If I had to choose one subject to stress as the critical area of focus for our industry, it would be talent. And by talent, I mean the 21st century version: a combination of multifaceted skills, bold perspective, innovative mindset and unshakable courage. Our current and developing leaders need to possess a broad and deep array of attributes in order to succeed, and to lead, in our rapidly evolving industry.
Why? Because insurance has taken far too long to acknowledge and respond to the winds of change. Rapid advances in data science and technology, a lack of interest in the sector as a career, the rise of diversity and inclusion as a business imperative, and the expectations of a multigenerational workforce demand a reshaping of how our companies are managed.
Today's leaders need impeccable technical skills as well as effective “softer skills”—a bit of a misnomer, as the empathy and compassion included in that description can be much harder to master than professional qualifications. But in today's working environment, they're also critical.
My best advice for charting a satisfying and successful career in insurance is to ignore the maxim “Stay in your lane.” You can't gain the skills, perspective, mindset and courage I mentioned earlier by restricting your experiences and opportunities for growth.
I know that my career has been enriched by taking advantage of every opportunity—no matter how large or how small—and taking a few risks along the way. Doing this introduced me to people I'd never have met and took me to places I'd never have gone if I'd been rigid in my focus.
So stay open, flexible and curious, and have the courage to get in over your head from time to time. You'll develop the talent you need to be a leader—and you'll be surprised at where that talent takes you.
Hamilton Insurance Group