The CEO-as-Health-Adviser: Redefining the Role of Executive Leadership

A CEO is, in the truest and most expansive definition of the word, a chief executive officer.

Which is to say, that role covers all the things a company does, from creating and shipping goods and services to shaping the workplace culture and corporate philosophy that sets the tone for employee satisfaction.

The chief responsibility of a CEO is to look beyond the monochromatic numbers on a computer screen, the crudely pixelated peaks and valleys of sales and revenues, which resemble the primitive contours of a mountain range; it is to convert statistics into symbols of humanity, remembering that these characters have a flesh and blood origin; it is to read every profit and loss statement with an inquiry rooted in compassion and the will to do better; it is to ask the question, “How may I ensure, through insurance, that my employees are healthy and productive?”

The latter is impossible without the former, as a workforce bedeviled by illness and plagued by chronic disease cannot summon the passion to be anything more than average. Such employees, labored in their heavy breathing and weakened by their collective depression, divorce themselves from having an emotional stake in success.

They are the corporeal equivalent of automatons – sedentary whenever possible, and slow and directionless wherever permissible.

It is a CEO's duty to change this situation, quickly and permanently.

The best way to achieve this goal, and the most powerful means to demonstrate an executive's commitment to a healthy workforce, is to encourage employees to buy or subsidize their ability to purchase life insurance.

The reasons for this decision are legion, for which I, in my position as Founder of Local Life Agents, understand the increased influence a CEO now has, in addition to the leadership that that individual must provide.

I appreciate, in other words, the options by which a CEO can connect health and wellness to professional success and personal contentment, strengthened by the benefits of insurance.

In this regard, I believe – indeed, I know – that a CEO must be, above all, a teacher. He or she must be able to explain why a particular policy is just, or how a specific action will benefit everyone.

The dispassionate delivery of mass emails is not a substitute for this strategy, as if a CEO can sequester him- or herself in a cavernous office, the seven-feet, mahogany double doors locked and guarded (from the outside) by armed security while inside, where the only sounds that register within this sanctum of false wizardry and egotism, are the muffled (by thick panes of glass and towering elevation) murmurs of traffic, construction, and sirens and alarms; the urban rhythm of everyday life.

An Insurance Policy for Success: The Union of Pragmatism and Worthwhile Incentives

My advice to the CEO described above, which is the same counsel I have for every executive across the broad spectrum of commerce, is simple: If you invest in your employees by explaining to them the importance of safeguarding their own health and financial security – if you show them why having life insurance is essential – then you will earn their trust and further your own mission.

And that mission, when liberated from the anonymity of charts and graphs, is to translate figures into faces. It is to see the men and women, who are your workforce, ennobled by their diversity and empowered by their shared sense of excellence.

To enjoy those rewards requires intelligence and wisdom.

Let us be smart enough to know why we should invest in our respective workers because we are wise enough to understand what these individuals need.

Let us assure them by insuring them – right now.

Brad Cummins is the Founder of Local Life Agents, an independent life insurance agency offering life insurance products in all 50 states.

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