We recently interviewed our client, Nick, a Multiple Office Agent (MOA) at State Farm.

Here’s what Nick had to say about his challenge, the CTC solution, and the results:


I am a State Farm agent running multiple offices. In the State Farm world, we call that an MOA (Multiple Office Agent). I have a solid vision for my business and I see myself as the CEO of a company versus just “an agent”. Business is thriving–I’m one of the top agents at State Farm, sitting in the top 1%–but I knew we could be doing even better. That’s when I decided to reach out to Jan Lehman.

Jan told me that one of her favorite things to do is coach successful leaders and help them to reach the next level of performance, which is exactly what I was looking for.

We started our work together with Jan asking me to share my overarching goals and the issues that were getting in my way of reaching those goals.

My goals were to:

  • Create a structured schedule for myself and add more margin in my day. I am a creative person and setting time aside to dream is important to me.
  • Create a team of “productivity ninjas” that don’t wait for me to guide them.
  • Have as many offices as State Farm will allow–even if that would require me to jump state lines.
  • Show up to the office and get a briefing on where we are, who is doing what, and what areas of growth we are focusing on.
  • Have a training block on my calendar once or twice a week.
  • Create productivity/execution processes as if we have 40 people working for the organization & 250 calls coming in per day. In other words, create processes that would support rapid growth.
  • And finally, my team schedules me for big conversations around investments, life insurance, health insurance, or to meet with business owners. I need clarification on who the customer is and when it makes sense to bring me into those calls.

Items getting in my way of achieving these goals:

  • Being pulled in every direction and therefore being unable to complete tasks of any real importance.
    • Unscheduled stop-ins to my office
    • Interruptions while meeting with other team members–there is an assumption that if I am not at my desk, I must be free and available to talk
    • Team members approach me with problems, but wait for me to provide a solution even though they already know the solution
  • Emails–I try to zero out my inbox, but I don’t achieve that very often because I leave unimportant emails in there for later “when I have time.”
  • Not focusing on money-making activities like being able to prospect high profile clients.

Once my goals and obstacles were identified, Jan then asked me to prioritize the areas I’d like to work so that we could ensure we were working on the most important areas for me and my goals.

My top three priority areas were:

  • Effective delegation for all team members, but especially for my officers.
  • Resourcefulness training & getting the team to believe in their solutions.
  • My calendar and email.

During my first coaching call with Jan, we dug deeper and got into the specifics. We touched on some additional pain points in order for Jan to come up with a game plan moving forward.

I shared that a large frustration was that my team members would say “I’m slammed today,” but I had no idea what they were slammed with or how I could help them.

We discussed the fact that my frontline service folks (the ones that were saying they were slammed) felt that they didn’t have the time to talk more with the customer after a service issue had been resolved because they needed to quickly get on to the next service task. I felt they were throwing away an amazing sales opportunity–the customer was already on the line and in the mindset to be talking about insurance, but they were ready to move on to the next task.

Jan agreed that we needed to help the service team members make room for that sales opportunity and we needed to help them understand the importance of it.


Jan spent the next 6 months (the standard coaching timeframe) coaching me on all the pertinent areas where I needed help.

Some of the most interesting changes and powerful results we saw came from leveraging Focus Time within our organization. Jan introduced the concept of Focus Time in our coaching and I knew it would be a great solution for me.

What is Focus Time?

Focus Time involves blocking your most productive time of the day to do your most important work–work that requires deep focus and a sharp brain. Often, this time is spent thinking strategically about how you can run your area more efficiently or how to strategically grow the business. This is the time you work on things that don’t have deadlines, but are equally, if not more, important areas for your focus.

After Jan introduced me to the concept of Focus Time, I made the decision to roll it out to everyone on my team, including all of the service people. I believed strongly that Focus Time was an important strategy for everyone. By allowing them all the same luxury of having Focus Time, I saw some amazing results across the whole team.

For me, the use of Focus Time centered around two key areas:

  • Strategizing on growing the business and how to get the team to work together most effectively.
  • Leveraging time to get a task done that I dreaded. That included studying for my SIE (financial licensing) test, which I had been procrastinating on for some time.

It was critical that I do this during Focus Time. Because Focus Time is set during the time of day when you have the most energy and are more likely to be successful doing tasks you dread, it helped direct my focus to the task at hand.

Focus Time is also a set amount of time each day, so it makes tough tasks feel less daunting because you know you are only going to spend an hour on the dreaded task. Bite-sized chunks are easier to swallow.

The service team worked on the following during their Focus Time:

  • Instead of focusing on checking things off their to-do lists, they took the time to look at how they could improve the way they work. They thought more strategically about how to run their areas.
  • During this time the service team also created an Accountability Measurement Tool. The tool was meant to do two things:
    • Keep track of where they stand with all of the demands on their time so they could work more efficiently.
    • Have a dashboard so I could see their progress. Without the dashboard they found themselves just saying “we are so busy,” but had no tangible way of showing me that they were working smart and making progress. The dashboard facilitated a discussion between the service folks and myself, where I could tangibly see their progress and share my praise for their hard work.

The Accountability Measurement tool became a great motivator for the team, and we eventually included the sales side of the team in the use of the tool–it became a full team dashboard.

The Accountability Measurement tool is color-coded, so everyone can quickly see areas of risk. Green means that all is well, yellow means a team member needs to spend Focus Time strategizing on how to fix a problem, and red means that an area needs double the Focus Time. We review it as a whole team each week.

I found that once the team had a way to show me that they were working hard and making great progress, they felt more comfortable slowing down and talking to each client to continue to build strong relationships and ask for the sale. They were no longer rushing their calls so they could get to the next task in order to show me that they were busy.

The Service team is also using Focus Time to evaluate tasks that can be eliminated. Again, thinking strategically about how to continue to improve their area. Rather than just checking things off their never ending to-do list, they are stepping back and evaluating how they can work smarter. You need time to do this and Focus Time was the perfect vehicle to help.

  • For example, the service team uses it to track underwriting email follow-up items. In this way, they can batch their work and call underwriting one time for a list of related tasks.

The head of sales now also uses Focus Time to strategize on ways to help the sales team be more effective.

I believe the key for us was all being on the same page and holding each other accountable. As we were rolling out these new tools, Focus Time was still being taken over by what folks “wanted” to do. So now we are crystal clear that there are to be no sales calls made during Focus Time. My top salesperson pushed to have both Focus Time and a Call Hour for everyone each day. That adjustment has helped a ton. Call hour is finally being accomplished by those that never used to make the time to do it. There was immediate success with it!

A Note from Jan:

“One of the traits we see in successful business leaders is when the leader is willing to be vulnerable and admit their faults. It was wonderful to witness how Nick exemplified this. He would have honest discussions with the team and they were not afraid to share their struggles because they knew he struggled, himself. This allowed them to work together more effectively as they could problem solve together.”

I loved the additional strategies that Jan introduced as well, like “Delegate What You Hate.” This specific strategy empowered me to ask others who excelled at certain tasks to do the items I struggled with. It ultimately released the floodgates of progress so I was no longer procrastinating the tasks I hated and instead I was able to count on members of my team to help out. It freed up my time to focus on more important tasks.

Leveraging Technology:

With multiple offices and a growth strategy, I needed ways to be available to all. With Jan’s help, we leveraged the power of video to help me capture my thoughts and share them with the team in all locations. This also allowed me to be able to share those same thoughts with new team members without spending any more time on it.

I was already using video to capture processes and to streamline training, but I had not thought of it as a vehicle to also help continually instill my vision in the team. The “why” behind what they do is key for keeping the team motivated and working with a purpose. I find that my presence, like any leader, really makes a difference in the motivation levels, but since the business was expanding, I was having trouble being ever-present.


I was thrilled with the work that Jan and I did together, and continue to see positive results on a daily basis.

Here are just a few of the benefits I’ve seen:

  • I have more margin in my day.
  • My team is empowered.
  • There is more structure to how we work together as a team.
  • Focus Time across the team is working.
  • My team is now super resourceful and I see them as “productivity ninjas” where they are seeing opportunity for improvement and they are initiating it. They see the value of continually improving their work environment and the benefits it can have.
  • My email is now under control.
  • I am able to focus on where the money is.

Nick’s LinkedIn Testimonial:

“I first read Jan’s Amazon Best Selling book called Work Smart Do More. I was hooked and I had to meet with her. We proceeded to spend the next 6 months developing productivity in my organization.

We developed productive clarity for myself as the CEO of my organization. What should I be focusing on, what should be automated, and what should be delegated? We fit my sharpest time of day around my strengths using Focus Time.

Jan empowered me to become a more efficient delegator and put rules in place for myself around delegation. I now have more control and more margin in my day to focus on the mission critical activities that my team needs me to be doing.

Next, my team has been owning their day, respecting my time, and each other’s time, making us more productive as a team. We now have rules set in place that have diminished the ever so disruptive knock on your office door and the question “Do you have a minute?”.

We have broken office records over the last 3 months and are looking to have a record-breaking year.

Apart from the processes and strategies, Jan really helped with the psychology of delegation. My role in our organization has changed quickly to a CEO role and in some areas, I was still stuck back in the early days feeling as though I needed to handle certain tasks even when I know my team is awesome and can do it at a high level. Jan helped me process that mentally.

In all, Jan changed our organization in so many ways that cannot be put into 1000 words. She is the leader in productivity, but most importantly she is an amazing person and friend!”

A Note from Jan

“The goal of coaching is not just to solve today’s problems, but to help leaders understand how they think, where they normally get stuck, and what strategies and concepts work for them. We say these are lifelong lessons, as the goal is to continually go back to them to solve future problems. Nick learned a lot about himself during our coaching sessions and proved that even the very best can and should continue to strive for even higher levels of performance.”