AIL/NILICO’s VP of Agency Leadership Development, Larry Strong, Speaks On “Leadership Needs”

Larry Strong, Vice President of Agency Leadership Development for American Income Life and National Income Life Insurance Companies, explains how effective leaders can acheive the growth they need only after they understand their need of others.
Larry Strong, Vice President of Agency Leadership Development

Larry Strong, Vice President of Agency Leadership Development

Hello Fellow American Income Life Leaders!

Henry David Thoreau said, “The greatest compliment that was ever paid me was when someone asked me what I thought, and attended to my answer.”

John Maxwell was once asked what the secret was to getting people to enthusiastically join a team and his simple one sentence response was to tell them, “I can’t do it without you.” He went on to say that great leaders stumble when they believe people need them instead of recognizing that the very opposite is true.

Leaders Can Become Great Only When They Realize That They Are The Ones Who Need People

I don’t know too many things in our business that can be accomplished by ourselves. When you or one of your Agency Builders walks out to the lobby to grab someone to interview, do we have the mindset that this is a person that we potentially NEED to help us grow our business? Are we looking to find as many reasons as possible that this person deserves the opportunity to sit in the Career Briefing (Group) in order to hear and see what we do and to FEEL our passion for WHY we do it?

The People We Need Must Understand Why We Need Them

While it is true that we need people in order to grow our business, why do we need to grow our business? To make more money? I suppose. To drive American Income Life earnings? Of course. For our job security? Perhaps. For more recognition? Recognition is always good!

The ULTIMATE reason we should all want to grow our business is because of our belief in what it is we do. I love doing the Career Briefing when I go to an agency. One of the many reasons is so that I can say on the What We Do Slide, “NOW THAT YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT WE DO, LET ME TELL YOU WHY WE DO IT. YOU SEE, WE BELIEVE THAT ON THE WORST DAY OF A FAMILY’S LIFE—WHEN THEY LOSE A LOVED ONE—THE FAMILY DESERVES THE RIGHT TO BE CONCERNED ABOUT ALL THE OTHER THINGS THEY ARE GOING TO BE OVERWHELMED WITH BESIDES HOW IN THE WORLD THEY ARE GOING TO HAVE TO PAY FOR WHAT THEY ARE GOING TO HAVE TO PAY FOR. IN SIMPLE TERMS, WE ARE IN THE BUSINESS OF PROVIDING DIGNITY AND PEACE OF MIND. AND FRANKLY, ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT QUALITIES WE LOOK FOR IN OUR CANDIDATES IS CAN THEY BE VERY PASSIONATE ABOUT WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO. THESE ARE THE TYPE OF PEOPLE WE NEED.” This statement ultimately sets the stage for us to ask them if they can see themselves being passionate about providing dignity and peace of mind to families.

The People We Need Must Understand That We Are Going To Take Their Success Seriously

Many of you have heard me say or write that people ultimately hire us to show them how to become successful. So, we not only need people — people need us too. The people we recruit are hoping, praying and trusting that we are going to show them how to be successful. This is what they have “hired” us to do. We need to let people know and understand that we are going to do the job they hired us to do and that they can take that to the bank. Validating our opportunity is what keeps us credible. OUR INTEGRITY IS DIRECTLY TIED TO HOW WELL WE SHOW PEOPLE HOW TO BE SUCCESSFUL.

People must also understand that we are going to help them be accountable to the things they MUST do in order to become successful and that we are not going to allow them to fail for very long. Generally, if we have done a solid job of training a new agent and shown them how to do what they will need to do we can virtually guarantee one’s success — if they work our proven system. The breakdown comes from people not working the system — not dancing to the right choreography. When people start down that path we need to get them back on the right track immediately.


To me, AIL’s recruiting philosophy is pretty simple. Finding out what people want, and show them how we offer what they are looking for. In the final analysis, we need people looking for what we have and people need us to show them how to capitalize on our opportunity. OPPORTUNITY UNLIMITED only happens when the process works the way it is intended and designed to work.


Do you have any questions about agent development for Larry? Leave a comment and ask.

About Mark Ting

Mark Ting is a Staff Writer at Torchmark Corporation, writing about American Income Life and National Income Life Insurance Companies. Google+

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