The insurance talent landscape is shifting. Many senior-level employees are nearing retirement, Millennials and GenXers are moving into leadership positions, and members of Generation Z are securing their first jobs. Along with these demographic shifts, technology is redefining roles, making today’s desired leadership skills much different than those of even 10 years ago.
Current insurance leaders are responsible for much more than driving financial success and managing operations. They have multifaceted roles to fill, and must be able to engage and inspire diverse employees, champion inclusivity, push through adversity and continually innovate. At the same time, they’re tasked with being technologically adept and understanding how to best balance their employees’ skillsets with automation. Deloitte’s 2019 Global Human Capital Trends survey found 80 percent of respondents highly prioritized leadership, yet only half that amount said their organizations were ready to meet today’s leadership requirements. Just 30 percent reported their organizations were effectively developing leaders to meet new challenges.
As insurance organizations undergo modernization efforts and shift their focus to the customer experience and anticipating consumer needs, human talent is more important than ever before. Professionals of all levels are differentiating themselves through skills and attributes that are difficult for machines to replicate, such as strategic thinking, delegation and negotiation skills, prioritization ability, and attention to detail.
Here are a few of the key traits that are vital for this new type of leader:
Emotional Intelligence: Today’s leaders are moving out of an isolated corner office and ingraining themselves within their organizations. They should be adept at listening to employee concerns and proactively seek out feedback. As automation becomes a larger part of business, emotional intelligence and soft skills such as empathy will set effective leaders apart. In fact, 90% of employees are more likely to stay with a company that is empathetic to their needs.
Agility: Today’s business climate is constantly changing. Leaders must be prepared for anything and be able to navigate these shifts while continuing to motivate and inspire employees. This includes the ability to confidently make quick decisions and adjust priorities based on new information.
Creativity: Without creativity, insurers will be left behind or lost among similar organizations. By seeking opportunities for improvement and innovation, the next wave of leadership will be able to keep their organizations relevant.
These are just a few of the characteristics necessary for successful leadership. In our recent white paper, JoJo Harris and Brad Whatley, senior vice presidents of The Jacobson Group, dive into these attributes and several more, and outline the steps companies can take to identify and develop new leaders. View “Developing a New Type of Leader for the Evolving Industry” to learn more.