Leadership in Life Institute

An Overview

The NAIFA-Pennsylvania Leadership In Life Institute (LILI) is a long-term program for members who are leaders or potential leaders in our local associations. Leadership of others begins with leadership of oneself. By building on and expanding the personal abilities of candidates, LILI creates a tremendous opportunity for personal growth in every aspect of the candidates' lives.

A LILI participant will encounter the very best in personal and career development thinking presented by outstanding leaders. In addition, highly motivated peers surround participants. Participants will experience an attitude and environment conducive to deep, prolonged personal and professional growth.

History of LILI

LILI directly addresses the central crisis of associations at every level of the NAIFA federation: lack of sufficient qualified leaders to envision, plan, and execute the objectives of the federation. Appointed by 1998-99 NAIFA President Larry Lambert, the NAIFA Leadership Development Task Force (LDTF) began work in September of 1998. Early on, the LDTF arrived at several conclusions:

There is indeed a lack of willing, qualified leaders. This shortage is evident at every level of the federation. There is resistance to involvement due to time considerations, length of service required, and lack of perceived relevance of service by the volunteer. Increased involvement, even in significant numbers, will not necessarily result in high quality leadership. Leadership skills and techniques can and should be developed in people with some innate ability and desire. The problem must be addressed at the local association level.

To avoid increasing an already heavy burden of administration and committee structure at the local level, the LDTF elected to develop a leadership development prototype to be conducted and administered by the state associations. Based loosely on the Chamber of Commerce Leadership Program, the Leadership In Life Institute was created. LILI is a voluntary program.

How does the participant benefit?

Every aspect of a participant's life may be affected by LILI. Each relationship, whether family, business, or social can be enhanced or improved by the tools, knowledge and experience gained through LILI participation. Participants who apply the lessons learned through LILI may increase productivity, efficiency, effectiveness and overall life satisfaction.

How does the local association benefit?

The local association benefits most directly and immediately from LILI. By sponsoring and recommending candidates for LILI, the local association creates a new and unique bond between itself and the candidate-member. The local association benefits from motivated, knowledgeable, and committed leaders. LILI participants are asked to commit to two years service in their local association. Over a relatively short period of time, local leadership improves dramatically.

How does NAIFA-PA benefit?

NAIFA-PA benefits by establishing a leadership pool populated with potential leaders who have experienced current leadership thinking and who are committed to apply their newly enhanced knowledge and skills in their local associations. These potential leaders are connected by the esprit de corps developed during their LILI experience. As these leaders rise through local leadership ranks, many will continue to state and national leadership service.

How does NAIFA benefit?

NAIFA reaps the same rewards as the state association. However, because these developing leaders have experienced their membership in a fresh, creative way, new information about membership will be available.Significant new direction for member benefits can be expected.A federation strengthened from the ground up is undeniably desirable.

What are the responsibilities of the local association for LILI?

Promote LILI in local association and solicit applicants.Each association may sponsor two candidates per Institute. Using the selection criteria and application, screen and select candidates for LILI. Local associations may support candidates financially but financial support is not required.

LILI is not a shortcut. Leaders need followers. Local boards should be prepared to support their LILI candidates by encouragement and by committing to involvement in their local associations. Local associations will be expected to periodically report the progress of their LILI candidates and graduates acting in leadership capacities.

What are the responsibilities of NAIFA-PA for LILI?

NAIFA-PA appoints a Leadership Development Chairperson. The structure under that Chairperson will be determined by NAIFA-PA. NAIFA-PA is responsible for promoting, and executing LILI. NAIFA-PA will provide meeting place, planning, materials and presenters. NAIFA-PA will provide a Candidate Selection Committee, which will be responsible for final candidate selection from applications submitted.

What are the responsibilities of NAIFA for LILI?

NAIFA appoints a Leadership Development Chairperson. Other structure will be determined by NAIFA. NAIFA funds development of LILI provides funding for training and implementation of the project.

Why can't this be done locally?

Is there any advantage to NAIFA-PA being involved? This is a large and complex program. Does your local have the expertise or the committed personnel to take on such a project? Also, there are benefits gained from the diversity of participants from around the state that simply disappear in a more homogeneous geographic grouping. Finally, there is an advantage to the objectivity brought about by having the programs held by a third party, one step removed from the party reaping the most immediate benefit.

What are the LILI candidate selection criteria?

NAIFA-PA Leadership In Life Institute encourages and fosters a holistic approach to life. Candidates for LILI should be well-rounded, financially stable individuals of good character and reputation. Candidates should demonstrate a desire to make a positive difference in their association, their industry and their community.

Candidates should meet or exceed the following minimum standards:

No pending or ongoing criminal investigation or charges. No pending or ongoing insurance/securities regulatory investigation or actions. Two (2) full years of financial services business experience. Twelve (12) full months membership in good standing in a local association. A letter of recommendation and explanation from the local association board of directors signed by the local president. A letter of understanding and commitment from the candidate's immediate supervisor. Religious, civic or community volunteer service is highly desirable but not mandatory for selection.

Our association has a lot of members who meet the minimum standards. Who are we really looking for?

Some candidates may already be in local association leadership positions; other candidates may be less experienced financial services advisors. Having met the minimum standards, here are some questions a local board might ask regarding a candidate.

Is the person being considered someone the local board of directors feels to be worth the investment of time, talent, and, possibly, money? Will the candidate being considered most likely fulfill the commitment to service included in the application? Is the candidate open to self-exploration, to personal change? What is the candidate's attitude about the financial services industry, about the association, about his or her future in that industry?

What are the costs for LILI?

Candidate tuition for the six LILI sessions is approximately $900. Tuition includes all course materials, lunch at each session and a graduation reception and dinner.

Travel, hotel accommodations and other meals are the candidates' responsibility. NAIFA-PA will arrange for hotel and meal discounts whenever possible. Sessions have been arranged so that no more than one night's lodging will be required for any session. Local associations may wish to offset candidate expenses but are not required to do so. NAIFA-PA reimburses one-third of the tuition cost, and one-third of the tuition cost is recommended to be paid by the candidate.

What will candidates work on during LILI?

LILI is a course of study to increase personal effectiveness and success, leadership skills, relationship skills, and sales skills. Please review the schedule and curriculum for additional details.

What happens between sessions?

Projects will be assigned as homework. The projects will relate to topics covered in the sessions. Projects will often require contact between participants to encourage leadership skills through cooperative learning.