Innovative Leadership

Here at IIAN we are concerned about your agency’s success now and in the future.  Many forces now shaping the insurance environment have not been present before.  One of the most important is the need for agency leadership in the coming generations.
Learn .  .  . Grow .  .   . Succeed




The next Innovative Leadership program starts May, 2019.


Questions?  Call Carol McClelland at IIAN - 1-800-377-3985.  

A year-long leader and agency development program for emerging independent  agency leaders  -- designed specifically  for IIAN members by a team of experienced Nebraska agency managers, along with one of the nation’s pre-eminent agency management authorities, based right here in Nebraska.

Innovative Leadership
is for emerging agency leaders - and their agency managers - who want to thrive now and in the future by implementing proven strategies for independent agency success and excellence.
Please be forewarned -  Innovative Leadership is not for agency managers who want to be reassured they are doing everything right.  You will be learning and implementing changes which have proven most beneficial to agents, companies and insurance consumers – changes that can shape your future.
Nationally recognized consultant Mary Eisenhart Belka will lead program participants through this process.   
imageMary Eisenhart Belka has spent 30 years in the insurance industry, both in independent agencies and with insurance carriers. In 1996, she became an insurance industry consultant, and is the owner of Eisenhart Consulting Group, a consulting firm dedicated to helping insurance organizations become extraordinary.

Mary has been featured in ​​Rough Notes and other industry publications, and has authored a Best Practices tool for IIABA - The Next Generation:  A Young Agent's Best Practices Leadership Guide.  Mary develops and presents insurance industry management, technical, Best Practices, motivational, and risk management seminars throughout the U.S. 

Dismukes headshot.jpgAgency valuation consultant John Dismukes and family-owned business transition expert Brad Burklund will join Mary and share their knowledge for the August 3, 2017 agency perpetuation session.

John Dismukes 
Innovative Leadership offers current and emerging agency leaders an opportunity to focus on their professional development and leadership skills, and help evolve their agencies to grow and develop the right environment for perpetuation during the coming years.
This year-long program is a blend of group sessions and activities, individualized executive coaching, as well as self-directed learning.  It is uniquely designed to ensure you achieve results, develop your leadership skills, and move your agency forward.
The program will:
  • Introduce innovative tools for building your business, enhancing team productivity, and growing your agency’s value, including:
o   Building a strategic business plan
      Emerging leaders and their agency managers/mentors will write and implement their agency's business plan and report back
during the course of the year.
o   Creating and increasing agency value
o   Managing sales production
o   Managing operations and change
  • Provide leadership and networking opportunities through IIAN industry initiatives.
o   Discovering your leadership style and the value of association leadership roles
o   Strengthening company relationships; joint planning
o   Understanding the big picture – the impact of regulation and politics on you and your agency
May 8-9, 2017, Lincoln2-Day “immersion” learning experience with Mary Eisenhart Belka, at the IIAN Learning Center in Lincoln, for emerging lealers and agency managers/mentors - including lunches.  The "building blocks":
·        Managing and Leadership
·         Agency Planning – Your Current Agency Issues
·         Building A Business Model
·         Sales and Marketing – Planning & Implementation
        Goal Setting, Automation, Performance Based Compensation

Emerging leaders and agency managers/mentors will write and implement their agency business plan and report back during the course of the year.
August 3, 2017, Mahoney State Park – 1 Day agency perpetuation retreat, featuring agency valuation consultant John Dismukes and family-owned business transition expert Brad Burklund - including lunch:
·         Agency valuation
·         How to prepare for the process
·         Perpetuation - soft skills and pitfalls 
·         Afternoon group consultation with Mary, John, and Brad

October 10-11, 2017, Lincoln2-Day attendance, learning and networking at IIAN’s 110th Annual Convention at Embassy Suites
- convention registration fee included
  • Agency operations - managing change 
·         Carrier relationships and planning
·         Networking with experienced industry leaders
·         Agency leadership, team building, and human relations – applying what you have learned to leadership roles
January 18-19, 2018, Lincoln2-Day Advocacy Experience and Wrap-Up Session in Lincoln
Day 1 - IIAN Day at the Capitol, and Insurance Department Networking - IIAN Legislative issues briefing, luncheon at the Governor's Mansion with Senators, visit with Nebraska Insurance Director and Insurance Department managers.
·         Seeing the big picture – the impact of politics and insurance regulation on you
 includes dinner with Mary Eisenhart Belka to prepare for Day 2
Day 2 “Putting It All Together” – 1-Day wrap-up session:
  • Case studies from present and pas participants
    • How to implement the ideas and concepts
  • Putting it all together
  • Making it happen - how to put your plan in motion!

Online registration/paymentClick Here
OR mail check to:  IIAN, 8231-B Northwoods Dr., Lincoln, NE 68505
Innovative Leadership Application:  2017_Innovative_LeadershipNE_Application.pdf
The program is open to Nebr​aska agency principals and/or staff who are in an agency management position or have aspirations of assuming a leadership role. Participation by both an emerging agency leader and an agency manager is required.  Class composition will be designed to represent as many agencies as possible with a mix of experience levels, expertise, agency sizes and geographical distribution. Applicants must be members of IIAN and have been in the industry for a minimum of three (3) years. Participants will be selected for demonstrating they are:
  • Results-Oriented
  • Thought Leaders
  • Interested in Developing Professionally & Being Introduced to Best Practices
  • Willing to Create Personal Goals
  • Have the Ability to Commit Time
Full participation in the scheduled program days is essential to a successful experience.  Attendance at all events is mandatory.  Participants not adhering to the attendance requirements will be automatically dropped from the program with no portion of the tuition refunded.
Program tuition is $1,500 per Emerging Leader, $500 per Agency Manager/Mentor, $500 per additional participant.  Includes continental breakfast, lunches, and Annual Convention events/meals as indicated in the program schedule.  Does not include transportation or lodging expenses. 
"This program offers excellent information to agents and owners on all the many facets of running an independent insurance agency.  The discussion will either make you feel good about where agency stands in today's insurance industry, or it will make you quickly realize what your agency is lacking in order to stay competitive.  The program is like nothing else offered in our area and is certainly worth the investment."

Zak Morken
Sales Manager 
Western Insurors of Nebraska

“We have been very fortunate to meet Mary through the Total Quality Agency (TQA) program delivered by the Michigan Association of Insurance Agents.  Our agency has been in business since 1931.  Although we believe we run our business very successfully, we felt we would benefit from a wider perspective.  We have come away from each session feeling energized, focused and empowered.   We have implemented many of the operational suggestions that Mary has shared and are moving forward more effectively, profitably and with a standard of care that this industry requires.   She is highly invested in our industry, she stays on the cusp of all new developments and provides rich content of the operational necessities of successful agencies.  Her knowledge and information provides a fertile ground for any agency’s success.   She IS inspirational excellence!”
Leslie J. Payment, AAI, LIC, CISR
Marketing Manager
Klebba Agency, Inc.