Dare To Disagree


I am a huge fan of Ted Talks. Recently, I clicked on the following video: Dare to Disagree. It is a Ted Talk by Margaret Heffernan. Here are some key takeaways:

- Some people are afraid of the consequences of having a tough discussion. By nature, people are afraid to raise conflict. 85% of people have this concern. As a result, nothing changes and problems persist. However, at some point, must become more afraid of the negative impact of silence; of not having the tough conversation.

- Openness is good. But openness is not the end.  It is the beginning. Openness alone does not drive change. You must seek partners who are not echo chambers.

- What is the difference between constructive conflict and destructive conflict?

- We need to find people who are different from us; both in perspective and experience. Find ways to engage.

- It is critical that we remain open to changing our minds.

- The biggest disasters come from situations where the info is out there but we are not comfortable talking about it.


I also read an article by @LeadershipFreak that discussed the concept of Tough Compassion.  It is definitely worth a quick read.

- Compassion is a good thing. But compassion goes wrong when it coddles. Tough compassion calls for extraordinary commitment that stretches people.

- The most important aspect of tough compassion is monitoring the team as they work. Step-in when shoulders droop and frustration persists.

- People never know how far they can reach until they reach for something that’s out of reach. Coddling suggests people can’t do it before they try.

Warning: Constant pressure eventually defeats. Failure to celebrate devalues success. Time-off and fun energize teams to bring their best.

Tip: Celebrate wins!

Tough Question: How can leaders walk the line between stretching people and pushing too far?

Questions?  Comments?  Let me know.
- Post a reply on this article
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13 Things I Shared With Business 101 Students

Business 101

Recently, I was asked to speak to Professor Sharon Cooper’s Business 101 Class at Rock Valley College. The focus off the discussion was on lessons learned in business and in life on a wide range of issues:

  • Relationship Building
  • Networking
  • Create Your Brand
  • Social Media

Here are a few of the items I shared:

1. Relationships are like bank accounts.

- Stephen Covey’s believed that relationships are like bank accounts…  you need to make more deposits than withdrawals.

- What are deposits?  What are withdrawals?

- Where are you at with various relationships in your life (work, school, personal)?


2. Create your own Board of Directors. 

- Create your own advisory board of 5-10 people who will help you get to the next level.

- People who will be brutally honest with you.

- Diversity of thought, perspective, and background is key.

- Turn to them for advice as well as to hold you accountable.


linkedin pic


3. LinkedIn.

- College students should start building their social brand BEFORE they graduate and start looking for their first job.  Start where you are at and start NOW!

- LinkedIn is a great way to start this process.  Professional head shot, share relevant data. Also, talk about what you aspire to do in the future.

- Include community involvement, areas of study, and don’t be afraid to ask for a recommendation.

- Connect with people you know AND, when appropriate, their parents.  Connect with people at different levels than you.  Your network can not just be your immediate high school buddies.

- Think of LinkedIn like an on-line resume on steroids.  Mega steroids.


4. More than ever before, success depends on 2 things: 

- Your ability to build rapport.

- Your ability to develop a networking strategy.


5. Club vs. Network

- The world has changed.

- Old way: success depended on access to a small club.

- New way: success depends on ability to grow a network – or a network of networks.


6. Make yourself valuable.

- If you make yourself valuable and memorable, others will want to make you part of their network.

- Add value to your relationships BEFORE you ask for something in return.


7. Lou Holtz’s said that people ask themselves 3 questions when they meet someone for the first time:

- Do I trust him?

- Is he committed to excellence?

- Does he care about me?


8. Problem solvers vs. problem spotters

- A lot of people can spot problems.  Few people can solve problems.

- Be careful about hanging around people who can only spot problems; they tend to be negative people.


9. Power of full engagement.

- We need to manage our energy, not just our time.

leadership pic

10. Authority vs. influence.

- Some people have a big title but are unable to influence the actions of people.

- Others have no title at all and are able to influence the actions of people at a high level?

- Why is that?



11. Community Engagement.

- Rule #1 - Get involved.

- Rule #2 – Only get involved with things you are passionate about.

- Get involved with a cause for the right reasons and a by-product of that will be that you meet good people and your network will grow.


12.  You need to work. 

- Don’t let ANYONE tell you don’t have to work your ass off in business!  They are doing you a big disservice if they do.


13.  Be extremely intentional in your use of social media. 

- Professional pic on LinkedIn.

- Your Facebook, Twiter, and other social media outlets can NOT completely contradict your LinkedIn account.  Your social media outlets should compliment one another.

- Potential employers check all of your social media outlets.

What advice would you have for college kids if you spoke to a Business 101 Class?


Thanks for reading.



4 Levels of Commitment

I came across this concept several years ago.  I think this applies to our personal and professional lives in a powerful way.  Each of the four levels of commitment has applied to us at some point.



  • People who have no goals and do not commit.



  • People who don’t know if they can reach their goals, so they’re afraid to commit.



  • People who start toward a goal but quit when the going gets tough.



  • People who set goals, commit to them, and pay the price to reach them.

When is the last time you went ALL-OUT on something?  Think of the ways:

  • All-out in building your small business or reaching your sales goals.
  • All-out in mentoring others or developing leaders around you.
  • All-out in a project, class, or in a line of study.
  • All-out in building a relationship important to you.
  • All-out in losing weight or getting healthy.
  • All-out in promoting something you believe in.
  • Etc, etc, etc…

Thanks for reading!

Frank Haney

Rockford’s Insurance Coach

Stuff Leaders Say…

LeadershipRegardless of title or status within an organization, working with and serving other people is tough… REALLY TOUGH.  Why? Time and resource constraints, market realities, personality differences, office politics, existing culture, etc.

I came across the following leadership article from Inc:

9 Things Great Leaders Say Everyday.

Although the link provides more detail, I included the 9 statements as an overview:

This is the situation.

Here is the plan.

What do you need?

Tell me more.

Remember our values.

I trust you.

You can count on me.

We can do better.

Let’s celebrate!

Simple stuff I know. However, it is the things we know and forget to execute on that creates the most problems.

Leadership II

Here are some perspective-building quotes about leadership….

“Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” ~ Jack Welch

“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” ~ Winston Churchill

“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” ~ Peter Drucker

“One’s philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes… and the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

“The art of leadership is saying no, not yes. It is very easy to say yes.” ~ Tony Blair

“We need leaders, who add value to the people and the organization they lead; who work for the benefit of others and not just for their own personal gain. Leaders who inspire and motivate, not intimidate and manipulate; who live with people to know their problems in order to solve them and who follow a moral compass that points in the right directions regardless of the trends.”  ~ Mary Kay Ash

“Whatever you are, be a good one.”  ~ Abraham Lincoln

“Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy.”  ~ Norman Schwarzkopf

“Effective leadership is putting first things first. Effective management is discipline, carrying it out.”  ~ Stephen Covey

“To add value to others, one must first value others.”  ~ John Maxwell

Thanks for reading!




Three Things You Must Have….

Instead of writing three pages or three paragraphs, I wanted to share just three words.

Three Things You Must Have To Be Successful At Home, At Work, And In Your Community… 

  1. Gratitude     

  2. Appreciation     

  3. Perspective

I understand the need for a healthy dose of skepticism.  However, I think it needs to be balanced with a healthy dose of gratitude, appreciation, and perspective.

Thanks for checking-in and reading my blog.





10 Things My Blog Forces Me To Do

I wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you for reading, commenting, and sharing my blog articles over the past few years.  Thank you for the gift of your time.  FrankHaney.Biz has been a successful experiment and for reasons I didn’t fully anticipate….  Here are 10 Things My Blog Forces Me To Do:

1. It forces me to organize my thoughts.


2.  It forces my to grow professionally and personally…  everyday.


3. It forces me to walk my talk.  If I say it in a blog article, then I need to be resolved to do it.  Who wants the words in their blog article thrown back in their face?  Not me.

4.  It forces me to continually grow my network.

  • I still get a kick out of people getting introduced to me and having them say, ‘oh, you are the blog guy!  I have read your stuff!
  • Since starting my blog in 2011, my LinkedIn connections have doubled to well over 1,000, my Facebook friends has increased by several hundred to over 2,000, and my Twitter followers have increased 10-fold to over 840.

5.  It forces me to look at insurance from a client’s point of view vs. insurance agent’s point of view.  Like many industries, insurance is its own little weird world.  It is very carrier and agency-focused and that is a huge problem.  Blogging about, among other things, insurance has forced me to add value to my client / potential client relationships.  It has forced me to ask, what do my clients think?  Need?  Don’t need?


6.  It forces me to see events in my life from a slightly different view.  I know ask myself, what can I take from this situation and share with others.  Blogging forces me to always be on the look-out for a future blog article topic.

7.  It forces me to stay humble.  Nobody had a more humble beginning to a blog than I did. 10 people read my first blog article day #1.  I was one of the 10.  My wife was another one.  And I think a few co-workers read it to nice or out of morbid curiosity.  I drew an average of 200 readers per month after the initial blog roll-out in 2011.  Today, my blog averages 2,500 visits and 16,000+ page views per month.  I am happy with that number based on the fact that I still do not post articles as frequently as I should.  However, this number pales in comparison to some of the mega-blogs out there that crush my numbers by 200-400 fold.  Lastly, blogging forces me to read the posts of other bloggers.  Time and time again, I am reminded that I am not as creative, entertaining, or brilliant as I am would like to think I am.

8.  It forces me to measure twice, cut once; especially when it comes to keeping my emotions in check.  There have been many times that I wanted to react to something that I didn’t like with a snippy blog post.  The problem is that my response is permanent.  As the old saying goes – “There are people who build things and people who tear things down.  Just remember what side you are on.”

9.  It forces me to weigh-in vs. sit on the sideline and let others define the conversation.  And this is something I plan on doing more and more of in 2014.

Be Heard

10.  It forces me to constantly be reinventing myself.  The term, “Rockford’s Insurance Coach” is a by-product of trying to communicate my value-proposition in a more clear and concise manner.

Reinvent Yourself

What would starting a blog force you to do? 

Is that worth considering? 

What would you talk about? 

Thanks again for the gift of your time!

Frank Haney

“Rockford’s Insurance Coach”

Eckburg & Bates Insurance Agency

(815) 979-4045    @FrankHaney_Biz   Frank@FrankHaney.Biz

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. There is no legal advice being suggested or offered. The author assumes no responsibility or liability for the actions taken or not taken by the readers based upon the above-mentioned information.




Burst Your Leadership Bubble


 I came across the following exerpt from a book Stop Paddling & Start Rocking The Boat:

A lot of corporate execs are happy only when the data that is reported back to them fits with their paradigms or confirms what they already believe.  Over time, these internal reward/recognition systems shape the company.


People hear what management says, they hear what the CEO says, but they do only what they’re rewarded for doing and avoid what they’re punished for doing. 


The sooner CEOs understand that, the better off they’ll be.  CEOs are often so isolated and insulated they don’t understand what the rank and file are thinking.  And CEO’s – corporate emperors, if you will, don’t like to be told the truth. 


The result is that, out of fear, no one in the company will break bad news to them.

I know, I know….  99% of us, myself included, are not CEO’s of large corporations.   Does this quote still apply to ‘the rest of us?  My answer is YES!  Substitute the word “CEO” and replace it with “leader.”  It applies to anyone who works in a team dynamic, including small and medium size businesses, team leaders, coaches, as well as….  ready for this… PARENTS.  

Read this quote again and ask yourself, “am I intentionally putting myself in a position to receive honest feedback from the people in my life who can help me make effective decisions – decisions that impacts myself and others.”

Below is an excellent article from Harvard Business Review that offers a couple of specific ways to ensure you are receiving constructive feedback:  How Criticism Creates Innovative Teams.  I really like the concept taken from Pixar Studios that talks about “plussing.”  What do you think? 

Thanks for reading! 

Frank Haney

Rockford’s Insurance Coach

Cell:  (815) 979-4045       Email:  frank@frankhaney.biz       Twitter: @FrankHaney_Biz


Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. There is no legal advice being suggested or offered. The author assumes no responsibility or liability for the actions take or not taken by the readers based upon the above-mention information.


Monday Morning – Cup of Quotes


Here are 6 quick quotes from around the Twitter world to start your week.  Enjoy!

1.  Leaders think about empowerment, not control. 

               – Warren Bennis @WrldLeadersConf


2.  There is never enough time 2 do everything, but there is always enough time 2 do the most important thing.

                 - Brian Tracy @BrianTracy


3.  Everyday is a new opportunity to learn from your mistakes and become a better father. 

                 - The Father Effect @thefathereffect


4.  The difference between a name dropper and a network builder is follow-up. 

                 – Marcus Buckingham @mwbuckingham


5.  Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.

                  – Peter Drucker @AlignmentRkfd


6.  Stop wearing your wishbone where your backbone ought to be.

                   – Elizabeth Gilbert @GilbertLiz


Please follow me on Twitter at @FrankHaney.Biz.  

Questions?  Give me a call (815) 979-4045.

Thanks for reading!

Frank Haney CIC, CLCS

(815) 979-4045


Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. There is no legal advice being suggested or offered. The author assumes no responsibility or liability for the actions take or not taken by the readers based upon the above-mention information.

Change And Growth: 7 Great Articles

It takes a deep commitment to change and an even deeper commitment to grow.

                                                                                                                         -Ralph Ellison


Here are a few articles from around the web that will help with personal and professional growth.  Enjoy!


Make Personal Failure Worthwhile: 3 Ways

1.  Be accountable for your failure.

2.  Create a process around your failure.

3.  Brag about your failure.



LinkedIn Has Changed The Way Companies Talk To People

78 percent of people use LinkedIn for their professional identity, and other social networks for everything else.



Why Content Marketing Is The New Blogging

Google’s CEO, Eric Schmidt, is now famous for having said,

Every two days now we create as much information as we did from the dawn of civilization up until 2003.



Creating an Annual Time Block

The key is balance. Make sure you schedule time for the things that are important to you. If you don’t, you will find yourself scrambling to find time for the things that are important. If you are not careful, you will wake up one day and discover that you have spent your life living for other people’s priorities.



3 Essentials Every Man Must Know to Be an All Pro Dad

We need men out there who are in the game—the most important game of their life—working hard and striving toward the goal to be the best they can be, to be All Pro Dads.



100 Social Media Savvy Early Adopters In Financial Services Ecosystem

 According to a Bain & Company report, “early adopters are gaining real economic value from their investments in social media”.



18 Radical Ways to Stop Procrastination

“We must all suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret and disappointment.” – Jim Rohn


I help people with their business and personal insurance.

Call me if you need me (815) 979-4045.

Frank Haney

Rockford’s Insurance Coach

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. There is no legal advice being suggested or offered. The author assumes no responsibility or liability for the actions take or not taken by the readers based upon the above-mention information



10 Word Blog…..






Success is _____________________________________________________.

Happiness is ___________________________________________________.

Wealth is _______________________________________________________.

Health is _______________________________________________________.

Focus is ________________________________________________________.


I help people with their business and personal insurance.

Call me if you need me (815) 979-4045.

Frank Haney