Focus on the Big Picture with Team Planning Sessions


I want to get into Team Planning Sessions, because this is the time of year where you absolutely should be planning next year.

We’re in mid-October, so we are selling into next year in about a month. We usually write 30-45 day contracts, so we only have about a month left to reach our goal of $100 million closed, $110 million written.

You have to have some sort of offsite sessions. There are some in Google Drive you can look at including my 2013 and 2014 materials for my offsite. I think most of you have seen the 2015 materials; I’ll bring them up here in a second.

Even if it’s a bare bones team, you have to do something at least twice a year to keep that vision in front of them. So if you’re at $20 million today and you want to go to $100 million or $200 million, you have to show them that you’re thinking about the path and their opportunity along the way.

The way we structure these is we do a half day where I’m presenting to the team, followed by a half day of team building. If you have a small team, you could spend 2 hours on each. Either way, you’ve got to make it exciting for your team to be a part of what you’re building, no matter how small or big it is.

If you’re still in the production, you still know the grind of production, but help them get away from the grind and focus on bigger picture issues. I used to bring up a lot of issues during my off-sites, where my team could anonymously ask questions and “Stump Lars.” I don’t mind answering those questions, but we keep the entire event positive now. You mostly want to talk about opportunity for the future.

Team planning sessions allow agents and staff to participate in the direction of the team and for them to know some of the challenges you’re having and get their help in addressing them.

You have the opportunity to break the ice and bring out a different side of people, make them feel important and appreciated. We did an off-site a couple years ago where we went around the table and everyone shared something that was likely no one on the team knew about them. It was awesome and very emotional. You want to be able to break the ice with your team, and not keep everything business all the time.

I have done everything - for the most part - that you all will do. The people that don’t overthink this and just set a date will be successful with your team. You can swipe anything from these slides - it contains a lot of info on:

  • Dream & Vision
  • Purpose & Mission
  • Core Values & Culture
  • BHAG (“Big Hairy Audacious Goal”)
  • The Five C’s For Success
  • Growing Up
  • My Personal Vision For Growth

It’s okay if you share this exact ascension for your personal vision for growth. I’ve had other people do that and it’s worked really well because there’s a huge opportunity. This is exactly what I presented to my team, that my last shift here is to Ownership and I’m taking less and less responsibility in the team.

You want to be able to show everyone where your company is going, why it’s exciting for them, and where the opportunity lies. We did this ‘Looking Back’ topic and covered Prides and Growth. It’s an emotional experience because people want to open up and be part of something big, so let them do that.

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