RANJAN L G De SILVA, Executive Team Leadership Catalyst and Coach, is a Partner - Senior Management Consultant - Sensei International. He helps leaders, teams and individuals be more aligned, passionate, emotionally engaged, confident and better communicators, and thereby deliver spectacular results.
Managing stress was at the center of a coaching discussion I had with a CEO a few months ago. He was very successful and his success is attributed to the hard work he put in to his job. He gave his job first place and was willing to work late in to the evening, work on weekends and travel extensively for the success of his organization.
He had not adequately developed his team to take over responsibilities as he preferred to get things done on his own. While this worked for a while, it was taking its toll when the organization grew to a larger scale. He was also having issues at home as his two teenage sons had lost interest in studies and sports and preferred a lazy life engrossed in video’s and games using the expensive devises the father had purchased for them. He wife had given up trying to get him involved in family matters and was trying to manage on her own, but the absence of the father’s love, guidance and attention could not be compensated adequately by her. This is a source of stress when he returns home.
Click on the above link for the presentation related to the keynote speech to be given by me at NAFLIA 2019. Conference participants are invited to download the presentation and use it to follow the keynote speech.
This blog is written in service of life-Insurance Advisors in Sri Lanka, specifically the members attending NAFLIA 2019, the National Forum for Life Insurance Advisors scheduled for the 2ndof September. My attempt is to articulate the key messages of the keynote speech that will be delivered by me.
As I was reflecting on the topic for the annual conference, ‘Assuring Tomorrow Dream Today’. The questions that come up are, what is the action we need to take today to assure our dream of tomorrow? How do we know the action we choose to take today will assure our dream tomorrow? I realised this is a very complex question and that there is no standard answer to this as the action to be taken depends of the world each person lives in. What I mean by the ‘world’ is the immediate world of each person starting with him/herself, family, friends, organisations they belong to, organisations and people they interact with etc. The answer is personal.
As I reflected on this, it dawned to me that most personal aspect, which is unique to each living being. is their purpose in this world. Living our life purposefully today would be a path to assuring the dream we have for tomorrow. Therefore, this blog post is concerned with helping life-insurance advisors to figure out their dream of tomorrow and what it means to live their life purposefully as explored in the next two paragraphs respectively.
Tomorrow’s dream is a very abstract concept and very subjective. The dream can range from being peaceful by learning to live a life of non-attachment to material aspects in one extreme and amassing material possessions that provides a luxurious life on the other extreme. It could range from giving to getting, from being to becoming. While I personally dream of a life of being non-attached and experiencing happiness from giving, each person needs to articulate what their dream is. I personally prefer to hold it lightly – rather than having specific dreams – and to allow God or the higher powers or the universal energy system to decide how such dreams are articulated and manifested. Again, the choice is personal.
This blog series has examined the notion of purposeful living from various perspectives. While those interested in this notion can deep dive into the various posts in this blog, those interested in discovering what their purpose might be, could find some ideas in the blog post; A Glimpse of our Purpose; once a glimpse of the purpose is seen, it becomes easier to live purposefully. Ideas about how to live purposefully can be seen in the blog post: Building ourselves to be fit for purpose. I believe that purposeful living is the steps we take daily to build ourselves to be fit to be of service to this world, using our natural and learnt talent that makes us feel alive and being of service to the concerns we have about our world.
While this is an evolving notion in my mind, I do not claim this is the right answer and I am open to other opinions. However, I believe this notion can be a good starting point in giving some food for thought for life-insurance advisors to live their life purposefully today, as a path to assuring the dream they have for tomorrow. It is interesting that these professionals use the word ‘advisors’ instead of ‘sales persons’. This shows their intention of positioning this profession in a manner that overcomes the negative image that ‘selling’ has acquired due to the crafty, cleaver and devious nature of some sales people. This idea is also discussed in my last blog post; Is Selling a Purposeful Profession?.
Selling is a noble profession, if it is conducted in an authentic manner based on solid values. In such cases selling becomes an act of love and generosity. While ‘love’ is such a complex notion, I believe that love is the act of extending ourselves for the growth of others and ourselves, even when it is inconvenient to us. Therefore, the responsibility of ‘sales professionals’ is to advise, guide, and educate customers with the intention of helping them make the best choices that helps improve the quality of their life. Improving in the quality of life involves growing spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physically, financially, ecologically, socially and in temperament. Therefore, selling is an act of love as it helps customers grow in these important areas. It is also an act of generosity because it involves giving of their time, opinions, knowledge, care and advise unconditionally. It could also go to the extent of letting the customer know that a competitor product better suits their need, even at the expense of losing a sale. Yes, the sale may be lost, but the loyalty gained cannot be compared to the financial loss of losing the sale.
What does living purposefully mean to a ‘life-insurance’ advisor? Since being purposeful is concerned with being of service to this world, let examine how these professionals are of service to people. They serve families by offering a form of saving that could result in a lump sum payment to the insurer on maturity or to the family due to an unforeseen situation. This improves the quality of life due to peace of mind, education, harmony in families, health care expenses, etc. that their service provides. However, it is important to conduct this profession with a set of noble values such as authenticity, transparency, flexibility, patience, care, empathy etc. for them to be truly purposeful. Living in this manner helps accumulate positive energy, which attracts opportunities to serve and to gain the required wherewithal to build a life that can help live their dream of tomorrow.
The question I was attempting to answer in this blog was; how can insurance advisors assure tomorrows dream by living purposefully today? The exploration in this writing shows that life insurances advisors are well placed to live purposefully and if they choose to conduct their lives and profession in this manner, it will help them assure the dream they articulate for tomorrow.
The way this question impacts different life-insurance advisors are different, given their mind-set, role and various other aspects of life. I recommend that you reflect on the steps you can take to use this experience to make sense of your purpose and help others in your life make sense of their purpose, with the intention of living a better life to make this world a better place.
My blog post of the last five months addressed the impact of violence, religion, politics, sports and the sales profession on the lives of people and how to makes sense of various world events from the frame of purposefulness. We continue to explore purposefulness, this time in relation to life-insurances advisors.
This new phase in this series on ‘purposefulness’, which I started eight months ago, is dedicated to address living issues and struggles related to purposeful living. I hope this short blog post inspires you to find ways of making sense and dealing with experiences and struggles you encounter in trying to live purposefully.
I was at a cocktail party listening to an interesting conversation between two other guests who were in the same huddle as me.
Person A: What do you do?
Person B: I sell financial services.
Person A: What do you really want to do?
Person B: I want to be banker.
I asked A why he asked that question, and B why he responded that way. A said, “isn’t selling a profession that is not respected?” B said “yes”, it is so difficult to sell because customers look at him with suspicion. In my three decades of being in business and playing the roles of seller, buyer, leader, trainer, consultant and coach of sales professionals, I have encountered this attitude towards sales on many occasions.
However, my personal attitude towards sales is the opposite. As I reflect on the questions – how is it that people have developed this attitude towards sales, and what would be the best way to help people to look differently at sales? – the notion of purposefulness continues to come to my mind. Perhaps if I can find out if ‘sales’ is a purposeful profession, then it might help me to engage with people who have diverse viewpoints regarding this question.
Answering the above question requires understanding what is a purposeful profession. While I have attempted to answer this question in the earlier blog posts regarding purposefulness, there is no definite answer due to the complexity of this question. I believe that a purposeful profession needs to be of service to the flourishing of life and supported by noble values. Let’s examine these two aspects in relation to the sales profession. Continue reading “Is Selling a Purposeful Profession – Purpose of Living – Part 29”→
Over a billion people have been engaged with the ongoing Men’s Cricket World Cup over the last month. It all started with everyone hoping the cricket teams of their respective countries will become the world champions. The fact remains that only one team will be the eventual world champions. This blog is not about trying to predict the eventual champs, it is to discuss the impact of such sports extravaganza has on the lives of people.
The International Cricket Council organizes the Men’s Cricket World Cup as well as other global competitions related to Cricket to propagate cricket as well as raise funds. I am not sure which comes first. Is it to raise funds to propagate cricket or propagate cricket to raises funds. Well it doesn’t matter, perhaps both ends feed each other. There could be other reasons, for example to raise the standards of the sport and of those who are involved in it such as the players, coaching staff, umpires, referees, cricket boards and administrators. These aims could have a higher purpose that impacts the lives of people and I would like to address such issues in this blog post.
My blog post of the last two months addressed the impact of violence, religion and politics on the lives of people in the aftermath of the Easter Sunday bomb attacks in Sri Lanka, one of the former world champions who are now at the bottom of the table, struggling for form. Yet the entire nation was hoping that they will become the champs again. Teams from other countries besieged by violence such as Pakistan and Afghanistan are also in contention. The founders of cricket, England, is amid perhaps their worst political crisis related to Brexit. They entered the tourney as one of the favourites. Countries such as South Africa, Bangladesh and the West Indies are besieged with their own political and economic crises.Continue reading “The Purpose of the Mens Cricket World Cup – Purpose of Living – Part 28”→
My blog post of last month addressed the notion of purpose of violence in the aftermath of the Easter Sunday bomb attacks in Sri Lanka. We saw the involvement of religion and politics in the aftermath of the incident, over the past month. The intention of this blog post is to help us to understand how religion and politics positively and negatively impacted the lives of people.
Since I am not an intelligence, theological or political science expert to make judgements about what happened, and who was responsible for what happened, I request you not to take the assumptions I make in this post as truth. I am far away from the inner circles to know the truth and I am basing this blog post on what I have heard from trusted personalities such as the Cardinal of Sri Lanka, the Commander of the Army, and a retired intelligence experts known to me personally.
It was Easter Sunday (21 April 2019). I was in my flat in Dhaka, attending to some important business matters when I got a message that a bomb had gone off at St Anthony’s Church in Kochchikade, Colombo. Having not heard of bombings and terrorist violence for the past ten years, since the end of the civil war in Sri Lanka, I hoped it was a hand grenade thrown by a business rival involved in unscrupulous business, with no injuries; these were the rare occurrences we heard of over the past ten years. Then the news started pouring in with photos and videos of simultaneous bomb attacks in two other churches and luxury hotels as well. My immediate concern was for my family who would have been at an Easter Mass at the same time. After calling and ensuring they were safe, my thoughts went out to the victims. I started hearing news of people known to me or families of people known to me having lost their lives or being injured, among the 253 souls that departed and 500 plus injured. I had visited St Anthony’s Church many times and I could picture the carnage as if I was there. It is considered a miraculous church and people from all religions visit to reflect on their challenges and ask help from St Anthony to resolve them.