NASBP Oct. 22 conference will promote executive leadership development

By Kathy Hoffman posted 04-20-2015 06:19 PM


Events today and yesterday at the 2015 NASBP Annual Meeting & Expo in San Diego have revealed several ways in which the Association addresses leadership development of surety professionals. In fact, this fall NASBP is offering a unique conference focusing on executive leadership skills.

NASBP's Leadership Conference for Surety Professionals, taking place Oct. 22 in Nashville, is designed to be a valuable new resource to help bond producers and other surety professionals and their companies thrive, NASBP First Vice President Susan Hecker said at the Annual Meeting.

The event will focus on executive leadership development, with emerging and established leaders in the industry encouraged to attend, said Hecker, who is director of National Contract Surety and an area Executive Vice President at Arthur J. Gallagher.

All participants will have a DiSC profile done beforehand to evaluate their personality, behavioral and communications styles. The four characteristics that spell out the acronym are dominance, influence, steadiness and conscientiousness.

Attendees will learn how to improve communication by gaining insight into their individual styles and figuring out how to determine how other people communicate, Hecker said. The afternoon portion of the event will involve ethical dilemmas and other “real surety situations” that will require participants to harness the communication lessons from earlier in the day, she said.

Hecker said she wanted to hold the Leadership Conference because having fully engaged people working in a thriving business is crucial for the industry to effectively take action.

However, in  contemplating the idea of a conference the numbers simply didn’t pencil out, so she moved on to the idea of a leadership series of virtual seminars. When she pitched the idea to Rick Ciullo, Chief Operating Officer at Chubb Surety, about assisting with the ideas and help with the seminars, he had the idea to hold a one-day leadership conference, and offered to help sponsor the speakers.

“I thought I'd died and gone to heaven, it was the answer to a prayer,” she said.

Chubb's involvement made the event much more affordable for NASBP, which therefore can host the conference at a nominal fee for participants, she said.

After Ciullo agreed to help, Hecker worked with NASBP CEO Mark McCallum; and Meeting Services Director Bethany Jones to establish a direction for the conference, and Chubb engaged New Haven Consulting Group, which is providing two consultants for the event.

NASBP Past Presidents Matt Cashion, Todd Loehnert, Spence Miller and Ed Heine spent time with New Haven to help educate the consultants about how the surety industry works, Hecker said.

Ciullo said the surety industry is making a great deal of effort to promote leadership, but to address the challenges posed by intense competition over a limited talent pool, “we might think about ways to do things differently. “Are we articulating a rewarding and challenging 40-year career, and are today's leaders acting in ways that allow us to keep those commitments to the people we believe might develop into future leaders?” he asked. The leadership conference is designed to explore these questions.

To find out about how NASBP is providing a mentor program for its new leaders who are involved with 5-15 Leadership Circle Committee, click here.