Lessons In Leadership: One On One With Terry Cavanaugh, Former CEO of Erie Insurance Group

Posted in Knowledge Vault / Posted by choi

I spoke to Terry Cavanaugh, former CEO and President of Erie Insurance Group, about his journey and best advice Adam: Thanks again for taking the time to share your story and your advice. First things first, though, I am sure readers would love to learn more about you. What is something about you that would surprise people? Terry: I love to cook! I am close to being a gourmet chef. I am self-taught and love all aspects of the kitchen […]

QUESTIONING – a tool, weapon or dead end?

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The act of questioning is a consistent in the business world. In its best form It is the singular tool that all in the food chain of commerce use to learn, evaluate and make decisions. It is the key ingredient to sound management and staff development. Questioning should provide a platform for fact gathering, uncovering reasoned opinions and determining the knowledge/skill of your associates/team. Questioning can also can create dysfunction and a toxic culture. Questions in the wrong forum and […]

Leadership and Legacy: When Enough Is Enough at the Top

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Purposeful Preparations Terry Cavanaugh gave himself a 10-year tenure when he became CEO of Erie Indemnity Company in 2008, following a 33-year career with Chubb Group of Insurance Companies. Cavanaugh was 55 years old at the time and planned to work until he was 65. His projection was off by one year—he retired a few months shy of his 64th birthday. Close enough. “In my mind, there’s a half-life to being in any job, and as you go up the […]

Lessons learned: Bruises and Bouquets

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I had many failures that created bruises sprinkled with a few bouquets for effective operational excellence and leadership. Remember both bruises and bouquets do not last forever but their memory should! Use that knowledge and emotional recollection to grow and repeat success and minimize failures. Good leadership is all about self awareness with the willingness to improve, adapt and provide ongoing value to your team, organization, customers and shareholders. Below is my primer on what is important for all leaders […]

Mentoring is not a math exercise!

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The Wall Street Journal recently highlighted a failed mentoring program at PayPal based on matching mentors and mentees using an algorithm. Based on their business model and the emerging world of analytics this foray made sense for their operational platform. As a former CEO in the insurance industry I too believe in data and analytics but not in the mentoring space! To their credit they have admitted they missed the mark and are more focused now on the “human connection” […]