Apr 042012

I wrote the CEO’s remarks at the monthly officer lunches and the annual off-site leadership meeting. He would use this framework to personalize his remarks. This was from an officer lunch in July 2007.


  • Today’s meeting marks a very special milestone. As you saw from last week’s e-mail, we have completed our new mission statement.
  • Our senior leadership team was deeply involved in every aspect of developing this document, from inception to revision to finalization.
  • All of you have played key roles as well, by providing us with your comments and feedback in the officer sessions and throughout the entire process.
    • Senior executives who facilitated those meetings reported how well-prepared, thoughtful and passionate you were about being a part of the process.
  • I want to thank you for your help, input and support.
  • We listened intently to what you had to say and your feedback has been incorporated into the final version.
  • I’d like to share with you a few highlights and details.
    • Briefly review document:
    • Why we developed it.
    • What it’s meant to be
      • Shared vision/roadmap for the next 3-5 years.
      • Way we’ll transform the company into a consumer-focused organization.
      • Other.
    • What’s in each section and why
    • “Reinvent”
      • I’ve been talking for months about our aspiration to reinvent protection and retirement for consumers, describing the need to push further and harder, and citing examples from other industries.
      • I’m not going to define reinvention for us. I think it’s critical that you be a part of that journey and discovery process. We will work together to determine how we reinvent protection and retirement for consumers.
      • Going forward, it will change as consumer tastes and needs change.
    • Enterprise
      • Note that this document requires us to take an enterprise-wide view of our responsibilities and actions. The goal is to “grow the value of our company” as a whole, as opposed to any one business unit or department. Our vision is to “reinvent protection and retirement for the consumer.” That’s going to take the combined, integrated and significant efforts of everyone here, working across boundaries and outside silos.
  • Why I’m so pleased/passionate with the final product, and the vision: it gives us a common platform from which to transform protection & retirement.
  • What will change as a result; how we’ll operationalize it.
  • What happens next?
  • (If time) Point out one or two examples of how people or groups are already living the vision and mission statement. Paint a picture that we’re already on the path; make it real for people.


  • What do we mean by engagement? Isn’t everyone already “engaged”?
  • What it means to me: everyone is fully, passionate and completely “in the game.”
  • Spend a few minutes on your vision of engagement.
  • People are the most important part of what we do. Having a high-performing organization is critical to our success and a highly engaged workforce is the way we get there. But here’s the million-dollar question: what would it take to get this level of engagement across the enterprise?
  • And that’s where I’d like your ideas.

Officer Dialogue

  • We’ve established an online dialogue mechanism that will be e-mailed to you this afternoon and available on the officer web site, to collect and share your best ideas on employee engagement. It’s a simple tool with just one basic question: What would it take to get this level of engagement across the organization?
  • Over the next week, I’m asking each of you to share at least one idea. What can we do to bring this level of engagement to life here?
  • Your best ideas on employee engagement will be posted so we can learn from each other and collaborate as we move forward.
  • Instructions and details will be e-mailed to you shortly after the meeting. Please, take the time to share at least one thought so we can be sure to make these outstanding ideas come to life.


  • For the benefit of any officer who was not here today, or who would like to hear some of this discussion again, we will be posting an audio file of this meeting on the officer web site starting tomorrow.
  • We are also making available a new feature called “Bookshelf.” It contains extensive summaries of thousands of executive books. The instructions are simple and right online. I encourage you to go to the site and explore this learning tool. It can help you evaluate many great business techniques and ideas that can be very valuable as we live out the ideals and goals of the new mission statement.
  • So what happens next? This summer our senior leadership team members will lead four work streams – on customer focus, enterprise risk and reward, engagement and accountability.
  • At Leadership Conference in September we’ll have a chance to hear about their progress – and what’s next in terms of rolling out the missions statement to the workforce, for which you’ll be very involved.
  • Thanks everyone for a remarkably productive and valuable process helping to produce our mission statement.
  • I know it’s going to help us drive the company to new heights of growth, accomplishment and customer focus.

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