01-Professional Development-Shutterstock

“Pursue professional education and engagement outside the expected requirements of one’s position. To advance, one has to distinguish oneself as a knowledgeable leader. By taking courses and attending events that involve networking and activities that encourage a broader perspective an agent (or any insurance professional) can show that they perceive themselves as a potential leader and in fact obtain the knowledge and connections they in fact need to make that perception a reality. CPCU is a credential that I think every insurance professional seeking to advance professionally should consider, and the CPCU Society is a great organization for lifelong learning and engagement.”
— Paul Tetrault, JD, CPCU, ARM, AIM, Executive Director, The Insurance Library (Photo: Shutterstock)

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"Things are always working out for you."

That's the spirit and inspiration behind Oprah Winfrey's newest book, "The Path Made Clear: Discovering Your Life's Direction and Purpose," (Flatiron Books, 2019). The book weaves together Winfrey's personal anecdotes with pearls of wisdom from such well-known contemporary luminaries as Jay-Z, Ellen DeGeneres, Elizabeth Gilbert and Eckhart Tolle.

The media magnet says her hope for the book is that it will help readers discover not only who they are but who they're meant to be.

"There is no greater gift you can give or receive than to honor your calling," Winfrey writes. "It's why you were born. And how you become most truly alive."

If your calling is to be a leader in the insurance world, the path may not always be clear. But as Winfrey illustrates in her book, it can be easier to find when those who've gone before you help light the way.

In this first installment of our periodic series offering pointed peer advice to insurance professionals, we asked insurance and business leaders what they believe is the single most important thing an individual can do to advance to an executive position. Their insights are included in the slideshow above.


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Elana Ashanti Jefferson

Elana Ashanti Jefferson serves as ALM's PropertyCasualty360 Group Chief Editor. She is a veteran journalist and communications professional. Reach her by sending an e-mail to [email protected].