Two Trains Leave the Station – Winter 2012
Recently, I was reminded of my days as a lad, chalk-boarding algorithms after school under the scornful eye of Sister Mary Nun-Chucks. And, though I can't really say that I pine for those days, I am grateful for the math skills she engrained into all of us uniformed souls fortunate enough to attend (and survive) Our Lady of Perpetual Motion. How was I to know that math would, indeed, be my salvation!
"Personal" Preference – Winter 2011
Anyway, this month's Pathway's Report may surprise you. That's because it surprised me, too. I thought: "Cripe! Really? They (you) don't want to hear this." But, here's the thing. This "thing" needs some air-time. Unfortunately, most Agency Presidents (with the possible exception of the really smart ones) squirm when the subject comes up.
The Hot Stove Theory of Agency Management – November 2010
Everyone loves a wood stove burning on a cold winter's night. Watching those amber vapors dance behind fire proof glass can light-up even the dimmest of souls; the dimmest of wits too, because wood stoves are painfully simple. Follow the rules and there's no pain. Break them and an instantaneous reminder will be seared on your hide.
Calamity Casualty – Fall 2010
As insurance carriersÂ’ illuminati migrate to their post Labor Day planning sessions, Independent Agencies everywhere would like to offer them some friendly advice. That is, before Marketing Reps materialize with "2011 Results Expected".
Perpetuation 102 – June 2010
In case you didn’t get the memo, when someone asks, the answer is: “We’re not for sale.” And, based upon my highly suspect methodology, I’ve concluded that most of you have, indeed, gotten the memo. So, consider this Part Two of that memo, the part where I say: “I donÂ’t buy it.” (Pun intended.)...
A Modified Stationary Panic – May 2010
If you missed my articles in The Hales Report, allow me a brief introduction. For nearly two decades, I was an average Producer (Google: "Urban Legends"). Eventually, I found myself as the President of a $7-million dollar Assurex Agency. In the seven years that followed, my partners and I grew the place to a run-rate of $20-million. Bobby Reagan's Best Practices...
Lest We Never Forget – July 2009
In my line of work, I am given to moments that disquiet the soul. Honorable, persistent, and the most wonderful men and women who have struggled and succeeded, against the most callous of odds, eventually coming upon a crossroads; a moment of solace and decision, a choice to pass-on their firm's mission to others internally or simply sell the firm altogether.
Cautiously Optimistic – May 2009
Hey Warren! Stop being such a downer! Where's the cautious optimism? Where's good' ol “irrational exuberance”? And, like most American's, when I came across these remarks a few weeks ago I pretty much blew it off. But then it got me to thinking…
Dear Gabby – April 2009
Dear Gabby: “You mentioned a Report that I haven't seen in my 22 years of owning this business called the Statement of Cash-flows. My accountant was hoping for a little guidance on what you think I should see in that report. Are there any other key reports you'd like to share?”
Producer Paradox Part Two – February 2009
It's written somewhere that new Producers make their bones quoting hairball accounts. The power bait preferred by most pro tour new producers (and Cabo beach peddlers) is called: “Almost free”. Some Producers spend their entire “professional” careers pitching the almost free brand. Some make a living at it too!
Producer Paradox Part One – January 2009
I have very few pre-conditions before accepting a “gig”; and I’ll waffle on most of them. The one condition I never capitulate on is: “You’re paying for the diagnosis. Since you run the place; are you prepared to hear that the condition, as unlikely as this may sound, may have something to do with you?” The guys who smile and nod “yes” are my ideal clients. The guys, who don’t, pay in advance.
Produce or Perish (Producer Paradox Prequel) – January 2009
Huh? Anyway… there I was, blabbering-on about organic growth, sedating a prospective client with mind-numbing banter when all of the sudden it hit me in mid-sentence; “What am I saying? These guys don’t have Producers, not a one” I said to myself; “Drones, maybe (no disrespect to Drones), but no-way do they have Producers, not a chance!” I wagered.
S-Storm – November 2008
If you believe; “No one saw the financial crisis coming” then you probably won't believe what's coming next.
Day Two – Life After the Transaction – October 2008
After four long months it's finally over! The wire transfers hit early this morning and the “suits” hit the road last night. Today, your office door opens wide, signaling that your transaction has finally closed.
Ain't It Great – December 2008
There I sat, snowed-in, processing oxygen, watching a dumpster fire we call Seahawk football, sipping my Hales Pale Ale (a Seattle micro-brew) occasionally flicking a drop on the woodstove to watch it sizzle when suddenly a shrill “DAN” rang out.