Not a day that goes by that we don't hear news of layoffs,downsizing, bankruptcies, the stock market's downturn, and thedismal state of the housing market. With the unemployment rate atover 9.5 percent, we all know friends or family members who havelost their jobs, homes, investments, and -- in some cases -- lifesavings. One cannot help but wonder, "Am I next?"

The mere thought of being unemployed is stressful. The insuranceindustry has been faring relatively well; however, it suffered itsworst first quarter in 20 years. Combine this news with the overallfeeling of vulnerability and the stress of being in claims, and youhave employees feeling the pressure. While claims may not be viewedas the most stressful job, I believe we can all agree that it is upthere. After all, we are dealing with those who have suffered avery real loss, whether it is a family member, a home, or acar.

Although there are signs the economy is getting better,unemployment is not expected to improve until sometime in 2010, andit remains a topic of conversation wherever one goes. I believe itis the perfect time for us all to revisit what constitutes successand how to be successful. How can you make a difference to theinsurance company for which you work? More than ever, now is thetime to "deliver." This means delivering service that exceedscustomers' expectations, and favorably impacts your company'sbottom line. Remember that renewal business is much more profitablethan new business. Let's take a look at what differences you canmake and add value to what you do each and every day.

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