SPECIALIZING IN YOU Agriculture Ministries Education Environmental Hospitality
EXTOLLING THE VIRTUES OF MY FAVORITE SPECTATOR SPORT Football Is a Thing of Beauty
T he summer heat is finally lifting, the kids are heading back to school, and — praise the Lord! — it’s college football season once again. And with six of 14 SEC teams helmed by new head coaches, it’s sure to be even more interesting and exciting than it has been in years.
best teams will run it for hours until they
to learn and love about the way these organizations operate and cooperate. It’s easy to look at the coach or quarterback and pin all the success of the team on them, and of course, a star player or a leader with a keen talent for guiding his team to victory certainly has a lot of influence on results. But whether you’re the New England Patriots or
automatically travel that 9 yards precisely without a single thought — not 9.5, not 8.5, but 9. By the time they’re through, the quarterback is throwing the ball before the receiver is out of his cut, exactly to his left shoulder, an accomplishment of teamwork the fan only sees for about five seconds. The best may make it look easy, but I think we all know it’s not easy at all. And that’s just one play out of dozens and dozens during a game that need to be executed with the same precision in order to be successful. One of Bill Belichick’s big maxims is “Do your job.” If every member of the Patriots does exactly what they’re supposed to, then he’s confident they’ll win every time. The system breaks down when even one guy fails to do his job, which is why I think it’s the ultimate team game. To me, football is a beautiful thing, combining everything I appreciate about leadership, teamwork, and pure competition into an amazing, fast-paced whole. Fall just wouldn’t be the same without it. Oh, and go Razorbacks!
the Arkansas Razorbacks, it takes many, many people to sustain success. With individual trainers, coaches for every position, donors, organizers, equipment managers, between 60 and 85 players, and of course, the undying support of rabid
Every single motion players make on the field is the product of insane dedication and work ethic, likely from dozens of people at once.”
For pretty much as long as I can remember, I’ve been a passionate football fan. I spend nearly every Saturday throughout the fall catching as many college football games as possible. To me and many others, college football feels less like a corporate enterprise and more like an honest competition than the NFL. It’s the ultimate team game, with dozens of individuals and moving parts all coming together to pull off some really incredible tactical and physical feats. It’s filled with dramatic finishes, underdog upsets, and inspiring stories of sheer human effort and determination. As I’ve found from reading books about legends like Bill Belichick and Nick Saban, there’s so much
fans, the best football teams come together to create a large community with one common goal: winning! Every single motion players make on the field is the product of insane dedication and work ethic, likely from dozens of people at once. I’d bet that, in the days leading up a big game, coaches often pull a 100-hour workweek, leaving as little to chance as humanly possible. The players, meanwhile, are running drills for hours and days, turning complex processes into instant responses. As Bill Walsh has discussed, if the play calls for a receiver to run 9 yards out, the
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WHEN YOU CAN’T SAY YES
3Ways to Say NoWithout Losing a Customer
Has a client ever asked you for something you didn’t have the resources to provide? Have you ever had a request to do something that’s against company protocol? Do clients want you to bend over backward on a task that isn’t worth the ROI? On these occasions, you are perfectly justified in saying no. But clients rarely like being turned down, so it’s important to learn to say no without losing a paying customer. Maybe a client has asked for something you don’t traditionally offer. Unless this is a rare opportunity to branch out and begin offering a new service to all clients, it doesn’t make sense to run yourself ragged fulfilling a niche request. Avoid the fear of letting your client down by referring them to another place where they can get what they need. This way, you get to say no while still being the person who helps the client get what they want. If you have changed anything in your company, be it the software interface on your website or your pricing structure, you may have frustrated clients who demand things go back to the way they were before. Since that’s not an option, try to determine exactly what they are upset about. By asking a client why they prefer the old way, you might learn that they are having trouble accessing important information in your new software or that the new price increase is beyond their budget. Armed with this information, you can hopefully find a solution for what’s really troubling them. This is also a good time to explain the reason behind the change, if possible. Clients can be more accepting when they understand something better. In every interaction, people want to feel listened to. Even when you have to say no to a client, making sure they feel heard and respected can go a long way toward maintaining that goodwill. Acknowledge the issue they are having, empathize with their frustration, and make sure your client knows you are listening by using their name and saying, “I understand.” You can’t say yes to every request, but you can remind clients that you value their support and appreciate the effort it took for them to contact you. Saying no is not bad customer service. When you take the time to say it the right way, you’re actually doing the client a favor because it means you aren’t wasting their time. Offer Alternatives Ask for Clarification Make Clients Feel Heard
An Agent With Four Decades of Experience At Risk Services/Insurica, the connections our agents form with the clients they serve are measured in years and decades, not months or dollars. Certainly that’s the case with David Feild, one of our producers who’s been on our team for more than 20 years. “My customers are my true friends,” David says. “Seriously! I’m not about to make a recommendation to a client to bump up my commission a few dollars. If I suggest anything, it’s to make sure they have the precise coverage they need.” David has always had a passion for the insurance field, but it took him some time to realize the perfect fit for his unique skill set and personality. “I went to work for Prudential Insurance right out of college, selling life insurance, and just detested it,” he says. “Being a 23-year-old guy telling a man 18 years his senior that he ‘needed to take care of his family’ just didn’t go over so well. From there, I went on to a couple smaller agencies with which I didn’t see eye to eye — I never got the warm and fuzzies. But when I came over to Risk Services of Arkansas, I got nothing but warm and fuzzies.” “The people I work with are all extremely knowledgeable; Brad and his predecessor Steve Russell have always been fantastic. My coworkers and I genuinely care about one another and the clients we work with — it’s just a wonderful environment.” Outside of the office, David loves to hunt deer and travel around the world. He enjoys visiting his children around the country as often as possible, but he also enjoys vacationing in more exotic locales, like Cancun. Whether he’s relaxing on the beach or providing his clients with top-tier service, David brings a keen passion, level head, and dry sense of humor. We’re thrilled that he’s stuck around Risk Services/Insurica for so long, and we look forward to his many contributions to come.
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Common Workplace Hazards
AND HOW TO ELIMINATE THEM
endeavor. Remember that any employee driving or riding in a vehicle for work-related reasons has recourse to file a claim. Because of this, you need to make sure that all your drivers are thoroughly vetted and trained. Noise Noise-related injuries are particularly prevalent in industries like construction, manufacturing, and restaurant work. The first step in eliminating them is to attempt to remove the hazard. That won’t be possible in all cases, however, so it’s also important to provide your workers with protective devices and make it company policy to wear them at all times. For particularly noisy jobs, standard earplugs probably aren’t enough to substantially reduce the risk. Repetitive Stress Injuries (RSIs) RSIs may not warrant a hospital visit, but they can lead to decreased productivity, absences, and employee dissatisfaction. Improper lifting, limited breaks, and low-grade office equipment can all contribute to RSIs. Ergonomically friendly supplies and proper movement training can help limit them.
Having employees get injured on the job can be extremely costly. The claims process is protracted and requires time, energy, and money to resolve. That’s why it’s so surprising that many companies don’t take the time to set up preventative measures to avoid the most common workplace hazards. Now, not every injury can be prevented, but if you’re not defending against the following issues, you’re asking for trouble. Slips, Trips, and Falls According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), slips, trips, and falls account for the largest percentage of general industry accidents. There is no industry that is exempt from them, but that doesn’t mean your only recourse is to cross your fingers and hope nobody falls. Proper housekeeping, visible signage, and footwear requirements are crucial in preventing falls of all types. If you run a construction site and somebody shows up in sandals, you need to send them home. Transportation Injuries Whether you’re delivering pizzas around the corner or hauling goods across state lines, driving can be a dangerous
Have a Laugh!
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INSIDE This Issue
Brad Johnson’s Got Football Fever page 1
Can You Say No to a Client? Meet David Feild page 2 The Most CommonWorkplace Accidents Sudoku page 3
A Guide to Workplace ‘Essentialism’ page 4
Greg McKeown’s ‘Essentialism’ Will Help You Declutter Your Workload
time diligently by pursuing what actually matters, rather than filling their days with meaningless busywork. Early in the book, McKeown uses famed Braun designer Dieter Rams as an example of an essentialist. He notes that Rams’ design philosophy can be characterized by three simple words: less but better. This, in essence, is what essentialists believe. Doing your best work where it matters and cutting out the superfluous will allow you to better manage your time and increase your performance. As McKeown puts it, “It is about making the wisest possible investment of your time and energy in order to operate at your highest point of contribution by doing only what is essential.” Instead of having their energy spread out in a million different directions, essentialists channel it into what really matters. McKeown also advocates for defining your purpose in order to accurately assess what’s essential and what isn’t. The more a task contributes to your purpose, the more essential it is. Many business owners and leaders struggle to let go of tasks that are best left to other employees. If you’ve ever found yourself struggling to manage a massive workload while resenting the fact that much of what you do is needless, then it’s time to pick up a copy of “Essentialism.”
“If you don’t prioritize your life, someone else will,” writes Greg McKeown in “Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less.” When he set out to write the book, McKeown wanted to know what keeps skilled, driven people from achieving as much as possible. What he found was that many people suffer not from being lazy, but from allocating their time ineffectively. The impulse to “do it all” keeps folks from spending their time on the things that actually matter. The book, then, serves as a guide to cutting out the extraneous and focusing on the essential.
“Life is not an all-you-can-eat buffet,” McKeown says. “It’s amazingly great food. Essentialism is about finding the right food. More and more is valueless. Staying true to my purpose and being selective in what I take on results in a more meaningful, richer, and sweeter quality of life.” This metaphor can be applied to your work life as well. There aren’t enough hours in the day to accomplish every task. The essentialist works to spend their
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