Health, Happiness and the Joy of Being – with Bill Johnson, Chairman, The Liberty Company Insurance Brokers

“I have this thing that I like to say which is ‘Remember to do your job. Job – J.O.B – stands for ‘Joy of Being’, says Bill.

Bill shares his career journey from working as a Farmers Agent to launching and growing his own Insurance Agency for 10 years, before heading off to make movies.

“I wanted to be getting out of bed with passion because I love what I do. To me it needed to have a creative component to it.”

Working with some of Hollywood’s biggest names – Brad Pitt, Julianne Moore, Liam Neeson and The Rock, producing 34 films over 15 years – Bill explains how working alongside such high-performing talent has impacted his return to taking the reins at Liberty and the stark differences between the two industries.

“The film business is very transitory. You make a movie, pull a big team together then everybody goes their separate ways.  Here in this business, it’s a community of long-term relationships. For me, it’s the opportunity to give service to that community and focus on creating a special culture and a special environment.”

Bill says that being a place that feels good to be a part of, has translated into attracting talent to the company and fuelled Liberty’s commission revenue increase from $11m to $125m and driven the team’s growth from 50 to 650 over the past 3.5 years.

Bill talks about his biggest achievements and how he’s dealt with setbacks along the way.  “One of the great things about getting knocked back is it’s a great opportunity to observe the people around you and see how people behave, to really observe other people’s character.”

He shares what he perceives to the challenges ahead for the Insurance Agencies, maintaining, “It’s a people business. People want a relationship and so as we look at this company and we look at this industry, taking care of your people and then having your people taking care of the clients seems paramount.”

Bill highlights the importance of health, happiness, how he leads regular company mediation sessions and the company’s dream circles as well as the key characteristics Liberty seeks when recruiting.

Forecast to have a 1000-strong team by the end of 2022, Bill explains the leadership opportunities on offer and the challenge of scaling the culture.

“The way we approach that challenge is just continuing to live it and breathe it every day from top to bottom, ultimately creating opportunity and an environment where people can thrive.”

“We have a thing that we call HABU – highest and best use – which is another way of saying ‘Do what you love’”, concludes Bill.

Connect with Bill on LinkedIn, email bjohnson@libertycompany.com or find out more about Liberty.

The Insurance Coffee House Podcast is hosted by Nick Hoadley, CEO, Insurance Search, the Executive Search Consultancy for growing Insurance and Insurtech businesses across the globe.

To discuss identifying & attracting the very best talent to your team or being a podcast guest, reach out to Nick via nick.hoadley@insurance-search.com or connect on LinkedIn

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