July - Be a Leader

July 1, 2019

Hello Team –

It’s hard to believe we are already halfway through 2019. It feels like just yesterday when I wished you all a happy new year and introduced our goals and opportunities that lie ahead. We have already accomplished so much together as we continue to defy gravity and reach new milestones. We are not only the fastest growing benefits firm in the country but have now established ourselves as one of the largest national firms across all insurance brokerage. Further, while we have long been recognized as the leading platform serving small employers, we can now also claim one of the largest mid/upmarket books of business in the country. These accomplishments are establishing OneDigital as a clear leader in the industry among other large brands that have been in business for many decades before us. 

 You may have noticed that many of my BE messages over the past months have pushed a more thought-provoking and consistent theme: BE comfortable with being uncomfortable, BE open to new beginnings, BE a fighter, BE obsessed, BE better. As I reflect on these messages, it’s clear to me that what’s really been on my mind this year is “Leadership!” What does it take to truly LEAD our industry? We know that it takes much more than just desire and hard work. True leaders and leading organizations embrace new ideas, challenge the status quo, fight for clients and their beliefs, and have the courage to drive themselves and others beyond their comfort zone. I read an article for entrepreneurs recently in which the author stated, “Nearly everything that generates enduring value requires effort, focus and discomfort.” OneDigital has always had the entrepreneurial spirit and leadership qualities that we are proud to continue to embody nearly 20 years since we were founded. 

Being a leader also requires a desire to continually identify challenges and act upon opportunities to improve. When we kicked off 2019, we discussed our retention challenges and the need to refocus. An honest assessment of our work suggested that we had become too comfortable and were not consistently living up to the brand values which have been so important to OneDigital’s success. That’s why our focus on “Customer Obsession” has become such an important priority for us. Over the past several months we have committed to our Voice of the Customer and Challenger initiatives and are making strong progress. We are not only listening to our clients but also bringing new insights that set us apart from our competitors. Again, it’s not always easy or comfortable, but nothing worth fighting for is meant to be easy. 

I believe our work with Voice of the Customer, Challenger, as well as our technology rebuild through D365 are preparing us to take the next step as industry leaders. I’ll share more updates on this in our Town Hall later this month, and for those of you attending the conference, there will be even more to learn as we dive deep into these initiatives. I’m especially excited to welcome our keynote speaker Mike Staver, an expert on leadership who has spoken on this topic internationally to some of the most successful companies in the world. Mike’s book, Leadership Isn’t for Cowards, is a perfect continuation of this month’s message. He will help us kick off this next step together to push beyond our comfort zone as we continue to lead each other, our clients and the industry.      

I hope that this message finds you as fired up and inspired as I am to continue to drive ourselves and OneDigital to new heights as we look to defy gravity and truly BE LEADERS!

I know that OneDigital has the talent, the culture and those special leadership attributes that it takes to lead this industry and I challenge you to join me on this journey!

Happy July, and see you all soon. 


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