When his father-in-law became ill, Steve Anderson stepped in to help out with the Washington, D.C. insurance agency. It was only supposed to be for a couple years. Decades later, Steve is still in the industry though his focus is now on helping agents understand technology and create better customer experiences.
A regular contributor to many industry publications, Steve speaks on technology at events around the United States. He also consults with agencies and companies on maximizing profits with common sense technology.
Steve stayed in the industry because he likes the combination of creativity, problem solving, and the technical aspect of contracts and coverages. I talked with Steve about this and more. This is the way Steve works.
Tell me about yourself and your background.
I worked in two independent agencies during my career, one in the Washington D.C. area and the other in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. For the last 15+ years, I have focused my time on helping the industry understand emerging technology and how to use it to enhance their operational efficiency and create better customer experiences.
How did you get into the insurance industry?
Like many, I stumbled into it. My father-in-law owned an independent agency in Washington D.C., and when he became ill, I stepped in for 'a couple of years' to help out. Figured out I liked it, and stayed.
What is it you like about the industry?
I like the combination of creativity, problem-solving, and the technical aspect of contracts and coverages.
I currently live in the greater Nashville area.
I write about, talk about, and help agencies with understanding how to better utilize the technology that is available to them.
One word that describes how you like to work:
Current mobile device:
iPhone 6 Plus
Project(s) you're currently working on:
Helping agents automate their expertise so they can deliver value to anyone, any time using knowledge engineering and guided conversations.
Accomplishments you're proud of:
What are your goals for the next 12 months?
Helping the industry understand how machine learning, knowledge engineering, and guided conversations will allow them to provide a much better customer experience and increase their profitability.
What's the most recent app you've downloaded but have yet to use?
Describe your workspace:
I rent a small office outside my home and utilize a standing desk with dual monitors. It also has space for a small video studio.
How do you manage your to-do list?
The Nozbe.com program/app
What's your best time-saving tip or hack?
Dragon Naturally Speaking voice recognition software. It is what I am using now to 'type' this.
What is your best everyday habit?
Standing while working
What do you listen to while working?
FocusAtWill.com is a site that plays background music designed to help you concentrate for longer periods of time.
What are you currently reading?
Hug Your Haters by Jay Baer
How do you decompress?
Cooking. I wrote an article for LinkedIn on exactly this subject.
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
Knowing there will be something new to learn today.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Typical day? I am not sure what that is. It could be a simple day in my office. I also travel extensively, so my day could be about airports, rental cars and hotels. The best part of my travel is being able to interact with agents during a presentation.
What are your biggest professional challenges?
Figuring out how to get the industry to realize that change is the norm today. And then, figuring out what to change and what to keep the same.
What do you like most about your job?
Learning new processes, websites, tools, and being able to share my thoughts and insights with others.
Who are your business idols and why?
Michael Gerber - where I first heard about working on your business, not in your business. Seth Godin for always being willing to question the status quo and encouraging people to share their art.
What's the best advice you've ever received?
If you do not have critics, you are not doing everything you should.
If you could switch jobs with someone, who would it be?
Technology columnist for the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, or New York Times.
Who would you like to see in a future This is the Way post?
Kitty Ambers, CEO NetVU
The This is the Way blog series asks ITC employees, agents, carriers and other people in the industry how they work and to share their tips. Is there someone you want to see featured or questions we should ask? Tweet us or leave it in the comments below.
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