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Heroes of the American Revolution
R ecently, I read a really interesting book, “Founding Myths: Stories That Hide Our Patriotic Past” by historian Ray Raphael. It’s about how a lot of stories we learned in school about the American Revolution, like Paul Revere’s midnight ride or Patrick Henry’s famous saying of “Give me liberty or give me death,” didn’t happen at all, or were just one small part of a much bigger story. There are a lot of layers to the story of the American Revolution. What’s really fascinating is that when you take away those famous stories and storybook myths, the real story is so much cooler. Take the Declaration of Independence, for example. I always thought about the signing of the Declaration of Independence as a top-down thing. A lot of smart guys came together to create this document and when people read it, they realized they were feeling the same thing and decided to fight for their independence. Reading this book, I learned that’s not what happened at all. The American Revolution didn’t start with the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776; it started with the Boston Tea Party in 1773. When the British Crown still ruled the 13 colonies, they imposed steep taxes on the colonists to help pay off British debts. To protest “taxation without representation,” a group of colonists stormed ships carrying British tea in the Boston port and dumped all the tea into the harbor.
After losing what today would have been about $1 million in tea, the British passed a series of laws, nicknamed the “Intolerable Acts” by the colonists, to shut down the port of Boston and to forbid the colonists from meeting without permission of the Massachusetts governor — who, incidentally, had been placed in power
demanded their leaders do the bidding of their constituents and vote for independence from British rule. Today, history remembers George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Sam Adams, and those Founding Fathers as the main heroes of the American Revolution. While these men were certainly heroes in their own right, so were the 25,000 Americans who died fighting the British, the 300,000 soldiers who put themselves in danger during the war, and the 3 million colonists whose lives were turned upside down as a brand-new country fought for independence. Those men we learn about in school undoubtedly did great things, but to give them most of the credit for the American Revolution does a disservice to how inspiring our story really is. The colonies were full of great men and women who dreamed of freedom, who persuaded their neighbors that freedom was better than subjugation, and who then committed their lives and their possessions to fight for that freedom long before Jefferson started writing what we know as The Declaration of Independence. This Fourth of July, I’ll be celebrating not just the handful of men history remembers, but also the nation of unheralded heroes who helped launch The United States of America.
by the British. This is when the revolution really began. It didn’t start out with all 13 colonies united; it was just the people of Massachusetts against the most powerful army and navy in the world. And the people won. They essentially threw the British out of Massachusetts, removing the governor and the judges from power. The Massachusetts Revolution of 1774 was the most successful popular uprising in our nation’s history to remove leadership. Despite being all but forgotten today, at the time this revolution is what really sparked the call for independence throughout the colonies. Well before Thomas Jefferson and the Continental Congress began to pen their Declaration of Independence, there were 90 other documents calling for independence written by towns and colonies throughout America. In fact, a lot of what Thomas Jefferson put in the Congressional Declaration of Independence came from the Virginia Declaration of Independence. There was a groundswell of political thinking for freedom as the people
“There was a groundswell of political thinking for freedom…”
President, Risk Services of AR Specialized Insurance Programs for Specialized Industries. • www.insurica.com • 1
The Human Element of Risk and Safety
Over the next few months, we’re going beyond Risk Services/ Insurica here in Little Rock and taking a tour of the Insurica network. There are many people who help ensure our clients’ risk management success. One of these people is Stan Gregory of San Antonio, Texas. Like John Schlarb last month, Stan is a safety and risk consultant. For the last four years, Stan has served the Texas area, but even prior
A great advertising campaign transcends the company that creates it. The Budweiser Clydesdales are nearly as iconic as the beer itself. People still say, “Dude, you’re getting a Dell,” in 2019, despite the fact that PCs aren’t even a major part of Dell’s business model anymore. When it comes to creating an ad campaign that Don Draper would be proud of, it’s best to look at massively successful examples from recent history. Here are a few of our favorites, as well as commentary on why they work and how you can use similar tactics. Brand Differentiation: Apple This mega-popular ad campaign consisting of 66 spots personified the difference between PCs and Apple computers. Playing the role of “PC” was a buttoned-up, nebbish character you’d expect to find in the most morose workplace on earth. The “Mac” character, by contrast, was laid-back, youthful, and effortlessly cool. After launching the campaign in 2006, Macs became the default laptop for nearly every incoming college student. Clearly, the lighthearted jabbing at the competition worked. Off-the-Wall Irreverence: Old Spice Most deodorant and shampoo commercials are bare-bones basic. They describe the “odor protection,” “moisturizing effects,” and the like. Old Spice takes the opposite approach. Their ads often feature absurd imagery, insane special effects, and Terry Crews literally yelling at you that you smell bad. Would this tone work for a life insurance company? Probably not, but it’s a great way to make simple consumer goods feel fun and exciting. Social Awareness: Dove Dove’s “Campaign for Real Beauty,” which launched in 2007, was a long overdue change of pace for the beauty industry. Since time immemorial, fashion and beauty campaigns featured only impossibly beautiful women who had body types that the average person could never attain. Dove threw this aspirational, and potentially toxic, messaging in the garbage and decided to celebrate women of all shapes and sizes. If you can create a campaign that includes those who aren’t used to widespread representation, you’ll increase your reach in a hurry. Curated Cool: Dos Equis Here’s a dirty little secret the beverage industry won’t tell you: Most industrially produced beers are made by one of two companies, and the vast majority of them taste remarkably similar. The difference, for the most part, comes down to the way they are marketed. Dos Equis, with their “Most Interesting Man in the World” campaign, carved out a name for themselves as the beer for urbane, thrill-seeking drinkers, despite the fact that their product is about as exotic as a Coors Light. Sometimes, perception really is reality. The Best Contemporary Ad Campaigns And What You Can Learn From Them
to joining the Insurica network, Stan has enjoyed a long career in safety and risk control. Stan graduated from Oklahoma State University in 1983 with a degree in fire prevention and safety technology and started a career in insurance thanks to advice from a professor. “When I was in college, my mentor happened to have previously worked in the insurance business,” Stan says. “He recommended I look into insurance. As he put it, ‘This business will get you outside looking at construction sites and inside at manufacturing plants or hospitals. You name it, wherever you want to work, you’ll be able to make it fit. Plus, in this business, you’ll have a leg up on everyone because you’ll know more about fire protection than 99 out of 100 people.’” His mentor’s advice turned out to be spot on. Stan has consulted for oil and gas companies, homeowners associations, and even nonprofit groups like Meals on Wheels. Every business has its unique safety challenges. Stan provides his clients feedback through analysis and identifies areas they can improve on. Though he often looks at risk from a property standpoint, Stan prefers the human element of his work. “My skill set is more on the people side,” says Stan. “I prefer working with people — dealing with human behaviors and ensuring that safety solutions are being carried about across a company to reduce injuries, accidents, and catastrophic events.” Outside of the office, Stan’s main priority is his family. He has four sons and three grandsons. Recently, one of his sons got married and another just retired from the military. During the summer, Stan enjoys planning trips his family can enjoy together, like camping in the Colorado mountains or, more likely, golfing in San Diego. Next to his family, golf is the greatest love of Stan’s life. Stan is an incredible resource to the Insurica network and not just because of his degree in fire protection. With decades worth of expertise and a talent for working with people, Stan Gregory is dedicated to improving the safety and insurance experience for every client.
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Update the Human Firewall
YOUR TEAM IS YOUR BIGGEST THREAT TO CYBERSECURITY
Cybersecurity has been an issue since the very first spam email, but it’s recently gained mainstream recognition. From Facebook’s password leaks to countless small businesses suffering from ransomware attacks every year, everyone is looking for ways to keep their company from being the next target. The problem is that even though more businesses are focused on cybersecurity, they often go about it all wrong. Updating your firewall and installing antivirus protection isn’t enough to keep your data safe. The cybersecurity firm KnowBe4 reports that only 3% of recent malware attacks exploited a technical flaw; the other 97% were conducted with social engineering. This means that hackers aren’t attacking your technology — they’re targeting your team. It’s estimated that 91% of data breaches are the result of social engineering schemes like phishing. Before you insist that your teamwould never fall for that, ask if you’re willing to stake $6 million on that claim. This is howmuch money the Wall Street firm SS&C Technology lost in 2016 when their employees fell for a “Business Email Compromise” scam. Employees authorized six wire transfers without verifying the legitimacy of the requests being made via email. Trusting fraudulent emails is also howmany companies find themselves crippled during a ransomware attack. Have a Laugh!
No matter what kind of technology you use, the biggest threat to cybersecurity will always be human error. This is why business owners need to update their human firewall. Take proactive steps to ensure your employees are trained on the basics of cybersecurity, including the following:
• The importance of strong passwords and the dangers of reusing passwords • How to spot spam emails or phishing schemes
• The value of two-factor authentication • Common social engineering schemes • The protocol for approving wire transfers or requests • Risks your company faces
If you really want to double-down on cybersecurity, you could enlist the help of a third-party company to test your defenses and train your team.
Ultimately, cybersecurity only works if your whole team is on board. If you’re the only person thinking about cybersecurity at your company, it’s only a matter of time before one employee unwittingly clicks on a bad link and lets hackers into your systems.
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INSIDE This Issue
Brad Johnson on the Real Heroes of the American Revolution page 1 The Absolute Best in Advertising Meet Stan Gregory page 2 What’s Your Company’s Biggest Cybersecurity Risk? Sudoku page 3 Make Yourself Heard With ‘Fierce Conversations’ page 4
‘Fierce Conversations’ to Get Your Message Across
So often, we talk to our friends, coworkers, and loved ones without actually saying anything. We’ll beat around the bush on important subjects or hesitate to bring up sensitive matters. Global business coach and best-selling author Susan Scott has set out to change that. In her book “Fierce Conversations,” Scott argues that the key to get more out of our personal and professional relationships is to learn to lower our barriers and convey our message honestly.
Those who tend to judge a book by its cover may make the mistake of associating the word “fierce” with “aggressive.” However, as a master of meaningful communication, Scott has found that it’s
important not to force emotions one way or the other. As she observes, “If your behavior contradicts your values, your body knows.” Instead of relying on fake bravado or false modesty, the author argues it’s better that the bravery be genuine. Breaking down those social barriers to be authentic in our conversations takes true ferocity.
“Fierce Conversations” is one of those works born out of a simple idea with big implications. As the author explains it, “While no single conversation is guaranteed to change the trajectory of a career, a company, a relationship, or a life, any single conversation can.” By having the communication skills necessary to create lasting bonds, handle strong emotions, and overcome barriers, you’ll be prepared when crucial conversations present themselves.
Scott does more than simply explain why frank and honest communication is important; she gives readers the tools to get there. Having spent years as a business coach, and now as the head of a firm that trains CEOs around the globe, Scott is well-versed in the art of teaching exercises. “Fierce Conversations” is brimming with action items, tactics, and tailor-made examples of how to communicate in every situation, from board meetings to parenting. If you’re someone who likes concrete guides over vague concepts, this book will pleasantly surprise you.
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