The Value of Putting Uncommon Effort Into Everyday Tasks

Let me start by saying that I still take the time to read through books whenever I get the chance. Taking the time to read and learn the stories of successful people can be a powerful tool for those of us determined to build our own success in life. A recent autobiography I read, “Quiet Strength” by Coach Tony Dungy left me thinking about a really meaningful statement that could be applied to many parts of life, including insurance claims adjusting. At 2021 Training in Plano, TX, my team and I have been working with individuals hoping to enter the insurance claims industry for years, and we have always emphasized how important it can be to be effective at self-management when it comes to claims adjusting.

Success is uncommon and not to be enjoyed by the common man. I’m looking for uncommon people because we want to be successful, not average.“ Coach Dungy starts, and at first, the statement left me feeling discouraged, but then he continues on to say: “The truth is that most people have a better chance to be uncommon by effort than by natural gifts. Anyone could give that effort in his or her chosen endeavor, but the typical person doesn’t, choosing to do only enough to get by.” This point of view really hit home for me. 

I have had the unique opportunity to be apart of the claims adjusting industry for quite a few years. I know many adjusters ( and I’ve actually trained more than a few of them), and I think coach Dungy makes a great point. Most people choose to do just as much as they need to, but not much more. Sure, you need to learn about Xactimate to write basic reviews, but what about advanced features? Some claims adjusters know the guidelines well enough to deal with trouble 90% of the time and rely on the grace of their manager to handle the last 10%. Many people put together a time management system that does the job … but it’s not great. And these are the people that will complain if they are not called to a CAT first thing.

On the other hand, I know some great adjusters too, genuinely incredible people. They are considered uncommon by their managers and colleagues and have made a name for themselves in the industry. I recently attended an important industry event and had the opportunity to sit in on discussions among CAT managers. The topic was the nature and quality they seek in their picks for adjusters. After a few laughs and jokes about the difficulty of finding a good adjuster, the conversation took a surprising turn. Someone mentioned the name of one of their best staff adjusters and said, “I wish we had more like Bill!” Then someone mentioned “Janet” and – even though I didn’t know her – the answer in the room explained that she was a force to be reckoned with. A specialist adjuster who was sent to handle difficult demands, areas, and tasks. The consensus was that she always did the job without problems. She was extraordinary – the best of the best.

In the world of claims adjusting, it is an investment to do put extraordinary attention and effort into doing common, even mundane tasks. Think of it as an investment in yourself and an investment in your career. Most importantly, it pays off. The uncommon adjusters I mentioned above will never miss a job and because of their hard-won reputation, they can earn pay that matches their value. The message that I want to convey in this blog post is that you can achieve this too. As emphasized by Coach Dungy, this is a choice. We can choose to do the minimum amount possible, and we can make a choice to put extraordinary effort into our lives. Oh, and by the way, this choice is the best form of job security you can ever find.