How did you get in to the insurance industry?
There were three doors before me….one labeled “teacher”; one labeled “return to the farm & do whatever”; and the other labeled “health care – this is a fun career”. Guess what I chose? Yes, the “fun” one. Actually this is a very long and storied evolution on how I ended up in insurance……and one thing lead to another.
Do you have a professional motto or philosophy?
“LISTEN, LEARN & DEVELOP” and remember “We each are a small part in this grand universe.” “Remember to make time!” If one listens and learns from others they can develop themselves and others around them. Never think you are bigger or more important that someone else because you are just a small part in this universe. Saying you are to busy all the time, well soon time will pass you by. Take some time to do small things as they soon add up to great things.
Why did you decide to retire when you did?
I had always thought I would work until I was 70 as I loved what I was doing. But retirement sort of hit me between the eyes when some former colleagues of mine, who were also much younger than myself, retired and they only got to enjoy retirement for a couple years,before they departed this earth. I looked around and took stock of what I was doing and realized that my working 12-14 hour days at this desk I was sitting at, and this desk was not going to say thank you when I dropped over dead. I wanted to really unwind and enjoy what I had worked hard for, so I slowly began to make plans for retirement. It was a two year process as I did not want to leave any of my clients or colleagues in a dilemma of how to get things done.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in the insurance industry?
“LISTEN, LEARN & DEVELOP!”
What is the most valuable lesson you have learned about leadership?
Maintain your integrity. Individuals with a strong integrity will have people following them, and if no one is following then you are not a leader.
Why do you feel it important for professional to be involved in industry associations?
There are several reasons why as an individual one needs to get out and be involved in the industry associations. There is networking, education, new adventures, visibility, civic leadership and one makes some awesome friendships along the way. Getting acquainted with people face-to-face enhances your career & personal opportunities greatly. And, as with everything in life, you get out of an organization what you put into it.
How do you feel about being nominated 2016’s “Most Loyal Grand Gander?”
Incredibly honored! Having ganders all over the USA & Canada supporting me is incredible and very humbling.
What do you hope to accomplish in your year as MLGG?
Today, within the Blue Goose Organization we are the cusp of change. Managing this change and being part of guiding the organization into the future is an awesome challenge. Part of this change is reaching our to the millennials and Gen-X’s and mentoring them, as well as, seeking their help in mentoring the older generations. I want to continue building the organization and helping instill “passion” into each Pond (chapter). As I believe if there is no passion there is no purpose, and no purpose does not lead to a journey of significance for an individual, a Pond or the organization.
The longevity of Blue Goose is a result of it’s dynamic membership. We need to embrace and get the younger folks involved and prepare them for the leadership roles. With an on-going focus on building the membership whose focus is on the three precepts of the organization: “Fellowship, Character & Charity” is what will continue to keep Blue Goose great. While all of this is going on we must have fun along this road of growth.
What do you hope the next generation of ganders to take away most from their Blue Goose involvement?
Remember to honor the past, but lead us into the future.
When Linda accepted her first officer position, she closed her acceptance speech with this: