Tim Connon is the Founder of ParamountQuote Insurance Advisors and is a thought leader on the topic of leadership. In this interview, they share insights with The Industry Leaders about how to navigate uncertainty as a business leader.
Could you please share a bit about yourself, your background, and the journey that has led you to become an entrepreneur? What makes your perspective unique on the subject of leadership and navigating uncertainty?
I grew up in Florida with my father and from an early age went with him to work selling security systems. His entrepreneurship rubbed off on me from a very early age so when I got older I had a natural inclination to pursue sales and business. This led me to starting my own company. My perspective on leadership with uncertainty is that I deal with it all the time. I am constantly innovating an expanding on the marketing and other processes which has a lot of uncertainty tied to it. This means I need to keep a level head and just try things to see if they work.
You and your business have presumably faced some interesting challenges and changes over the years. Can you describe a key moment when you felt uncertainty was at its peak?
A key moment that I felt uncertainty was at its peak is when our lead cost was ridiculously high. We were averaging around $65 a lead which was extremely expensive and unsustainable considering our return on investment. This is when I felt the most overwhelmed that I ever have felt and uncertain. My leadership approach was that the numbers will average themselves out and if they don't we need to rework our ads in order to get our lead cost cheaper. I had to think logically instead of just pulling the plug.
From your experience, what are the core principles or values that guide a leader during uncertain times?
Hope, resilience and patience are the core principles that guide a leader during hard times. Hope helped me in keeping a long term view into the future instead of focusing on the present and wanting to quit in hard times. I realize that every business goes through something like this and that I just have to stick with it. Resilience is understanding that sometimes you will lose money and that's ok because you will make it back. This is helped me make my decision to keep trying new ads in order to improve lead cost. Patience might be the most crucial it taught me to make decisions in light of the long term gains that can be obtained. I have to be willing to watch marketing, sales or other operations fluctuate which takes an extreme amount of patience.
How do you cultivate a culture of resilience and adaptability within your team? Can you share a practical example where this culture made a significant difference?
We cultivate our culture through training our agents. We train on the same mindset that I have when it comes to business and sales. Its a philosophy of "just work the numbers" as long as the statistics say there is a positive, work them and everything will be fine. The best example I can give is when we expressed the issue with the $65 lead cost to some agents and they repeated that mantra back to me. They explained "lets just work the numbers" and they did.
Many aspiring leaders struggle with the fear of failure, especially when the path ahead is unclear. What strategies or mental frameworks have you developed to overcome this fear and embrace uncertainty as an opportunity?
Programming my mind with the mantra "just work the numbers" is how I overcome fear of failure.
In your opinion, what are the most common mistakes leaders make during uncertain times? Can you offer a real-life example where recognizing and avoiding such a mistake led to success?
Making hasty decisions is how leaders make mistakes during uncertainty. They stop their ad campaign or shut down the office for the day until they figure their problem out which robs them of more revenue that the potential fixes. When we dealt with our lead cost being $65 per lead we did not shut down processes we let the algorithms for the marketing platform learn the audience which brought the leads down to a much more affordable rate.
Looking towards the future, how do you plan to continue evolving your leadership style to meet new uncertainties and challenges? What advice would you give to others looking to do the same?
I don't think my style will necessarily evolve it will only be applied to new challenges. I think everyone should adopt a mindset and mantra that works for them and stick with it for success.
You've clearly demonstrated a willingness to learn and grow through experience. Are there any books, mentors, or resources that have particularly influenced your leadership style? How would you recommend others to approach their leadership development journey?
I would always recommend the book "Way of The Wolf" by Jordan Belfort. Everything from sales to his leadership style is included and inspiring. I would recommend others to approach their leadership style by seeking out books and mentors to consult first. The sooner they train their mind the better off they will be in business.