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COVID19 Special Edition Podcast Series, Helping insurance leaders lead their people.

Episode Three of the COVID19 Special Edition Podcast Series, Helping Insurance Leaders Lead their People, I sat down with Erik Garcia this past Saturday afternoon to give you the leadership knowledge that flows from this man’s brain. Erik and I have done many podcasts together (he even has his own) but this ranks high up there. IMO, as one of the best yet and there is no better time to deliver it. Once you listen to this, your fears of the unknown will subside and the leader that is in you, the one you have been building for years for this moment, will start to rise. #rationaloverconfidence

Resources mentioned:

Jason Cass 0:00
Alright. This is Jason Cass with Agency Intelligence podcast. Back with you again on a special episode COVID-19 special episode. This is number three. And our guest today is Mr. Erik Garcia. Now, I want to say to everybody out there just to recap, if you’re jumping into this one, make sure you check out the other two with Jeff Roy and Wessly Anderson, I have reached out to some people that I look up to that you should look up to that I follow advice from that are good friends of mine. And I like to say #casscertified. And I have brought these people together. And we’re going to roll them out. This is Monday if you’re listening to it when it just came out and then we’re going to have Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday we’re going to roll out different podcasts. unedited, no outro no intro no ads, just pure information to help you in this time of they say crisis. I hate really using that word, Erik. I really truly do I know that’s what everybody else uses? But it depends on the way you look at it and you’re going to talk about that.

Erik Garcia 1:07
But then when you say the word crisis you almost like create crisis. Yeah, right. Like don’t know panic. Oh, he just made panic.

Jason Cass 1:15
Just like makes your mind go like oh, crisis What? You can’t use crisis in a good word, right. Usually the alarm

Erik Garcia 1:21
All the alarms go off in your head, right?

Jason Cass 1:23
Oh, yeah, right in that one of them’s going like, oh, does he mean a good thing? It’s all bad. So so it’s all about adapting. Let’s say it that way. That’s what crisis is about. crisis is about adapting to the situation that is at hand. Now. Today I brought Erik on. Because I look at him he’s been on a lot of podcasts. Matter of fact, we pushed back a podcast that was supposed to this is Saturday morning for all you guys getting a behind the scenes look at 8:09 in the morning, and yesterday was to release a podcast which you want to tell them what what that was about Erik this Nice little play for what that should be looking forward two weeks.

Erik Garcia 2:03
Yeah. The Dave Ramsey, Dave Ramsey Yeah, reason the reasons I just for reasons I disagree with Dave Ramsey’s investment philosophy.

Jason Cass 2:11
There. That’s actually what it was, I think, I don’t even know what the girls named it. So that’s, that’s great. Hey, so yeah, so that’s what that is. So look forward to that. And we’ve Erik and I have done two prior. Erik is really, really started. I guess I should say, Erik, you have really started to position yourself not in an authoritative way. You’re just trying to say, hey, I’ve got connections with really smart people who I have seen change other people’s lives and mine and I want to give them a platform would that be the best way to explain kind of kind of your gist of the last six months a year year and a half of your life? No?

Erik Garcia 2:49
What kind of kind of you know as a as a financial planner, you know, I’m always looking long term always looking into the future, right. It’s good and that’s so Recently with with, with the COVID situation, I started realizing that you know that we’re in this for a while. And my job as an advisor as a financial planner is I got to get my clients through this. So what I wanted to do was, I want to offer value because from an investment standpoint, from a management standpoint, we are sticking to our long term plans, and we’re managing our money, the way we manage it, based off of the strategies that we set out, okay, we’re doing it, we’re doing a good job doing that. So yeah, I’ve got to add value to my clients. So I decided to start interviewing and having conversations with with people who are just doing cool things right now during during quarantine.

Jason Cass 3:38
But you were kind of doing this a little bit before. I mean, yeah.

Erik Garcia 3:42
On all my podcasts, but I try to do is there’s so much there’s so much financial noise out there. There’s so much information that someone can Google. So I didn’t want to be another another voice of just more information on what’s an IRA and how do I write and so what I tried to do is bring in from different pieces. spective so bring in a couples counselor and let’s talk about marriage and money bringing a child therapist. Let’s talk about kids and money bringing a gym owners. Let’s talk about the parallels between fitness and financial fitness. So just Yes, sir. We’re telling them where you’re sitting right now. Tell them your scenario. Man. I am on my front porch overlooking the Mississippi River. There’s a giant boat that is probably level with me right now.

Jason Cass 4:32
Interesting.

Erik Garcia 4:33
Yeah, it is. Yeah, the the river right now is flowing probably a little bit higher than where I’m sitting. So if it wasn’t for the levee, I’d be in trouble. Wow.

Jason Cass 4:47
Yeah, Led Zeppelin said it best when the Levee Breaks. Oh, yes. It’s a good song. Dude, the drug dealer.

Erik Garcia 4:54
That’s what I’ve been doing. Just just bringing in different voices to the planet. process, because here’s the thing, man. Here’s the thing, and we’re gonna get into this

Jason Cass 5:04
Because I think that’s what this is about real quick, loyal listeners. This is not about investments in boring you with that, I would say to phrase this really quick, it’s about plans, right? Am I right?

Erik Garcia 5:13
First there’s nothing boring about this Cass. There’s nothing boring about…

Jason Cass 5:17
Yeah, there really is when they’re thinking, why is he talking to me about IRAs right now? (I’m not.) I don’t know about you, I got in the market and it’s looking beautiful for me. So I..

Erik Garcia 5:26
I don’t want to, I don’t want to talk about IRAs. Right now. You talked about during crisis, it’s about adaptation. Yeah, I’m gonna say it’s about leadership. Okay, and us as advisors, I’m going to just reference this all as advisors or as leaders, we lead our clients, and we lead our staff. And we find ourselves in the middle of this, crisis, let’s call it what it is, a situation, which is kind of untenable at times, you know, we look at it as leaders, we’re like, where does this end up? And the problem is when we start looking towards the future, and try to figure out where this thing is going to end up. There’s so many variables, it’s so difficult for us to know where we end up. And it could lead to us to start to worry could lead to concern it can lead to fretting, you know, especially if you’re, if you’re a, man, I feel for those commercial producers who have a huge hospitality clientele right now. Yes, when you start looking at, we start looking at reduction of revenue. So this situation can cause us to start to fret, cause us as leaders to worry and the problem is, if we’re fretting as leaders, and we’re concerned as leaders, and people are following us, who are also fretting, who are also concerned, that’s a train wreck. It’s a train wreck. The the advisors who survive on the other side and thrive on the other side I think are the ones who are able to get past the fretting, get past the concern and lead clients confidently towards the unknown, towards the future right? And I’m calling that rational overconfidence.

Jason Cass 7:05
Rational overconfidence, you heard it there and loyal listeners this is I didn’t, I didn’t do it. He came to me with these weird terms and said, Cass, we need to talk about this. I was like, Alright, let’s do the podcast. And so there’s number one rational…there we go. I know.

Erik Garcia 7:08
No, I didn’t coin it.

Erik Garcia 7:19
It hurts other advisors kicking around. And let me tell you the kind of, the genesis of that. I’m gonna come first from my industry’s perspective from an investment perspective. Okay. The only historical precedent that we have in the stock market is recovery. You go back,every major stock market crash, every major economic downturn, every recession, what have we done? we’ve recovered. Right? They’re all the same. Yeah. People say well this is different this time. Well, all recession and all bad economy start differently. It’s triggered by something different. But the end of the story is all the same and it’s recovery. So the only historical precedent we have is recovery. So it’s perfectly rational for me as an advisor to say, Hey, I’m gonna plan for recovery. When I have a conversation with you who’s got an investment account, we’re planning for recovery, even though I might have my own doubts, my own concerns, my own fears, it’s rational for me to say we’re going to recover and I can be overconfident about it because that’s gonna happen. That’s the only historical evidence that we have. And I would say on the insurance front says, I know a lot of your listeners are insurance agencies. I look at it and say, shoot,man. In 2005, Katrina wiped out New Orleans.

Erik Garcia 8:51
And we recovered.

Jason Cass 8:53
Yeah, came back stronger.

Erik Garcia 8:54
You look at wildfires around the country. You look at earthquakes, we recovered. Insurance industry recovered. Agency, sure there’s some casualties but generally speaking, agencies recovered, agents recovered. So as leaders, we’re going to look at that and say, “Hey, you know what, I’m gonna lead confidently towards the future, even though it’s unknown, fretting about it gets me nowhere.”

Jason Cass 9:20
But it is known and I like this. This is really, really good fretting gets me nowhere, because we know, rationally I can be overconfident about where I’m going. And one of the symmetries, the symbolic natures of a wildfire, or a lot of different times of “crisis” is the land is torn. But it’s also a perfect breeding ground for new, right? New trees springing up. Different things- things that didn’t have an opportunity before. Swinging back real quick, I looked up the definition of crisis my loyal listeners, you know, I love the meanings of words. I even love the meanings of words what they meant years and years ago, that’s even better. But crisis is used as a time of intense difficulty, trouble or danger. A time when a difficult or important decision must be made, like a crisis point of history, or a turning point of a disease when an important change takes place, indicating either recovery or death. And when it comes to the economy, we know it never is death. It’s always recovery. Because of what the great Erik Garcia. And Erik, while you’re talking, you’re making so much good sense, your voice is just mellow and just to the point and I’m sitting there just listening in the background. I hear (bird sound)…

Erik Garcia 10:48
Ain’t that peaceful? Ain’t that wonderful?

Jason Cass 10:49
Oh, see it here.I mean loyal listeners you’re getting it too, aren’t you? You’re getting it. You heard it like I did, and you’re thinking this is great. Like I feel like my eyes are closed and you’ve got your Like on a tropical island somewhere, but no, it’s just lower LA.

Jason Cass 11:07
Yep. You know?

Jason Cass 11:07
It’s lower LA dude. It’s lower Louisiana

Erik Garcia 11:11
Now I’ve actually been working outside the entire past week. It’s so therapeutic.

Jason Cass 11:17
You have been. You’ve been doing a lot of stuff.

Erik Garcia 11:19
I have been.

Jason Cass 11:22
A lot of great stuff was talking to Wesley on his last podcast, they’ve been having the Olympics because he said that they found out that the Olympics had been postponed. And he told all of his kids that they didn’t have to have the Olympics that they because they’re all Olympians. And so they’ve been like having like these, these like Olympic Games and Dude, I’m gonna steal it, dude, I’m gonna steal like four or five of those games and we’re gonna do it. Doesn’t it sound fun? But anyways, go back to what you’re saying.

Erik Garcia 11:47
So, crisis fretting.

Jason Cass 11:49
Crisis fretting…

Erik Garcia 11:50
There’s this phenomenon called scarcity..scarcity, right scarcity versus abundance. Scarcity it’s like there’s a limited quantity of stuff. So like, a couple of weeks ago, there was a scarce on some of the toilet paper. People went crazy, freaked out, bought it all up. So when scarcity exists, our thinking changes. And there’s all kinds of cool science behind this. And we get into this tunnel vision. Right? And during scarce times, our long term thinking, our ability to think long term is diminished, and we become more impulsive as people. Well, there’s a really interesting study. And they looked at sugarcane farmers in India, and this was a study on poverty, but I think there’s some applications to this right now. So the question was, are there people who are poor just because that’s just how they are? Or does poverty cause people to think differently, which causes them to be poor? So what they did was they looked at sugarcane farmers in India, because sugarcane farmers in India are paid once a year. So the month after the harvest, they’re rich. And then the month before the harvest, they’re poor. And what they found was the decisions that they made were totally different. Right? So the month after the harvest they’re thinking long term they’re able to save because they have money even in their work, they weed the fields getting them ready for the next planting season. And then a month before the harvest there, they’re so focused on just getting through the next day, that the long term like they have no focus on the long term on doing things are going to help them long term. Fascinating study. So we look at where we are now in the midst of this crisis. We’re so focused on…I say we people are so focused on the virus, that they lose sight of everything else, they become more impulsive, right? It becomes very difficult as people to make long term plans right now because we’re so- our thinking, our cognitive abilities are dramatically changed right now because we’re so focused on this virus. So what I’ve been telling people is, and you and I have had this conversation that right now, this isn’t the time to make some long term plan where there’s a lot of unknown variables, right? This is the time to stick to the long term plan that you’ve already made.

Erik Garcia 14:25
So, there I have a podcast. I think it was maybe back September October that I did-

Jason Cass 14:30
What is your podcast? Say it real quick where people could find it?

Erik Garcia 14:32
planwisely with Erik Garcia, E-R-I-K.

Jason Cass 14:36
Okay, good. So I just want the people to know.

Erik Garcia 14:38
Yeah, so this particular episode was how to plan for the next recession that might not come. And so the idea is, hey, you have your plan in place before it happens, because when it happens, it’s kind of too late to put the plan in place.

Jason Cass 14:53
Make sense.

Erik Garcia 14:56
Now, fast forward to this idea of of leadership becoming aware of this, becoming aware of, you know, how people think during crisis. Us as leaders, I think we have a responsibility and an obligation to not think like that. Right, we have a responsibility to be able to lead people through this to understand that this scarcity, or this crisis frightening mentality, robs people of insight. Right? We have to become aware of our own emotional status to know whether we’re, we’re falling into that or not. And sometimes we have to surround ourselves with other people who can say, “Jason, look, man, let me help you out. Let me walk alongside you got to start thinking differently.” And to me, that’s leadership.

Jason Cass 15:43
That is…that is.

Erik Garcia 15:45
I don’t know, like right now, if you want if you watch any of the press conferences of the federal or the state level, there are certain people who speak that you look at and say, “I will follow that dude into fire”.

Jason Cass 15:57
For real

Erik Garcia 15:57
And there’s other guys you watch, there’s other people you’re like, “I would not follow that guy into anywhere”, right?

Jason Cass 15:57
For real.

Erik Garcia 16:06
Anywhere,, nowhere. And that’s leadership. So, what I want to talk about is what are some qualities of leadership? Well, let’s chat about that for a little bit.

Jason Cass 16:18
So, this is like my thing, dude. Like, this is the reason why like I have a man-crush on Brent Kelly. I mean, because like he’s so involved in leadership. And he is, I mean, I’m, you know, the 21 this year, again, the 21 irrefutable laws of leadership. Cass talks about that all the time. I’ve had listeners listen to it, or read it and go, “Cass I love it”, and others are like, “Cass, why are you so into that?” Dude, it’s something that got me when I was younger. It just made me realize, like, you know, I heard Seth, so I’m not going to go away but I heard Seth Zaremba say one time that his life changed when he realized that sales was a skill and he could learn it. It was amazing to me when I learned that leadership was a skill and I could learn it. That there were laws that I could follow that were like the laws of gravity that if I did it, and I say it all the time, if you’re really good leader and you understand the laws of leadership, you can predict the future, you’re really truly King because you know what’s going to happen, like throwing a pin up in the air. So, okay, so one of my most important laws that I just use, now let’s talk about this. So we can be all over the place as long as we stay in the leadership around. One of the things and I was just talking to Sarah, about this week, was the “Law of the Lid” which is the number one in the law of leadership. And I think it’s important because if you just start there, you’re only can be as effective to other people, organizations, as effective you are to yourself. Like how effective are you as a person, right? I don’t have that in front of me or anything that just comes right out of my brain because I think to that myself, whenever I’m trying to get them to understand. There’s a company that I have a good friend of, the company was stuck at 3 million. They brought in my buddy, and he took them to $15 million in five years. But here’s the deal. They’re stuck at 15 million for like the last like three or four years. And so I told him, I said, without saying his name, because he probably listens. I said, Dude, I said, You have to become better. That’s the only way that… you were way better than the dude who can only get to 3 million, but you got it to 15. But bro, it’s stuck. They ended up getting rid of him. They got a guy who came from a bigger insurance company, and boom, they’re skyrocketing. Right? So it’s about that. So in this time of crisis, as you said, you can be following and putting yourself around people that it’s amazing what happens. You just automatically become more effective when you hang around with more effective people. And then you will start to see everything change in your life. That’s one thing, throw it back over you. What’s the leadership thing that you want to talk about in this?

Erik Garcia 18:57
So let me take a step back. You bring up-

Jason Cass 18:58
‘Cause I didn’t even know that he’s going to talk about leadership so this is great. Go ahead.

Erik Garcia 19:01
You bring up Maxwell. So he said true, and this is so key, right? He says true leadership must be for the benefit of the followers and not to enrich the leader.

Jason Cass 19:14
So important.

Erik Garcia 19:15
Right. true leadership, it’s got to be about the people who are following you. You’ve got to be so concerned about the growth of the people that you’re leading. Otherwise, I think you’re going to be ineffective eventually as a leader or people will see through it.

Jason Cass 19:26
Mm-hmm. Absolutely. Time will expose you, as my buddy Daniel Seong likes to say out there in California, “Time will expose you, Cass.” And that is a very true stay saying. I like that a lot because it does. You can only fake it for so long. And sometimes those who say they are great leaders, time is exposing them right now. Whether for the good or the bad. That’s exactly right. Go ahead.

Erik Garcia 19:48
And along the same ideas, Martin Luther King said life’s most urgent question is what are you doing for others? So again, it’s this idea for others. I lead for others, I lead for the benefit of others and not for myself.

Erik Garcia 20:02
And I think that’s part of, one of the qualities or characteristics of good leadership is humility. Right. Humility is this idea of kind of like thinking low of yourself. I think it’s kind of-

Jason Cass 20:17
Think of Jesus.

Erik Garcia 20:02
It’s being not boasty. Right? It doesn’t mean to think poor of yourself. It just means to not be boasty. But also, I think part of humility as part of thinking yourself lowly, right, is that you raise others up. It’s about other people. Humility, in most cases, it’s about how you hold others up, as opposed to how you hold yourself up.

Jason Cass 20:38
Lao Tzu said, if you could be anything in the world, that he would be water because it flows to the lowest point. And if it gets something that’s that is full of love, or I can’t remember exactly what he says, it will float. So it lifts things up. So not only does it go to the furthest point of – it lifts it up. I remember reading that when I was younger. See, that’s just stuff that like, I forgot that I read, you know what I mean? And it just comes out at this time, because I was trying to work on myself to become effective, and I’m not very much. So anyways. Okay, so I really like that. I really, really truly do. I do like that.

Jason Cass 21:19
We’re looking at short term and long term thinking. One of those things that sometimes we don’t attribute to be leadership, which is cause and effect. Cause and effect is vital. I tell you what, if people understood the law of cause and effect, I mean, I know we think we do. But if we really did, we wouldn’t have as many arguments as we have, we would not have as many disagreements, everybody would still have their own mindset. But when we look at cause and effect, sometimes I look at it a lot as you can look at it, if you’re a golfer. If I keep leaving my club open, I’m going to slice it, you know, if I close it, I’m going to duck hook it. If you’re not a golfer, maybe there’s some other thing out there that can you can attribute that to. But the law of cause and effect snd what we always try to do is leaders understand that you have to change the cause to change the effect. But if you look at what we do in society and what we do in business, 9 times out of 10, we’re always trying to change the effect without changing the cause. We’re trying to create better processes and workflows for our staff. But what we don’t understand is sometimes it’s not the procedure and workflow, it’s the person who’s doing the procedure and workflow. So we have to look at what is the cause and what is the effect. Also, we can have a great person in there, but we have a terrible procedure. So we have to look at where the weakness is, that’s going to tell us where the effect is. And then we got to fix the cause of that. That’s a big leadership thing to me. Whenever I’m in the middle of a challenging decision that I need to make, I’m looking at and saying, am I fixing the effect? Or am I fixing the cause? Because that’s vital.

Erik Garcia 23:00
Yeah and I think along those lines…One of the things that’s so important is, is our attitude. And sometimes our attitude is the cause, right? How we approach something. So this is a little lengthy, but hear me, let me read this to you.

Erik Garcia 23:04
Yeah.

Jason Cass 23:14
Come on, come on, come on.

Erik Garcia 23:15
Okay, ready? And I’ll read it slow, or not slow but I will just read it on my normal…

Jason Cass 23:20
Like us, like you and I.

Erik Garcia 23:21
“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude to me is more important than facts. It’s more important than success than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company, a church a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace that day. We can’t change our past. We can’t change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We can’t change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have and that’s our attitude and I’m convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you, we are in charge of our attitudes.” Right? Think about that. As Charles Swindoll said that… is things are going to happen. COVID is going to happen. Market pressures and our businesses are going to happen. How do we react to it? How do we respond to it? How we do is leadership? Do we let it defeat us? Do we let it send us into a frenzy? And fret? Or do we look at it and say, Huh, let me evaluate the landscape. And let me figure out how I’m going to approach this, how I’m going to attack and how I’m gonna solve this. I think attitude is so…so even before process, I don’t care. I don’t care how good or how you can have the best processes in the world. But if you’re a crappy leader, who has a terrible attitude, I don’t want… I would rather follow the guy who doesn’t have processes, who’s got good attitude and good clarity about where they want to go. Than being an organization that’s got wonderful processes that forget people.

Jason Cass 25:03
Totally, totally, dude. Totally.

Erik Garcia 25:08
So let’s talk about another characteristic of leadership. You ready?

Jason Cass 25:11
I heard Simon Sinek say the other day. My loyal listeners know this. He said that processes are nothing more than a lack of good leadership. And oh no, or the lack of a good culture. That’s what it was. He’s saying that with a good culture you don’t have to have processes and workflows. I disagree with that. Two weeks ago, I released a podcast with Grant Botma. I brought it up to him. He said it’s absolutely true. We have no processes and workflows in our office, not one. He said, we have a center vision. And as long as you’re going towards that vision, you’re doing the right thing. And that’s what we do. I said, Yeah, but if someone’s going to be moving this piece of paper to this piece of paper, he says everybody knows their job. They know what their goals are, they know what arm in mission is and what their piece of that is.

Erik Garcia 25:58
And it’s called the process.

Jason Cass 25:59
Really, really kind of interesting, though. Go ahead.

Erik Garcia 26:03
Yeah, you might not have formal processes. But there’s process. There’s processes everywhere.

Jason Cass 26:09
True that, true that.

Erik Garcia 26:03
And if you have the proper culture and the proper people, you’re hiring people who are doing things the way that you want them to be done, therefore, that’s your process. And that’s cool. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Jason Cass 26:20
Grant, I welcome you back on the podcast at any time to counter what Mr. Garcia is saying, because I think you’re both making very good sense. But don’t let me cut you off. Go ahead.

Erik Garcia 26:29
I’m not gonna disagree with Grant. I’m not, you know, I’m actually saying that he’s right. He just calls it something different.

Jason Cass 26:38
Right, you call it processes. He says it’s not process. That’s weird.

Erik Garcia 26:41
It’s “both-and” so next characteristic, okay. And this kind of goes in line with the same idea of leadership serving others, is compassion. It’s a real concern for other people. A real concern for the suffering, right? So right now, you’re running your insurance agency or you’re a financial advisor like me, and you’re having a conversation with someone who’s really struggling with loss, loss of revenue, loss of account value loss, whatever it may be. How, are we responding to them? How are we interacting with them? Right, I’ll tell you a story. And I think I shared this on the Mastermind last week. After Katrina, right, every call was the same. Right. every call was exactly the same. Different people-It was the same. House flooded, lost everything in the hospital and, and it took 30 to 45 minutes for them to share that. And the temptation was to say, “Yeah, I get it, you lost everything. Here’s the claims number, let’s move on”. But that wasn’t a compassionate view. A compassionate view was I’m really concerned for you, tell me your story. This was the first time they were telling me and you have to listen to it. I think that’s compassion. So right now you know, for people who are dealing with a lot of clients and this might not be everyone because you might be personal lines and you know everything is mortgagee build and everything is fine you don’t have- not losing any revenue. But if you’re a commercial agent, you’re dealing with significant issues with your, with your clients, listen to their stories, you know, fight the temptation to presume you already know what they’re dealing with. Even though you may already know what they’re dealing with, listen to it. You build a lot of loyalty that way.

Jason Cass 28:35
It’s tough but you got to do it.

Erik Garcia 28:36
Yeah. So compassion I think is a good quality of good leaders. And along that same line, the other side of that same coin is empathy.

Jason Cass 28:46
That’s what I was gonna say. Yep. No, and I wasn’t gonna say that but I was, you were fretting into that area. So yeah, empathy is huge and understanding where other people are coming from. One of the things that I will throw out there is. I mean, I’m kind of impressed, dude, I really had no plans of this. But, John C. Maxwell says out there that people buy into the leader before they buy into the vision. So that’s very, very important for a lot of leaders who are out there, especially in this time of crisis. It’s easy to get people to follow us when things are going easy. But it’s tough in this time of crisis. And if you look around your office, and you start to realize that some of the things that you thought were in place or that you have talked to your team in the last week or two that in this time we’re going to do this…When you’ve noticed that they’re not seeing it, they have a mutiny that they’re not doing what you’re asking and you’re huddling them back together and refocusing them on the vision and setting them loose, and it’s just not working. This is where one of those things you have to look inward and realize that sometimes they may not be believing in the leader. Travis and I talk about this at our agency because there’s certain things that I’m really, really good at leading the team with. And then there’s certain things he’s really good at loading the team with. So I’m really good at the vision part, and getting them to see that understanding and believe again, in going but he’s really good at the leading part and actually acting that out. And I wouldn’t want to say a manager because he’s still leading hardcore there. And managers can be leaders as well. But I’m just saying that he’s really good at that part. And so the point is, is that if they buy into the vision of my vision, and then his vision of how it should be complete, they buy into you before they’re going to buy into the vision. And so use that as a test to see if they’re buying into you, if they’re not buying into the vision and it also could be that your visions just not very clear. Okay, there’s other things, but oh, and then the gist of it. Don’t think that, hey, even though I may not be the best leader or I don’t have the best attributes as a leader, or maybe they don’t see me as a leader, if I can come up with a good enough vision, then I can get that position. That’s not true. It’s opposite of that.

Erik Garcia 31:12
As what you’re talking about with you and Travis is, you know, you and I talked about the book Traction, right? You’re the visionary. You’re the one who’s looking forward. And Travis is the integrator. He’s the one who’s operationally making it work. And I think that’s a self-awareness thing. I think good leaders are self-aware.

Jason Cass 31:29
Self-aware dude that is a big big time . I love self-aware, dude. That’s one of the parts I like about Gary Vee. He talks about self-aware all the time. And I think he’s so right. I’m putting that down.

Erik Garcia 31:40
And that’s the thing. Some leaders you know, who might not be as humble think they’re good at everything. And they’re not and people can see through where you suck.

Jason Cass 31:52
Right. And it’s about having good compassion, humility and confidence and empathy with them in the past as a leader for them to be able to tell you that. Sarah, in my office, has no problem telling me that I’m not good at something or “No, you’re not going to do that Jason. Let me do that”, right? Like, I’m better at that for a reason. It used to be, well, why, why this and now it’s just like, whatever it is, she knows something that I don’t see. And I trust her in that position to be able to do that. So it’s important that as a leader, you feel that way with them. So they’re open to be able to have that humility and empathy with you as well.

Erik Garcia 32:32
Yeah, so another one and we kind of talked about this when we talked about rational, overconfidence is I think that leaders are courageous. And this idea of courage is, despite my own fear, maybe? Despite my own concerns, I am still going to lead right? It’s the firefighter who says that houses on built is on fire. That building is on fire, but I’m going to run in scary as all h**l and I’m going to go rescue someone. That’s courage. In the face of fear, you still do what you’re supposed to do.

Jason Cass 33:06
Correct. Like that.

Erik Garcia 32:32
And I think that’s that rational overconfidence, you know. These are scary, unchartered waters. That’s how it was for Katrina. But despite it, I’m still going to press forward. The plan is still this and I’m still going to push towards that plan. It was a good plan before, it’s still a good plan. And I’m going to continue to walk through the unknown, despite my own fears, because it still makes sense. And that’s what I’m called to do, then that’s my mission.

Jason Cass 33:28
And isn’t that why it’s a plan is that in the time of ups and downs we follow through, right? Yeah, should this is the reason we made this. Now sometimes we have crisis plans where it gets really crazy like this. But I love that when you say that, that is so so so so powerful, right there. Follow that plan.

Erik Garcia 33:46
So here’s the thing. Crisis plan. Okay. So like, I’ve got a long term retirement plan. I want to retire in 15 years, whatever. Okay. So between now and 15 years, a lot can happen to change that. I can make less money, I can change jobs. I can make more money, I have more money to save, the stock market can do good, it can do bad I can have another kid, I can have an unknown-expect a lot, a lot of things, a lot of variables happen. And as they happen, I deal with them. But it doesn’t change the end goal. I have to adjust as new as new variables are introduced into the environment. And it’s the same thing, right? No one saw this coming. I still have a plan to grow my agency to attract clients from this niche. Okay, we’ve got this COVID thing happening right now. How am I going to enlight of this big plan, right? Because that’s what I’m, I’m keeping my eyes fixed on that big plan. How do I now adjust? That’s going to get me back on course towards that because this crisis has totally knocked it off. It’s kind of like I think in the same post. It’s the Mastermind. It’s when Jesus comes walking out in the water in the middle of the storm,

Jason Cass 35:54
Boom.

Erik Garcia 33:46
Like Peter sees them and he’s like, dude, it’s a ghost and Jesus is like, no, it’s me and Peter’s like, dude, if You tell me to come to you, Jesus’ like, “All right, come to me”. So like Peter gets out and starts walking on the water because his eyes are fixed on the goal. His eyes are fixed. As soon as he saw the wind in the waves, what happened? Fear was introduced, and he sunk.

Jason Cass 35:17
Boom. Got wet.

Erik Garcia 35:19
So this is leadership right here. This I mean, this is the perfect example of picture of leadership is we, as leaders are out there in front, and people are looking at us. There’s wind and their storms, and there’s floods and there’s fires, and there’s virus all around us. And we’re saying, hey, look, this is where I’m leading you. Okay, we’re going to get through this. We don’t know where the end is. But keep your eyes fixed on this goal. And we’re going to get through this and we will deal with these variables if I got to reach down and grab your hand because you’re because you’re starting to sink because of the fear that’s surrounding you. So be it, but we’re gonna keep going towards the school and that’s leadership.

Jason Cass 35:59
Yes. That is. Good leaders are flexible. And their plans are fluid. They allow creativity. They plan but they look for options. Now I like that because I just actually saw that and I don’t know if I’ve ever seen, I’ve ever heard that one from John C. Maxwell, I was looking for another one because I couldn’t think and I didn’t want to butcher it. So I wanted to get it right. And I’ve heard him say this recently is that when you’re a leader and you’re trying to find where your places, you sometimes have to realize that a successful person finds the right place for himself. But a successful leader finds the right place for others. Say it again. “A successful person finds the right place for himself. But a successful leader finds the right place for others.” This is where you can start to judge yourself. Using the quote like that you can start to say, am I thinking of myself in this crisis? Am I thinking of others? See what we have to do is the old saying is, is that you came to fix a problem unless you know that there’s actually a problem exist. 95 to 98% of everything that happens in our life that’s negative, good or bad comes from the actions that we do, most of the bad ones. The good ones come from actions of others. But that’s where I think these are those times where I read something like that, Erik, and I think to myself, okay, the way I’ve been thinking, the last week or two, I’ve I’ve been thinking about what’s gonna, what score it’s gonna put me, or is this because it’s where it’s going to put my business and my employees in what’s going to affect them. So I really, really thought I couldn’t remember that one. But that was a good one I heard a long time ago.

Erik Garcia 37:38
Yeah,or your clients? Right? You as an insurance person. This is outside of crisis, right? Use an insurance person if you’re meeting with a client, you better be providing them the product and the service in their best interest.

Jason Cass 38:00
Correct.

Erik Garcia 38:00
So like for me on the initial I’m a fiduciary to my clients meaning I am legally obligated to give you advice. It’s in your best interest. But first and it’s the same idea as people are-

Jason Cass 38:13
Unlike that Dave Ramsey guy who’s not licensed so he can give unqualified information. He’s not regulated but someone like you who’s licensed-

Erik Garcia 38:22
We’re not hating on Dave Ramsey right now, come on.

Jason Cass 38:24
-No, I’m just saying dude. But if you want to find out more… In two weeks find out.

Erik Garcia 38:30
Let me just clarify this because I don’t want to you know, I don’t want-

Jason Cass 38:34
He’s very serious today isn’t he loyal listeners? I mean, he get in early in the morning. He is focused. Go ahead.

Erik Garcia 38:39
Focus, man. I got three cups of coffee on me. So what Jason is alluding to-

Jason Cass 38:44
You’re outside, it’s beautiful.

Erik Garcia 38:39
It’s gorgeous. It’s already like, I don’t know it’s gonna be pushing 80 already. I’m starting to sweat here. It’s all good though. What Jason is referring to about Dave Ramsey, Dave Ramsey said that he gave up all his security license so that he wouldn’t have to be regulated by the regulatory authorities. And what I said was, I have all these licenses and I can’t just say some of the things that he says because there’s a real thing called compliance. Anyway.

Jason Cass 39:08
He said some other bad things too. So you should listen to the podcast in two weeks.

Erik Garcia 39:15
Leaders, leaders also build community.

Erik Garcia 39:20
I think this is important leaders building community. Right. So think about that. Think about that leaders build, build community. I’m gonna give you a real example right now the gym that I go to. Our gym owner shut down, even before the orders from the state or the city came to shut down all gyms. And Jody, I actually interviewed Jody, you can check her out on my YouTube channel, just Jason we’ll put it in the show notes right my link to my YouTube channel. And what she’s done is she’s done a really good job just in general about building community at the gym. But even in this time of quarantine, she created these squads or these teams and assigned team leaders and each team leader is responsible for four or five people, just to make sure that they stay engaged in their fitness program, that they stay engaged in the community. And to me, that’s leadership. And that’s cool. And as leaders, and we have a community to come to as leaders, you’ve created a community for us.

Jason Cass 40:21
Oh, for the mastermind. Yes, Yes, Yes, Yes, I have. And I’m thinking about that because it this way my goofy brain thinks, I’m thinking like, okay, so if you create a community, you’re a leader, so if you’re leading people, obviously those people have something in common. So that creates community. So I started to question myself, is it possible to be a leader if you’re just leading one person? I think if you’re on an island with just one other person, maybe so. But I think truly I guess, you could be a leader if you were just leading one person, but then I don’t know if you could consider that a community because according to the definition, as I look, it’s a group of people who are sharing something in common. You can define a community by sharing attributes of people and by the strength of the connections amongst them So I guess you could lead one person and be actually considered a community.

Erik Garcia 41:16
Here’s something that’s really, really important, okay? That I don’t want to miss and I don’t want people to think that if they’re not doing certain things, they’re not leaders. So, leadership is not necessarily you have to lead a group of people. I think we lead in different situations differently. Like in my house, I lead my family, right? You may have a friend who’s struggling and you lead that one individual and you may be a good leader in that relationship. You may be a poor leader in another situation. So just because you don’t have a big following of people, doesn’t mean you’re a poor leader. In fact, in fact, that will say this and this is what leadership isn’t. Leadership isn’t a title. Right? Just because you have a title of you know, as an official leadership, title, CEO, whatever, doesn’t mean that you’re a true leader. And I think that’s something that that’s really important that most people who are leading are people without titles.

Jason Cass 42:11
Can I tell you where I’m a poor leader?

Erik Garcia 42:15
Sure.

Jason Cass 42:16
One of the things that always bothered me is, John C. Maxwell says that when you’re defining an organization that believes in leadership and teaches leadership and is driven by leadership, one of the first things that you will notice about that organization is their ability to create and develop other leaders. I’m not very good at that. And I’m not very good about it. And I don’t exactly know why. I can train somebody on producing, I can train them. I try to get better at helping them in their personal life. I’m a very selfish person. I really truly am. It comes through and I find it a lot in trying to be open. I mean, I know it sounds terrible. I created a community on the Mastermind. And I love that stuff that I do. But I do it because like I needed to get better and other agents needed to get better. So I created it for a selfish purpose for that way. And it’s and it’s grown into something that everybody else needs. But going back to my agency, I don’t I get jealous of the way that other agents are able to create leaders in their agency as in producers and senior account managers. And I think that’s a weakness of mine. And it frustrates me because I like to say, that I’m a decent to good leader, I fall in line with a bunch of the other checkmarks. But going back to what you’re saying and being open and raw with people, that’s where I’m not a good leader. It is when I’m trying to develop others in our agency. I would say that.

Erik Garcia 43:51
Do you feel an inclination or a calling to do that? Because look, there’s things that I’m poor at, and I’ve come to realize that, you know what, like, it’s just that that might be a personality thing for me that I’m just never going to really be good at this. And it’s not throwing in a towel. Just saying, like, I don’t need to be good at this particular aspect. It’s kinda like who you’re talking about you and Travis, right? The visionary, the innovator, you know, you become an innovator you die, like literally steals your soul to have to operate as that. I’m sorry, the integrator of you know, using tractions that the guy who has got to operationally put these things in place, Travis might fail as a visionary.

Jason Cass 44:36
Yeah I could see that. No, I’m not saying he would I but I’m seeing what the whole realm of what you’re saying there. Yeah, it is. It is it is. And I think it’s important that we own up to those things. You know, Uhm I see-

Erik Garcia 44:48
That’s self awareness.

Jason Cass 44:49
Correct. And I think that that’s where you’ve got to get that way that you’ve got to be a little bit of humility, have a bit of humility to do that. I see it when my son does something wrong and I’m sure trying to fix it and correct it. And I tell my wife all the time, this is an example of bad leadership. Right? I’ve allowed this to happen over and over again. And now all of a sudden, I want to hold him accountable and he’s supposed to act correct right? No. It’s my fault for not holding them accountable from the beginning and not staying along the lines. It just it’s just a way that it’s bad leadership everywhere.

Erik Garcia 45:19
Do you feel sometimes with your kids, when you want to discipline them? Pick the challenges, you’re like, Oh my gosh, that’s me. Like I’m disciplining myself. And it just like cut your heart and it’s like, oh dang it!

Jason Cass 45:28
Oh, absolutely. And then I think about how bad I was when I was their age. And I go, man, that’s really not that bad. what he’s doing. Yeah. So you know,

Erik Garcia 45:36
I mean, so here’s another trait of a good leader is foresight. And this kind of goes back again to this. This leading into the future is foresight leaders, good leaders have the ability to remove themselves from the crisis or the situation and see beyond it.

Jason Cass 45:55
What you said earlier is actually opposite to the way that the brain works naturally. In crisis you have a problem seeing that long term.

Erik Garcia 46:02
It is, it is. So you’re able to, it’s kind of, you know, I always remember, I don’t know why this analogy always pops into my head, but I’m not a real estate guy. Real Estate scares me. I never want to own real estate or outside of my own house. But they have those people, they have those people who can who can see like a beat-up house and say, Wow, I have this or you watch these, these home improvement shows and they’re this unbelievable vision about what it could become and they take this crappy house and they make it this like this beautiful masterpiece and they have forte, they have vision.

Jason Cass 46:35
You know what’s crazy, dude? Have you read the book by Malcolm Gladwell -Talking To Strangers?

Erik Garcia 46:46
You know what? I listened to him talk about that book The day before they told us to social distance from people. I’m like, Oh my gosh, this is insane.

Jason Cass 46:57
That is kind of crazy. He talks about what you’re talking about with the long term vision, okay? There is only two times in the brain that the brain can only focus on the here and now two times. Number one when it is angry, because of fear because of emotion at a high intense rate. The second time? Alcohol. Actually, he proves in this book, you should anybody listening, you should read it. And if you have listened to it, you read it. I listened to it. You know exactly what I’m talking about. A drunk man’s words are a sober man’s thoughts is not true. It’s absolutely not true. It’s been proven over and over. What it is, is that you get stuck in your thoughts in the here and now. So if you already thought that you can’t get away from that thought, so if you thought about the person, now you’re drunk, you’re with the person. You can’t get out of that thought. Now before you’re drunk, you never said anything to the person because you knew the long term consequences that if I said this, then it’s gonna cause this problem or that, or I’ve already talked to them in the past about it. But when you’re drunk, you don’t know that beginning, you don’t know that past, you only know it stuck in it. Very, very similar to what happens when you are in fear. And so it’s really crazy. So when you started talking about that in crisis, and not being able to see long term, it’s it’s that emotion, you know, and that also goes back to something that Billy Williams says is that if you put motion in front of anything, it’s bigger than it is right? something good happens, you put emotion in front of it, it’s bigger, it’s better than it is. Something bad happens, you put emotion in front of it, it’s worse than it is. So a lot of things to look there. I think we’re kind of going around that when we’re not level headed. When we get wrapped up in our own bring in our own emotion. We can’t think long term and so to counter that we should have empathy. We should I can’t even think of a..-compassion. We should have humility, confidence. Yep. Courage. I did not put courage actually, there’s self-awareness. These are the things that are definitely what we’re trying to say here. Hey, our family misses us. We’ve been on here for 50 minutes. I want to kind of wrap this up. I think dude, we’ve been having some great things, any other tangibles? You had out there on leadership? And in this time of crisis?

Erik Garcia 49:27
Yeah. No, everything we’re talking about kind of comes from this idea of what’s called servant leadership. We talked about at the beginning of the podcast, but this idea of servant leadership said that leaders are servants of the people that that are following them. And I think that that is super vital to keep in mind as we’re making decisions, and it’s something you alluded to earlier. Am I making a decision that’s best for me, or am I making a decision that’s best for the people who are following me, the people that I’m serving?

Erik Garcia 50:00
Right. And let me, I want to read with, with this other quote from Martin Luther King, because I think some people think that I’m not qualified to be a leader, you know, I don’t have the education or the skills or whatever, but this is beautiful he goes, “Not everybody can be famous. But everybody can be great. Because greatness is determined by service. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You don’t have to know about Plato or Aristotle to serve. You don’t need to know Einstein’s theory of relativity to serve. You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics and physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace and soul generated by love.”

Jason Cass 50:43
Like, holy sh**. I’ve never heard that before. Dude. Dude, I love when people make simplicity out of things, and he just did right there. You don’t need to have all that. And what I mean by simplicity is sometimes there are ways that you can throw things in front people and say, “Hey, what do you think about this advice or think I chew on that?” And it’s easy for them to discount it. It’s easy for them to say, “yeah, but…” ” well, you know…” You just eliminated or he, Martin Luther King just eliminated every one of those by saying you don’t, none of that matters to serve.

Erik Garcia 51:18
If you can be humble, if you’re compassionate, if you have empathy, you can be courageous,

Jason Cass 51:26
Over-confident rationally.

Erik Garcia 51:28
Nothing there, notice none of the characteristics we talked about were strength.

Erik Garcia 51:36
Right, none of that none of the characteristics we talked about were just success, self-made.

Erik Garcia 51:43
And I think that’s key. I think that’s key. So I’m out man. That’s all I’ve got.

Erik Garcia 51:52
Actually out. We can go for we can go longer if you want.

Jason Cass 51:55
We could go longer. We could go longer, but I’m telling you this. There’s rain coming in about two hours and I’m getting ready to go rent a chainsaw no joke and cut up this tree. I climbed up this tree a couple of weeks ago and cut all this these branches down now they’re all on the ground. So I got to get a chainsaw and cut them up and stuff like that so I got things to do.

Erik Garcia 52:16
Be careful man.

Jason Cass 51:55
Oh dude yeah I know, but I just, I get off on this stuff. I love this stuff because I’m not, this isn’t me right? so… and it’s also something that me and my 14 almost 15-year-old son can actually go out and do together you know?

Erik Garcia 52:29
And dude paying for someone to cut a tree is expensive.

Jason Cass 51:55
Expensive is can be and dude I kind of enjoy it. I enjoy it bro. I really truly do. So I use a Sawzall. So I’ll use a Sawzall and climbing the tree I mean I’ll belt myself to the floor or to the tree using actual belts. Okay, and then I’ll climb this tree I’m not scared of heights I’ll climb the tree now Sawzall all down and then when it falls to the ground then I get the chainsaw and cut off all this stuff.

Erik Garcia 52:57
Can we get some pictures of you strapped into the tree?

Jason Cass 52:59
Actually, that’s a good idea. I will, I will do that. I will do that I will do that. And I will say this is exactly what I’m talking about. And I’ll even put them in the show notes. So if you’re listening to this, go to the show notes. Hey, you know what’s amazing is wrapping this up. Thank you very much for your time. I really do appreciate it Erik, thank you. The loyal listeners, thank you, people who are not loyal listeners and are just finding out about this if you’re reading the E-book right now, um, you can find out that that that even though he isn’t from Louisiana, he doesn’t have as bad a drawl. So the transcription actually is pretty clean. So

Erik Garcia 53:37
I’m actually from Louisiana.

Jason Cass 53:40
Oh Yeah, you are but you don’t talk like Louisianans. Like you don’t talk like “hey, I’m going down there.”

Erik Garcia 53:44
Because you know, cuz I’m from New Orleans. I’m not from like, I’m not down the bayou.

Jason Cass 53:49
Oh, really? how far is that?

Erik Garcia 53:50
How far is down the bayou? I mean, I can see alligators 30 minutes from my house.

Jason Cass 53:57
Okay, so once again not very far. Not very far. So you live pretty close to bayou and you don’t talk like someone from the bayou that’s what I’m pointing out.

Erik Garcia 54:03
I also grew up in a household where Spanish was spoken. So like we were kind of, we’re already –

Jason Cass 54:09
He’s Cuban. You guys already know this, but he’s Cuban. So he’s cool. So yes, Erik, thank you very much, man. Um, so here’s what I want to just in with this by saying, just a little common sense, little common sense. Something that I see is common sense, a little commonality and everything we’re talking about. There have been books written about leadership. There have been ways that you can talk about it for 50 minutes here. 54 minutes. I am telling you right now, Erik, I think that we busted down leadership in a very effective way. We could have talked about it from many different angles, but we stayed trying to stay true to what’s rational. What is important to you right now. What’s amazing is there have been books written about this for hundreds of years. But I think every book if you go back to it, it just pictures Jesus solid is I mean, you really go back to every one of these leadership traits, and one of these attributes and maybe your, um, your religion is not Christianity, you know and maybe it’s it maybe you have Islam faith. I’m pretty sure this is probably along the line of some of you have some of your prophets or whatever it of whatever it is. What I’m saying is, we develop leadership and an understanding of what it is from those who have already lived it. Those who have already given us the best experience to understand the power, the conviction and the heart and the How to, the guide of how to be a leader. So no matter who it is out there, no matter who you may want to follow, whomever you may think, understand that Erik brought to this conversation leadership because he, he believes of all the things that he is seen of all the people he’s talked to there all the existence that he’s lived, I think, knowing him in his life in his business and his family. He’s one h**l of a leader. And I think he drives home the importance to it. So please listen to what he says get involved find other people reach out to Erik. Erik, if someone wants to reach out to you. What, do they just hit you on Facebook?

Erik Garcia 56:21
They hit me on Facebook, or LinkedIn wherever LinkedIn, Facebook websites, www.plan-wisely.com.

Jason Cass 56:32
That’s what he helps you do. And in the meantime, stay safe out there. Stay healthy. Don’t panic, be rationally overconfident, have empathy. What else is the others? Courage…

Erik Garcia 56:45
And remember leaders, people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

Jason Cass 56:54
So freakin truth. It’s one of the major, you can look at with cause and effect when we get off this and we hit stop, go ahead loyal listeners. Think of what he just says no one cares how much you know until they know how much you care and think of cause and effect. Think about how we always try to change the effect of that. But we need to be looking at changing the cause. This has been Jason Cass with agency intelligence I had today on Mr. Erik Garcia of Garcia Insurance Services and of plan-wisely.com,is that right?

Erik Garcia 57:26
plan-wisely.com

Jason Cass 57:29
That’s right. That’s right. Stay safe out there. Look forward to the next one that I’ve got coming out. I’m with Erin Nutting and Elisha Cavanaugh as we break down life in this crisis. We are out.

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