it has less cash flow and more lack of appreciation for How to lead. So if I were to give you a quick example, let's say you start out early in your career, and you get a job as a laborer on a road crew. And your job is, you know, you dig the ditches and you move the dirt around and stuff. And then you're, you're hard working, so they promote you. And I got a little team. So you're still doing dishes, but you're also showing the other guys, you know which shovels to use with shovels, not to use to promote you. And now you got the backhoe or you get to drive the backhoe. That's pretty cool. But you also get the higher the crew. Now you're managing the backhoe and then they get promoted. Again. Now you're managing the backhoe and the trucks. And before you know it, instead of just at the end of the day having a beer with the boys. The end of you know your two or three years into your career, you're managing people, you got men and women who are looking to you for leadership, and who do you hire? And how do you deal with problems on the on the job site, and you wake up and go man, like, I'm spending more time with people than I am on things. So what do you do you use the skills that got you promoted. And the thing that got you promoted was I'm good with things I know how to make, I do this. And this happens, I do this. And that happens I do. So you will apply your the things you have learned to your people, but people are not things. So that's why you have in organizations, senior folks who are not good people manager, because they're treating the people like things like okay, I tell them what to do I do this, I organize that, but people are not things. So the issue, especially in smaller organization, is they're incredibly good at making the sale dealing with the customer and you know, doing all the insurance stuff that you've got to do with the forms in the legislation in the government. But they're never been trained to deal with people. So now I got to deal with a person I deal with it like I deal with anything else. Okay, do what I got to deal with now, put it aside, move to the next task. But it is a it's less cash and more skill. Sorry, IJason Feltman:
was gonna say, just even like my journey, or I think that this is the way most people get into this business. But what gets you from being a good, you're just an employee into a business owner. And then becoming like, like a somewhat good business owner is like a lot of sweat equity, a lot of that work and work and working. And then when you get to that point that you need to put somebody there, you know, a lot of us aren't that great, and you're trying to make it work. And the next thing you know, you're right, like you're treating people like things because it's like, okay, I'm working on all these pieces. And it's got to work to make the thing cashflow. And it's like, Well, why don't they understand that because you're, you're you see the money you see the time you you know you're getting home late, you know from work, because you know, and not spend time with your family. So you have that pressure. So there's all these like, like internal pressures that no one gets to see. And then you like put those pressures on the on the people. And it's like, Sure, it's crazy. Because when you do kind of take more of a inward approach, and you start working on yourself, the things that you're talking about, like working on yourself and communication with people, you start relieving that tension and everything starts working out a lot better, all because of it. But you it's hard to see that itPhil Geldart:
will Yeah, it's very hard to see it. And if you are a small business owner, and you have never seen great leadership, and I share what I'm just sharing with you, they think you're from Mars, what do you mean? No, I don't know what you're talking about. Because they have no vision for what it can be in their mind. You know, if I need to do more work, I run the backhoe for another four hours. If I need more work, I tell you to work harder. It's the same thing. You're a backhoe, it's just they do not understand. And one of the most difficult things is to get a senior person who has not actually thought this through or had the skills to wake up and realize that actually, people are their greatest asset. They everybody knows that. But they don't act that way. They don't think that way. They don't perform that way. They don't behave that way. They treat people like things. And so I have a problem change the person. No, no, you have a problem make the person better or not. No, that's all just change him so you never get past mediocrity. Because great people are great people don't come like off the assembly line. They're groomed, they're trained, they're coached, they're guided, they're helped. And where does all that come from your boss. If your boss doesn't do that, you're never going to have anything more than an organization of competent but relatively mediocre people. Because they're not being challenged to be brilliant, because you're not telling yourself to be brilliant.Jason Feltman:
Yeah. It's,Craig Pretzinger:
it speaks to the importance of having mentors of coaching your team of being that person for them and you know and as the leader have also learned, right? Because a lot of times, like you said, we go in not knowing how to do any of that maybe we're really good at the job. But we're no longer doing the job. Now we're, we're teaching other people how to do the job, because that's leverage, right? Like, we're not gonna ever have business leverage if they're not doing the job. So now it's like we need our job is to get good at showing them how to do the job.Phil Geldart:
Exactly. Which comes right back full circle, how do you do that? The only way to do it is show them a mirror of their current behavior and the consequences. I can tell you forever, but they will not listen to me. But if I put them through an experience, and they conclude for themselves, Oh, you're no, that's right. That's what I do. And that's the outcome. I could do it better. Show me how. So without that experience, it's just a lecture and they wait for you to get out of their offices and get back to their paperwork. Oh, it'sCraig Pretzinger:
very difficult to break cognitive dissonance. Yes, exactly. So they're like, alright, this is the way I mean, you know, all of us have had those epiphanies where you're like, holy shit, I do that, you know, like, it's crazy. SoJason Feltman:
it's crazy to you're talking about, like changing somebody that somebody that's in your organization that is not performing optimally, like we have two decisions. One is, we can just bark orders throw a bunch of consequences out there, which is I mean, it's the area that we tend to lean to because we're irritated, we're upset, and all this other stuff. But everything that you spoke to is going the absolute opposite of that. And it's encouraging. It's helping it's, you know, pushing ahead, creating a better situation, everything. That's the opposite of art.Phil Geldart:
It's valuing the potential within every human being. You know, I had an interesting story. I was in a room once many years ago. And the chairman of the board of a huge company was talking. And he was talking about the importance of people. And a lady put her hand up. And it was a tech company. And she stood up and said, Excuse me, may I just make a comment, sir. And he said, sure. She said, I have a PhD in Nuclear Physics. I work in a rocket propulsion lab. I am a rocket scientist. And I will tell you, I am now in leadership. And it is way harder than being a rocket scientist. And she got a standing ovation. Because people think leadership is just something you do. But this lady, you know, even phrase, well, it's not rocket science. She said, You know what, being a leader is the hardest thing I have ever done. And she is right. But if you don't understand that, you treat it as if it's something you can just do in your spare time. Well, we all speak, so I'm a good communicator, we all listened, I listened really well. What's hopper that? The problem is you get you don't get 80% greater value out of your workforce. That's the problem with that.Craig Pretzinger:
Right? Yeah. So So would you say empathy is the is one of the most important skills of being a good leader?Phil Geldart:
Yes, I'm not sure I'd call it a skill. I think it's a, an attitude. But it's certainly one of the most important attitudes to have, I think the skills are the things that you master to let you demonstrate your empathy. So Jason, that using your example, again, you had empathy for the situation in your family, but you had to go do something about it, it reflected in your behavior. So I think there's things like empathy, I think there's things like integrity, that drive you to behavior, you need to learn the behaviors. But if you don't have those core things at the beginning, it's a lot harder.Craig Pretzinger:
Interesting. So empathy is is the result of the activity that you put into getting intoPhil Geldart:
empathy is seen as a result of what you do. Yeah.Jason Feltman:
What would you say? The values of a strong leader are?Phil Geldart:
The values as opposed to the behaviors? You mean? Yeah,Jason Feltman:
like what, like, as a temperaturePhil Geldart:
test? So I would say, the most important what you probably heard me say about six times already? Yeah, I would think the most important is to recognize the worth of a human being. You know, there's a lot of talk today about diversity, equity and inclusion training and we do it but really at the heart is Do you respect the other person. So respect for a human being is an important value, which valuing what they can bring is an important value. I think one of the most important things is what I would consider character which is missing in today's world, like in spades. If I say something, you can rely on it. It's true. It's not something that I just say. If I promise to deliver, I will deliver if I commit to something you can rely on accountability, those types of things, but those are aspects in my mind. have character. And I believe that today's workforce is looking for those kinds of things in their leaders, far more than tell me what to do and tell me how to do it. They're smart today's world. Okay, just tell me what did I got it. But I need you to demonstrate character, honesty, integrity, worth, the sense that I'm important. The sense that family is important, the sense that our community and our society is important. Which, you know, many years ago, we tried to teach that into into organizations and they just forget that today, those are far more interesting. People are interested in that because they're realizing that human beings are, especially in the North American workforce, human beings are looking for that kind of leadership. Because you can figure out how to get it done so efficiently to in today's world, I don't need you to tell me how to get it done. I need you to support me in the doing of it. That's what I need. And therefore I need to trust you. So trust is kind of like the currency of the age. Wow, how can I trust you, while you demonstrate integrity and character and honesty and empathy? Okay, now, I trust you. So help me do this, then I then I will, literally, the guy I worked for the the last career before I went to this one. He was phenomenal. We would do anything for him. I mean, not immoral or anything, but because we trusted him because he cared for us. Now he was ruthless. And he was a tough businessman. But because he cared, you'd say, Okay, I feel safe to go out on the limb and do the best I can, I'm not gonna get my knuckles wrapped. If I mess up. You're there to help me fix it. But you know, you're going to tell me to fix it. That's fair. So I come back to all of those values that you've asked about, are manifested in the in the team member saying I trust my leader, and trust you. And if you have trust, you can lead people along on ways. I remember I was in a situation once where a leader had to close the factory. And he was going to bring everybody together and tell him we're going to close the factory in a year, and why we have to do it. I said, That's ridiculous. You're crazy. They're all gonna leave. He said, No, I'm gonna treat them like adults. They are adults. This is what I know. I know, I'm gonna close it near. So I said, Okay, well on your head, be it. He brought them together. And he said, here's the situation. Here's why I'm telling you. Now, here are the consequences. If I don't close the factory, I really hope none of you leave. And if you do, I respect that. And we'll give you a fair package, but I need you for the next year. The performance of the factory went up for that year, was on its way, I know is a huge lesson for me huge. And I walked away and said, Wow, treat people like human beings and adults and maturely, and they will respond accordingly. That was, it was a phenomenal thing for me to say. It was so foreign to me. But I learned again, from that particular leader, that he treated people with respect. He earned their trust. He didn't hide behind it. He didn't pretend something. He just said, No, I can't tell you everything legally. But I can tell you what I can tell you. And I'll tell you people said, Okay, we got it. And we got that you need us. And when it's over, you'll look after us. Okay, we trust you. Amazing. So those kinds of leaders get the 80% that you guys said you you had when you found a great leader. So it's not magic. In other words, it's we're not talking about something that is abstract and can't be mastered. It begins with being willing to behave that way. You gotta be willing, back to your example, Jason, where you were willing to do things that didn't benefit you. You gotta be willing to earn the trust of your people, even if it means being more honest and more respectful and more transparent. But the payback is off the charts.Jason Feltman:
I love it. Mic drop on that one. i It is crazy. Trust is the ultimate. I mean, yeah, but we I've had those, I've had those. Those jobs, there was a couple in particular that we would do anything for the owner or the manager. And it was, I mean, they really, it was we all trusted them more than anything and like we would do anything for them ethic. AndCraig Pretzinger:
how much easier is that for the owner just to behave as a leader? Because they're gonna be there, right? Like you're either gonna behave like a leader don't. And then all that frustration is gone on the battlefield.Phil Geldart:
Right? Absolutely. So you are not overCraig Pretzinger:
in the group of the agents saying, so tired of employees. They're the worst, right? You're over here going, man. I love my team. You're crushing it.Phil Geldart:
Yep. Exactly. Exactly. Love it.Craig Pretzinger:
I've had both teams.Phil Geldart:
Well, you understand?Craig Pretzinger:
I've stood in both groups. Right? Well,Jason Feltman:
cool. Phil. This has been absolutely phenomenal. We don't want to I know we started a little late. So I don't want to take too much of your time. But like, how can people get a hold of you? What's your what's your what's the info? And you got to tellCraig Pretzinger:
them about the the new book? Yeah, for the most recent book? Well, I'vePhil Geldart:
written several, there's a new one coming out from Forbes, which will be in, I think, July middle of July. The best way to get a hold of me is Phil gilbert.com. I've got a website. It's all there. I run a company, but I've also got a website because people tend to want to say, Well, what do you do? And how do you do it, and I can point them to the company. So Phil gilbert.com. Thank you for asking me. And so do I qualify here as an insurance dude? Oh, yeah. All right. That's a privilege and I appreciate it.Craig Pretzinger:
I am gonna pick up in search of the gold of the desert kings. I'm very interested in that. Okay. I hope you enjoy it. Well, cool. Thank you, Phil. It's awesome to have you on. ItPhil Geldart:
was a pleasure. It's a pleasure, fun to chat. Thanks a lot.Jason Feltman: