Leads Are for Leaders Series 3: Be the Change

You Can Make Your Community Better

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” These words are often attributed to Mahatma Ghandi, although there is no evidence that he ever wrote or said them. Still, the sentiment is positive and empowering, instructing us to take inventory of our surroundings and take action to improve them.

At Hometown Quotes, we believe that our customers are especially well situated to be community leaders. As an insurance agent, you are often just one step removed from some of life’s toughest moments—car accidents, floods, untimely deaths. You have a unique view of human frailty and our common desire to live happily and without suffering.

You regularly engage with others around you. You are accustomed to looking at the big picture. You can make a difference—by helping lead the way in making your community a better place to live.

Lead by Example

The way you conduct business is a model for others. Being respectful and courteous to every customer and vendor is obvious. But there are other, more subtle ways to show respect to those around you. It can be as simple as a couple of flowerpots on the street outside your office door and a sidewalk that is regularly swept clean. Good citizenship includes recognizing your place in the greater whole of your community.

Lead from the Front

Anytime you find yourself thinking, “They should really fix…,” it’s an opportunity for you to step in and take action. Whether it’s something as mundane as poorly timed traffic lights or a topic as important as underperforming public schools, you can play a role in making the situation better. Take the time to write an email or letter to your local department of transportation and ask for a fix. Start attending school board meetings and participate in the feedback process. At some point, you may even want to run for the school board. Sometimes change comes quickly; other times it takes years. But it doesn’t happen without individuals who are willing to invest time and effort.

Lead from Behind

Maybe your time is already committed elsewhere or the limelight isn’t for you. Supporting or encouraging others is another way to create change. Allow your employees one paid service day per quarter or semi-annually. Offer a scholarship for a high-performing student from your local high school to attend a leadership seminar. Find others who have the time that you do not and sponsor them in doing the work.

Lead with Words

We’ve all heard interviews with accomplished people who tell the story of that one special person in their life who gave them praise or advice that changed their life. Think about someone you know who is doing a good job or who could use a few words of encouragement, and then tell them what they need to hear. There is little that is as powerful as changing a person’s outlook and leading them to believe in their own worth.

At Hometown Quotes, we firmly believe that our leads are for leaders. We feel privileged to partner with so many hard-working and thoughtful agents. Thank you for the work you do to make your part of the world a better place.

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This is the last of three blog posts about developing leadership skills. Click on these links to read the other posts about becoming a community leader and leading in the age of social media.

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