What It Means to Be an Industry Leader

Leadership is a popular buzzword these days. The problem is, everyone wants to be a leader but few take the time to really assess what that means. We could debate the various traits of a true leader all day, but when I look at those companies I consider leaders in the insurance space, I see them doing one or more of the following:

  1. Structuring their company to dominate the industry through superior product and service.
  2. Creating a strategic management plan that is responsive to changes as well as trends in the marketplace but which doesn’t lose sight of the company’s core objectives and values.
  3. Ensuring operations focus on efficiency, minimizing errors and streamlining processes so that customers get top-tier service, every time.
  4. Being innovative and taking on calculated risks in any of the above areas.

What Leadership Isn’t

Leadership isn’t about outspending the competition. While an industry leader may need deep pockets to meet its personal business and marketing plan objectives, that isn’t what will make or break their role as a leader.

It’s also common to confuse following trends with leadership. Many companies, especially in the insurance industry, jump on the latest social media fad and think they’re leading the pack and being innovative. But they never truly understand how to effectively use the resource and they expect it to carry them to success rather than seeing it as a temporary tool to help short-term marketing.

Properly exploiting trends, however, can be a form of leadership. For example, true leaders know they must exploit the marketing opportunities of various social media sites for as long as they are popular with their target market, but they don’t center their entire marketing plan on them. They know how to appeal to clients using the site and they’re ready to change their plan once a site starts losing favor.

Leading in the Insurance Space

To be a leader in the insurance space, you may not have to be the first company to adopt a certain technology, data security process, marketing method or customer relationship management technique. But you must be one of the few who combines early adoption with consistent management, efficiency, accuracy and a clear, concise company objective that is consistently adhered to. Combine this with a dash of innovation in your marketing, customer service, product launches and networking and you could soon find your company being held up as an example for the rest of the industry.