Author, Judy Gougeon, is the CEO and President at Gougeon Insurance Brokers.
I love my work. I don’t dread Sunday nights. I was lucky enough to grow up in a family culture that showed me that work was something you loved. My father owned an Insurance Brokerage but he did a lot of other things. He sold insurance, was a real estate and mortgage broker, and he bought and sold used cars. He was an entrepreneur!
It’s Never Too Soon To Start
When I was 10 years old, I got my first glimpse into my father’s entrepreneurial spirit. He picked me up from Roller Country (yes, roller skating) in a yellow Pontiac Parisienne. It was this big, boat-of-a-car and it had automatic windows. I was impressed: “Dad this car is cool. Look at the windows!” I couldn’t stop using the silver lever that made the windows slide up and down. I loved the car. But like any true entrepreneur he said, “Everything is for sale, kid!” I don’t remember how many more rides I enjoyed in that car but it was sold soon after and my foray into the world of automatic windows dissipated. However, the entrepreneurial spark I saw in my father that day stuck with me.
Twenty-two years after that first ride in the Pontiac Parisienne, I succeeded him at the helm of his company. What an amazing ride it has been. He was innovative, energetic, entrepreneurial and exhausting! Prior to assuming the Leadership role I spent much time “carrying his bags” as his “right hand” or his “second in command”.
The Value of A "Second In Command"
It wasn’t until I assumed the Leadership role in the organization (and my father “hit the beach” in Florida) did I appreciate the value of a “Right Hand” or “Second in Command” (2IC).
Initially, I thought I didn’t need a 2IC. I had been the 2IC for my father (5 years as VP Operations) quite successfully, and my viewpoint was that I was young and energetic - I could do both roles. Boy, was I WRONG!
I struggled for a few years until I finally realized that there was a lot of “noise” that kept me away from what I was good at and from what I needed to do to drive growth and success in our company.
In 2009, I went to a seminar that coached me around employing 2IC Principles with my Management Team to help drive success in the organization. This seminar changed my thinking and changed the way I lead.
Make The Noise Go Away
One of the eleven principles that was useful for me was knowing that someone else in the company was “up at night”. As simple as this seems, my 2IC and I created a list of what was keeping me up at night. My 2IC understood that list, took ownership in it, and would communicate on those issues weekly to ensure I was informed.
The 2IC principles were further developed by the founder (and my business coach) Larry Linne in the book “Make the Noise Go Away”. Larry and his team teach the “Make the Noise go Away” Principles in seminars and one-on-one sessions.
Today, we still employ the eleven Make the Noise Go Away Principles in our organization. It has given me a personal freedom, in addition to never dreading Sunday nights, that I can successfully go on a week’s vacation and know, with confidence, that my team has everything under control. Although the pressures of running a business continue, referring to these principles helps me to focus on what I do best during the day and sleep well at night.
I’m passionate about helping our clients pursue their goals and dreams. If you’d like to hear more about Second in Command Principles I would be excited to talk to you further and how as a client you can have access to this learning. Please contact me to discuss how I can help your company.