A great friend and long time client, Pat Foley is a very effective leader and manger. He has developed a Theory of Management that has become known as Foley’s Law. All great leaders never forget these 3 things:

  • It all starts with a team
  • Be clear on expectations
  • Care enough to hold people accountable for results

To be an effective leader and manager, there are two critical skills that need to be developed. The first is the ability to build strong and deep relationships with your people. They have to trust you and feel safe and respected in the relationship. The second is the ability to confront them on issues they need to address. It is about holding them accountable and pushing them to work at the highest level of their capability. The challenge is to find the appropriate balance between relational and confrontational.

Typically, each of us has a pre-disposition. Some of us tend to be more relational; others are more challenging and confrontational. If you are good at building relationships with your people and unwilling to confront, you will get mediocre performance. Conversely, if you are strong on confrontation, but weak in building relationships, you will have high turnover and your people will burn out. Successful relationships are built on a judicious blend of the two approaches, where managers build trust and aren’t afraid to hold their people accountable to assigned tasks or functions.

R + C = High Performance

The key to high performance is in balancing relationship building and confrontation.

How can you improve?

  • Spend 15 minutes a day in relationship building. Good relationships — professional or personal — take time. And you don’t have to spend endless hours to have a positive impact on someone. Regular snippets of focused time add up.
  • Confrontation once a day. Confrontation is an act of respect. You won’t survive long without knowing the consequences of your own behavior. Nor can you be successful as a leader if you are unwilling to give feedback to team members when their behavior interferes with your goals or the goals and objectives of the team.

Pat Foley is the president of Individual Life and Financial Services for the companies of OneAmerica. In his role, Pat Foley oversees all sales, service, marketing, product development and profitability for OneAmerica’s life, annuity, and asset-based long-term care products. In addition Pat is responsible for OneAmerica’s retail general agency system and its broker dealer; OneAmerica Securities. Earlier in his career, Pat Foley built and grew a top 10 general agency and has served in senior executive roles at Genworth Financial, Allianz Life of North America and Prudential. An avid supporter of the industry, Pat Foley has also enjoyed leadership roles in GAMA and the CLU Society, as well as having been an International board member for LIMRA.