evaluated them on: 1) the work they were
going to ask me to perform and whether
it interested me, and 2) also on the growth
opportunity in the company.”
Having a great candidate to consider is
a little like a good day fishing. There’s ten-
sion on the line when you recognize you’ve
got a keeper, and you focus on what you
need to do to land a great catch. If you’re
lucky enough to land a great one, there is
still a lot of work yet to be done in training,
development and feedback. Growing great
people is an investment in our future.
However, we don’t always land the big
ones. Mitchell was given an opportunity
to play professional basketball.
“The only thing that wasn’t a good fit
was the timing,” said Mitchell. “That is
sometimes hard to control and I wasn’t
quite ready to give up my career as a basketball player just yet.”
Make it personal
Mitchell shared the number one thing he
does as a captain and teammate to make
it fun for his teammates to show up. His
perspective is useful to leaders who are
trying to create a winning work culture
and drive value.
“I try to get to know the players and
let them get to know me on a personal
level so I can help them stay positive
and keep them upbeat throughout the
season,” explained Mitchell. “At the col-
lege level, the players on your team have
a love for the game and that won’t ever
change. Sometimes you need to remind
them the game of basketball is some-
thing they love and they should enjoy
every step of the way.”
Mitchell says that playing and practic-
ing can get hard and every athlete needs
to be reminded of his love of the game.
“Each player is going to need to hear it in
a different way. The closer you are to your
teammates, the easier it is to wake up each
day and be willing to work hard for them.
When you are doing it for your teammates,
and not yourself, the team goes further and
you have fun playing the game. I think this
can be translated over into the business
world as well,” added Mitchell. “If you enjoy
the people you work with, it’s easier to go to
work and make the best of each day.”
As we strive to create solutions and
cultures that will drive value in our indus-
try, our tackle boxes must be outfitted to
attract and retain the best talent for the
industry. It is important to help the best
candidates recognize the claims industry
offers meaningful work, opportunities to
engage and grow as well as to give back to
our communities. A career in this industry
is a great opportunity for A-players.
Susan Daniels ( firstname.lastname@example.org) is the
president of the National Association
of Independent Insurance Adjusters
(NAIIA), and is the president and owner
of Alaska-based Northern Adjusters.
Special thanks to Diante Mitchell for his
contributions to this article.
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