A Case Study in Culture Change

By Scott Mautz for Inc.

When you think of the life insurance industry, words like “innovative,” “red-hot,” or “game-changing” probably don’t come to mind.

Those words are reserved for just about anything Elon Musk tweets (probably while on a toilet).

But then you probably don’t know about National Life Group, the fastest growing life insurance company in the country over the last decade with remarkable employee engagement levels and agent retention four times the industry average.

It’s a company that compelled authors Jackie and Kevin Freiberg (who wrote the Southwest Airlines success story into prominence) to take it on as their next book.

Transformative CEO Mehran Assadi (recently voted Chairman as well) shared with me the secret recipe to National Life’s astonishing success in a category of sameness.

It soon became obvious this isn’t business as usual.

1. Having a useful mission statement should be a mission.
Most corporate mission statements are about as inspiring as tax law. It’s like someone pulled from the Book of Blather and hired an intern to paint the words on the wall of the main foyer.

Not at National Life Group. Their mission is a simple, powerful, and values-driven cause: Do good. Be good. Make good.

Do good for customers and the community. Be good at what you do and to each other. Make good on your promises.

Employees remember this statement and are compelled to bring it to life.

It’s grounded in a reframing of the life insurance industry. Assadi helped all to realize that they’re doing heroic work and that their profession is about love (buying life insurance is, in fact, a selfless act).

Yes, he’s a CEO who uses the word “love“. In fact, L.O.V.E. at National Life Group has come to mean “Live Our Values Everyday”.

National Life Group has found their spirit-lifting (and performance raising) cause. As Assadi told me, When you find your “why,” you find your way.

And it’s changed everything.

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