“Who Is Your Top Influencer Right Now?”

Four CLM fellows chime in on this month's question, including Nicholas Conca, Markel's managing director of claims.

By Bevrlee J. Lips

“Simon Sinek. In his book Start with Why, he provides a model of the “why, how, and what” that makes companies and people function at their highest level of ability and innovation. The discussions have helped me to take a fresh look at why we do what we do as an organization.”

1. Robert Ruryk, President and CEO, North American Risk Services. CLM Fellow since 2009.

“I am very fortunate to have been guided by some wonderful mentors throughout my career. Today, I’m mainly influenced by those I serve, such as our customers, our broker partners, and Markel’s
underwriting management.”

2. Nicholas Conca, Managing Director, Claims, Markel. CLM Fellow since 2013.

“I’m still influenced today by a previous CEO, who taught by example to lead to each individual’s needs; to play to their strengths and not try to fix every weakness. That person also showed me how giving people more responsibility and trust improves morale and performance.”

3. Lola Hogan, Vice President, Claims, Sequoia Insurance Company. CLM Fellow since 2010.

“Starwood CEO Frits van Paasschen recently challenged our team with the maxim, ‘Done is better than perfect,’ a favorite of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. After pondering the concept, I now fully agree that driving results, effecting change, and pursuing progress are essential to success, even if further refinements are necessary along the way.”

4. Stephen Truono, Vice President, Global Risk Management & Insurance, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. CLM Fellow since 2010.



Percent of successful executives who learned their most important lessons through influencers. Source:  Center for Creative Leadership


Percent of organizations that plan to increase use of leader development coaching over the next five years.

Source: Fast Company


Percent gap between the worth of companies with good leaders and those with weak leadership.

Source: Deloitte


Percent of companies that have truly integrated succession management programs.

Source: Center for Creative Leadership


Number of businesses using influence rater and builder Klout.

Source: Klout

Bevrlee J. Lips was managing editor of Claims Management magazine (now CLM Magazine) from January 2012 until March 2017.

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