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Building People

Leaders Who Focus on Humans!

As I think back on my years in corporate America-16 years working with two large insurance organizations-my impact and commitment always followed great leaders; leaders who cared first for people, knowing people-clients and team members-drove results, profit, and retention.


How can we work to become leaders who build superior teams?

What impact do we have, as leaders, to show our teams the people matter most?


These questions and many more will determine how thriving organizations now and of the future will be built and continue to operate. People with passion and purpose always win! My Why is people, passion, purpose. This Why has directionally been my compass as a leader and how I treated my team as teammates. We all rolled up our sleeves when needed, using strategies and tactics, never worrying about the title, and focusing on our outcomes – together.


“People leave people, not organizations”

… take a minute to read that again and let it sink in.

  • Does your team know you put them first? If not, how can you change this?
  • How do we ensure our people know they matter?
  • How do you build relationships with your team?


“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care” - T. Roosevelt


Let’s dig deeper into the question: How do we ensure our people know they matter?


8 Tips to use right now to ensure your team knows they matter:

  1. Ask genuine questions you want to learn about them
  2. Listen, really listen, to their reply – Listen to Hear, Not to Respond
  3. Share about you – you can be professional and personal without crossing boundaries
  4. Remember the key details surrounding partners name, kids, pets, hobbies
  5. Participate in team lunches or activities, even if you’re really swamped, they need to see you there
  6. Roll up your sleeves to dig into the “not fun work” … regardless if it’s menial, it matters
  7. Know their triggers and share your triggers – transparency builds trust
  8. Communicate often – don’t assume they know or heard it elsewhere, share what they need to know, not everything


Knowing our team does not mean crossing the line of being professional, it does however mean you take the time and energy to be genuine in getting to know your people. Prior to being a leader, how did you prefer to engage with your boss? What abilities did they show you that became part of who you are today? We all learn from our leaders… did we learn abilities we are proud of or we would like to modify?


Leadership is only a word. You need to train yourself on how to lead. A leader leads from the front in challenging times and leads from the back when their team is thriving to shine the spotlight on their accomplishments. Over my career, I worked with three phenomenal leaders who molded my leadership style by showing me how to lead and setting an example worth following! They may not even know how they impacted my career as most of my learning was from observing how they treated, engaged, and empowered their teams. A callout to Nate, Scott and Betty who are super humans and incredible leaders. Their teams ran down obstacles, never gave up, and fed off the positive, real, and “part of the team” approach they all exhibited.


  • What would your team say about you, if asked?
  • How can you impact your answer today by your future actions and reactions?


Our Building Your Leadership Effectiveness training program works 100% on how you show up, how you engage and how you truly become the leader you want to be.


Are you ready to invest in your leadership development?


If so, check out the program at

We look forward to partnering with you on your Leadership Journey!



Topics: Sinikka Waugh, Leadership & Influence

Melissa Worrel-Johnson

About the Author

Melissa Worrel-Johnson

Over her 18-year career, Melissa Worrel-Johnson has focused her efforts in leadership, talent development, and business strategy. Her diverse background includes entrepreneurial business start-ups as well as significant leadership roles in large corporations. Melissa started her career in franchising with two Curves for Women locations in Seattle, WA. While operating her franchise locations Melissa ventured into insurance. Being asked to move into a corporate role, she helped develop and mentor new agency owners in low market share states within the operating territory. This experience to recruit, train and develop new business owners where the brand was not widely known was incredible learning to share with business owners buying into new franchises and/or building their brand in any marketplace. After six years of working with new agents; Melissa transitioned to established agencies to assist them in growing their current market share, revamping their marketing systems, increasing profits, lowering expenses and improving client retention. Her final corporate role was VP Agencies for a mid-sized Midwest insurance company. Melissa believes we grow our businesses and profit through teamwork and people. People, purpose and passion will deliver profits. One of our biggest assets is how we lead our teams, develop our people and roll up our sleeves with people leadership. Are you ready? If you are, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us!


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