7 Questions with David Keeler
Name: David Keeler
Current title: Founder/President
Current organisation: Agents Across America
✦ VISIONARY LEADER AND INNOVATIVE PROBLEM SOLVER ✦
I am a Dynamic Insurance Executive who combines extensive strategic management, operations, and sales experience to consistently drive profitability and operational excellence. My strengths…
❏ A change agent, known for creating proactive, performance-focused cultures – leveraging expertise in the insurance sales, training and business development industries.
❏ Repeated successes expanding planning procedures, maximizing resources and recruiting; and leading and motivating high-performance, cross-functional teams.
❏ Self-driven and known as the ‘make it happen’ person, a problem solver who sees solutions others don’t.
❏ Currently licensed in health, accident, and life insurance in 50 states.
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader of a small or medium enterprise?
Building a consistent performance based culture that is based on collective character at all times and under all circumstances. It is very achievable but must be worked on and nurtured every day.
2. How did you become a leader of an SME? Can you please briefly tell the story?
In addition to working with the legendary Zig Ziglar for about 3 years, I have been in the insurance industry for almost 4 decades. I started as a young man of 20 years old and worked extremely hard to grow from there to having the opportunities that I have had to build companies from scratch to over 1.5 billion dollars in profitable sales.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I'm a leader of action. No two days look alike for me but what is consistent is getting things done to help our collective efforts grow. There are people who work "on" the business and then there are people who work "in" the business. Both are important but, I am a leader of working "on" the business and its profitable growth.
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
To never compromise your personal or professional character for cash flow. I walked away form a seven figure income back in 2004 because the company I worked for put in a horrific leader to oversee a number of divisions which my company was one of. I had to walk away from my role and team or I would have been a genuine hypocrite to everything that me and my team had built. Hard to do but I did it with no regrets to this day.
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
Zig Ziglar's renowned book "See You at the Top"
It is one I aligned with from day one and still do to this day. I am blessed to have been a customer of his company, an employee of his company, and to share the stage with him on many occasions. His son, Tom, and I remain great friends to this day and often collaborate together.
6. How do you build leadership capacity in an SME?
You must always find people/leaders to add to your team that are better than you at what they do. By doing so, your circle of talent always gets better and it frees you up to focus on the things that you are best at doing to help the team grow.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader of an SME so far?
It would be my overall story of watching individuals and families go from being either broke, broken, or both and seeing those individuals grow from a place of significant wealth that allowed them to be a wealth of significance serving others.