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Leaders must fulfill three functions; provide for the well-being of the led, provide a social organization in which people feel relatively secure, provide them with one set of beliefs. People like Pasteur and Salk are leaders in the first sense. People like Gandhi and Confucius, on one hand, and Alexander, Caesar and Hitler on the other, are leaders in the second and perhaps the third sense. Jesus and Buddha belong in the third category alone. Perhaps the greatest leader of all times was Mohammed, who combined all three functions. To a lesser degree, Moses did the same. 
--Jules Masserman, Professor of History and Psychoanalyst
Most Important Product of a Man’s Effort -  His Own Personality
  By Shah Nawaz Khan

Personality is the most important thing to an individual’s success – especially to insurance sales person and in insurance sales management. Personality means more than the distinctive qualities of a successful person. It means much more than those distinguishing personal characteristics that make one socially appealing. Each and every individual possesses his own personality and it is the totality of personal qualities and traits, a mix of his strengths and weaknesses as well as the pattern of collective character, behavioral, temperamental, emotional, and mental traits of a person: Some of these personal qualities and traits may be more pronounced than the other qualities or traits. Revivification of personality occurs when some weak personal qualities and traits are developed or improved or corrected. The synergetic effect of improved qualities and traits results in much more powerful personality and generates more confidence and capability to achieve the goals and success.

Men who had greatest impact on modern history of India and Pakistan

Mohammad Ali Jinnah

M. A. Jinnah and M. K. Gandhi

A personality is often an indefinite quantum of traits that is subject to constant flux, change, and growth from the birth of the individual to his old age. Changes occur because of many things such as environments, education and training, religion or faith, new relationship, occupation, disease, losses or unexpected gains. A desire for self-improvement plays a positive role in revivification. Conversely carelessness, negligence, greed, jealousy, selfishness, bad company, addiction to drugs or alcohol and emotional imbalances often destroys the personalities of many individuals and their talents go in waste or are used for purposes socially unacceptable.

Erich Fromm, U.S. psychologist observed, “Man’s main task in life is to give birth to himself, to become what he potentially is. The most important product of his effort is his own personality.” Education and training are vital in developing personality. But that is only half the task done. Important thing is the way we have learned to control impulses and emotion and to correct the faults and weaknesses inherent in human nature. Constant efforts and exercise are often necessary to improve or correct the deeply ingrained and relatively enduring patterns of thought, feeling, and behavior. 

In psychology personality refers to the description the character of emotion, thought, and behavior patterns unique to a person. It suggests predictability about how a person will act or react under various circumstances.

 There are several theoretical perspectives on personality in psychology as well as inspirational literature, which involve different ideas about the relationship between personality and other psychological constructs, as well as different theories about the way personality develops.

Formation and Development
Theorists emphasize different aspects of personality but there are divergent views about   development of personality and its manifestation in behavior. Austrian physician Sigmund Freud believed that unconscious processes developed during childhood continue to direct much of people's behavior. Another personality theory is derived from behaviorism, which places primary emphasis on learning and education and correction of thoughts imprinted in subconscious during child hood and adolescence. Heredity and environment and religious beliefs interact to form personality. 

In Personality Development courses in colleges usually focus on ways to make the students highly articulate, confident and commanding in their career and to give the students that extra edge which increases their chance of success in the practical life
The college programs usually cover various aspects of Body Language, Effective Communication, Rules of Communication, Pre- placement information, Group Discussions etc. However courses lay more emphasis on developing professional skills in chosen field of management. Life Insurance Marketing Research Association in USA has done a commendable job in developing courses and programs not only for agents but also sales managers and marketing executives. 

Personality Tests
Psychologists have developed many tests of different types. The interview is a popular and widely used method of personality assessment, with a view to obtain a report of past, present, and future responses and to evaluate aptitudes and behavior.  Direct observations are made either in a natural, everyday setting or in the controlled conditions of a laboratory. 

Self-report inventories pose questions about personal habits, attitudes, beliefs, and fantasies. In projective testing, the subject's responses to ambiguous or unstructured situations are assumed to reflect inner reality.

Achievement tests are designed to assess current performance in an academic area and are often used to predict future academic success. 

Aptitude tests predict future performance in an area in which a person is not currently trained. Schools, businesses, and government agencies often use aptitude tests when assigning individuals to specific positions. 

Intelligence tests measure a person's global capacity to cope with the environment. Test scores are generally known as intelligence quotients, or IQs. In clinics and hospitals, psychological tests may be administered for purposes of diagnosis and planning treatment.

Interpretation of Results
During last 70 years research has been continuing for perfection of different kinds of tests and reliability of the results and the interpretation of test results. The raw score of a test is the simple numerical count of responses. Percentile scores, standard scores, and norms are all devices for comparing an individual's score with the scores of a larger group. Interpretation of test scores ultimately involves predictions about a subject's behavior in a specified situation. If a test is an accurate predictor, it is said to have good validity, which is established by various criteria including the relevance and range of its content. 

Aptitude and other tests developed by LIMRA are used worldwide and proven to be quite effective. It is however on the job training and motivation that really matters in success or failure of a life insurance agent. The ability of the executives to keep the field force motivated and ticking is of vital importance. 

Selection of Insurance Agents
It is sad but a fact that generally Insurance Agents in our country do not enjoy the respect and trust that a true professional deserves. Part of the blame lies on the Agency System that came into offing in 1972 and legendry insurance agents like Late Akbar Khan were forced to become ‘Employer of Agent’ much to his dislike. He and other qualifiers of Million Dollar Round Table Conference like Ishaque Khan and Ali Mohammad Dada used to command respect and admiration of their clients and envy of their colleagues. But now even in teleplays and movies the insurance agent is portrayed as a servile but cunning character begging for business.

The general image of the agent has been tarnished due to numerous cases of frauds, defalcations and misrepresentation by the untrained or uneducated or irresponsible individuals recruited callously without proper Aptitude Testing and Character Appraisal. The evil of rebating rose to unprecedented levels. The average productivity of the Sales Representatives declined to the lowest ebb 

On the other hand many well-educated and honest individuals that are recruited lose heart and leave the industry within few months of their induction. Selling is not a place for amateurs. In this tough economic climate, only well prepared professionals succeed. Most of the new recruits form a sorry picture of waste and lack of direction who begin
the workday with honest intentions, but with no idea who to contact to make a sale or presentation. Most of them cannot overcome the fear of rejection. Due to their wrong approaches and poor sales presentation they are cold-shouldered – even ridiculed or insulted. 

Integrity of the salesman and his willingness to provide after sales service and to work out a solution best suited to his client and his interests are among the common denominators of highly successful sales and marketing executives and other personnel. 

Planning and setting goals & targets are stepping stones for the sales work 'in sales your goals must be out of reach but not of out of sight.' Ben Feldman the greatest life insurance salesman who made millions just by selling life insurance stated this. He pursued the goals that were not achievable without extra ordinary efforts. But he never set the goals that were foolishly high. He kept on reviewing his progress and goals. He believed that that you goals must not only for your business, but also for family as well as social and cultural life. 

Selection of Motivators
Persistence, hard work and a belief in himself and his products are the common traits of successful agents. But a successful agent does not necessarily makes a successful sales manager or marketing executive for which development of a powerful personality is a must.

How do you define a powerful personality?
Continued. Click here for next page

Shah Nawaz Khan, A.C.I.I. (Associate of Chartered Insurance Institute< London retired as General Manager and Executive Director of State Life Insurance Corporation of Pakistan after 30 years service and now publishes electronic newsletter and writes for them. His articles on variety of subjects appear on Internet at


An Extract from a letter written by Hazrat Ali ibn Abi Talib (RA) (c. 600 – 661) the fourth Caliph to Governer of Egypt

"Let your mind respect through your actions the rights of God and the rights of man, and likewise, persuade your companions and relations to do likewise. For, otherwise, you will be doing injustice to yourself and injustice to humanity. Thus both man and God will turn unto your enemies. There is no hearing anywhere for one who makes an enemy of God himself. He will be regarded as one at war with God until he feels contrition and seeks forgiveness. Nothing deprives man of divine blessings or excites divine wrath against him more easily than cruelty. Hence it is, that God listens to the voice of the oppressed and waylays the oppressor."

Click here for full article written by Paul S Armstrong