Lead­ing by Ex­am­ple - Man­mo­han AB

Man­mo­han AB

Insurance - - CONTENTS -

Can you share with us your back­ground? Why did you choose the in­surance pro­fes­sion as a ca­reer?

I joined the in­dus­try in 1985; I was in­tro­duced by a fel­low agent. I did not have any inkling as to what this ca­reer was all about. The in­surance in­dus­try was still at its in­fant stage then. But I de­cided to pur­sue it se­ri­ously af­ter get­ting to know more about the in­dus­try.

Peo­ple have the wrong con­cept of in­surance and they need to be con­stantly re­minded that in­surance is not about mak­ing you rich but it is to make sure that your fam­ily is not left in a poor state when you are no longer around. I de­cided to pur­sue this cause se­ri­ously and that prompted me to go deeper and take up pro­fes­sional qual­i­fi­ca­tions. I went on to ob­tain the ChFC and CLU qual­i­fi­ca­tions from the Amer­i­can Col­lege and later, the RFP Shariah qual­i­fi­ca­tions. I also pur­sued the CIAM, which is the high­est pro­fes­sional qual­i­fi­ca­tion for an agency man­ager.

How has the in­dus­try changed since you first joined the work­force?

To­day, the in­surance pro­fes­sion has de­vel­oped to be a pro­fes­sional one as the reg­u­la­tors has made it so. The ex­pec­ta­tions and stan­dards are higher as well. Ex­ams have be­come com­pul­sory and it takes at least five ex­ams just to be a com­plete li­censed ad­vi­sor.

Con­grats on be­ing made Divi­sional Vice Pres­i­dent at MDRT. What has con­trib­uted to this suc­cess? What do you hope to achieve next?

Be­ing in the fi­nan­cial plan­ning in­dus­try, you al­ways have to be cur­rent as you need to give pro­fes­sional ad­vice to your client. Qual­i­fy­ing for the Mil­lion Dol­lar Round Ta­ble (MDRT) was my turn­ing point.

MDRT is the Premier As­so­ci­a­tion of Fi­nan­cial Pro­fes­sion­als. Only less than 2% of the world’s in­surance and fi­nan­cial ad­vi­sor who are qual­i­fied to be mem­bers of this as­so­ci­a­tion. This is where the world's best of the best fi­nan­cial ad­vi­sors meet to ex­change ideas and learn from each other.

There are nearly 90,000 Fi­nan­cial ad­vi­sors in Malaysia and only 668 are mem­bers of this as­so­ci­a­tion. This speaks vol­umes about the stan­dard set by this as­so­ci­a­tion. A fi­nan­cial ad­vi­sor must pro­duce a new yearly pre­mium of RM469,400 (in 2016) to be el­i­gi­ble to ap­ply for mem­ber­ship for 2017.

I am now the Divi­sional Vice Pres­i­dent (DVP) for Di­vi­sion 1 for the 2015-2016 year. Di­vi­sion 1 con­sists of Canada, USA, Ocea­nia, Europe, Caribbean, Latin Amer­ica, Mid­dle East and Africa. It's a one-year ap­point­ment. This po­si­tion gives me a seat at the man­age­ment coun­cil of MDRT, whose head­quar­ters are in Chicago. In a nut­shell, I lead a team of ded­i­cated lead­ers in these coun­tries who care and share with fel­low mem­bers on con­tin­u­ous growth, and grow even more pro­fes­sional ad­vi­sors so that this world will be a bet­ter place to live in.

What has been the great­est chal­lenge you have faced in your new role?

My great­est chal­lenge is to work with pro­fes­sion­als from all this coun­tries who have dif­fer­ent time zones, dif­fer­ent de­mo­graph­ics and yet speak the same lan­guage and that is Fi­nan­cial Plan­ning.

What lead­er­ship qual­i­ties are im­por­tant in man­ag­ing a team? How can a leader suc­cess­fully in­spire a de­mo­ti­vated team or staff mem­ber?

I be­lieve that a leader should lead and not man­age, hence that is why they are called lead­ers. And it should be lead­er­ship by ex­am­ple. A leader have to be a role model to his team as he is a bea­con to those who look up to him.

Hav­ing said that, a leader should also un­der­stand clearly that “emo­tion con­trols de­ci­sion”. If he can bring pos­i­tiv­ity to the ta­ble and make his charges feel im­por­tant, he can then in­spire a de­mo­ti­vated team or staff mem­ber.

What are some ef­fec­tive prac­tices an in­surance agent can fol­low to make the most of his or her day?

For an in­surance agent, com­mit­ment and dis­ci­pline are all he needs to be suc­cess­ful. If he or she has these qual­i­ties, then this per­son will stay fo­cus and do what he or she is sup­posed to do to be right up there among the stars.

Would you mind shar­ing some tips to the young agents who are keen to climb the cor­po­rate lad­der?

My ad­vice to them will be to get their com­mit­ment and dis­ci­plines to them­selves in or­der. You should al­ways strive to de­liver more than you are ex­pected to de­liver. Also it pays to al­ways stay cur­rent; there is no end to ed­u­ca­tion so keep study­ing and bring with you your cre­ative ideas and knowl­edge. The world is your oys­ter, just don't give up. Choices have con­se­quences.

The world is your oys­ter, just don't give up. Choices have con­se­quences. LESS THAN 2% OF THE WORLD’S IN­SURANCE AND FI­NAN­CIAL AD­VI­SOR WHO ARE QUAL­I­FIED TO BE MEM­BERS OF MDRT


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