- Posted by Ghenwa Elkhoury
- On July 16, 2022
- Becoming a new boss, corporate mental health, Insurance Tips
POV: You’ve earned your way up to the top after years of endlessly putting 110% into everything you do. But there’s a catch: once you assume your new leadership position , thoughts of guilt and doubt come across your mind. There’s so much to do and so little time to do it; was this promotion a mistake?
You start asking yourself questions. You ask, “what if i’m not good enough for the position?”, “How will I set boundaries between boss and friend?”, “What if others don’t trust me in this role?”. Before you know it, you’re throwing years of hard work in the garbage, forgetting everything you’ve sacrificed to get to where you are now. Will you ever recover?
John Lapointe, the VP here at Lapointe Insurance, has been recognized by Novarica as one of the top 400 agents Under 40 in the US. He’s a contributor at Agency Nation, the leading digital publication helping insurance professionals dominate marketing, sales and technology in the modern marketplace. He is here to tell you that your questions are valid, totally normal, and that you’re not the only one with these feelings. In this interview, John answers a few questions that address his position as a young vice president of a respected insurance company and how he overcomes the daily struggles of leading, working, and making friends in the office.
Step 1: Find the Leader in Yourself.
One of the challenges of being a young leader is figuring out what type of leader you are. It’s important to remember that the way you lead is definitely impacted by your personality and traits, but that doesn’t mean you can’t experiment with different types of leadership methods if one doesn’t work out too well for you. As JFK once said, “leadership and learning are indispensable to each other”.
“You can lead in a lot of different ways”, says John in an interview, “I want to lead by creating a vision for our company that everyone can get behind. I’m excited about the potential we have as a group and as a company, and hope that is something others can feed off of. So in that regard.. I think mostly I try to lead by example. I work hard and genuinely care about what we do here daily, the people I work with, and the clients we help. It’s a simple formula.. I try to give it 110% and hope that it’s recognized and that drives others to do the same.”
Sometimes even the most challenging of roles can be reduced to three simple words: Lead. By. Example.
Step 2: Empower The Team, Lighten The Load
Running a business and doing a job (or several) are two different roles that require a different form of YOU: a different voice, mindset, and often a different set of responsibilities. As your list of responsibilities grows, it can be challenging to manage your time and your team without a strategy. Here’s how John tackles his many roles: “ It’s really just about trusting people around you to do their part, we’ve got a lot of people that care,” says John, “recognize that you cannot do everything yourself, give people the freedom to do their part, and be comfortable with having someone do their job and do it well.”
John’s right, we often think that we can do everything ourselves–why wouldn’t we? Aren’t you the person you trust most? But what seems to be a formula for success might turn into a quick disaster in the business world. It’s time to scratch that formula out and develop a new one, and you’re in the right place to get started.
Here’s the next step in your new formula: take your well-developed self-reliance and turn it into group trust. When you trust your co-workers to do their part, a heavy load is taken off your shoulders. You can now use that energy towards another, larger task.
When you empower and trust your team to shoulder the responsibility, you allow yourself and your company to thrive.
Step 3: Invest in Mental Health.
One thing you should know about us is that we’re far from being mental health gurus, but we do know a thing or two about how a corporate job nowadays can negatively impact the whole team, especially those in higher positions.
On April 12th, 2022 Mental Health America released their “Mind the Workplace” report, showing mental health statistics in the corporate world. Here’s a glimpse:
- 80% agree that the stress from work affects their relationships with friends, family, and co-workers.
- Only 40% agree that their company invests in developing supportive managers.
- 59% report that their manager cares about their personal well-being.
- 58% disagree that their manager encourages them to take off time when needed.
- 47% know what mental health services they can use when struggling with a mental health concern, but only 38% would be comfortable using their company’s services for a mental health concern.
You may not know it, but so many people around you in the office can be struggling with mental health silently. Comfort and happiness are assets that shouldn’t be ignored. Here are some tips that are helpful for people in the 9-5 world like us:
- When you’re feeling down, reach out to a helping hand or listening ear in the office. You and your staff are together for the larger part of the day, you never know who might need someone to listen.
- Set breaks during work hours where employees can socialize and grow closer not only as a team but as humans.
- Seek activities that help your mental health outside of work. Read a book, practice yoga, or go on a daily walk during your lunch break. Practice positive habits– see positive changes.
Book Recommendation: John recommends James Nestor’s Breathe: The New Science of a Lost Art. He says this book has positively impacted his habits and outlook on life. Want to give it a try? Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art: Nestor, James: 9780735213616: Amazon.com: Books