For Regional Vice President Mindy Seibold, success comes from seizing opportunities and leading with empathy
Mindy Seibold joined GEICO for reasons similar to many of the organization's 40,000+ other associates: she was graduating college, wanted to stay close to family and friends in Buffalo and needed insurance and other benefits.
"It's funny. I certainly didn't have insurance in the back of my mind when I was growing up," Seibold sad. "I was actually heading to New York City and was accepted to a graduate program, but life threw some curve balls. Then, GEICO opened an office nearby and so many friends and family obtained employment that I thought I'd give it a shot."
At the time, the plan was to save up, gain experience and go to graduate school in 2 years.
"You know what they say about best laid plans," Seibold added.
What Seibold didn't realize was the flexibility GEICO provided.
In the first couple of years, GEICO was just a job that ticked some necessary boxes. However, as she continued to grow, her curiosity took over and she began investigating the different aspects of the business.
She signed up for training programs and exceled in that environment, but, at the same time, her performance on the phone with customers varied from excellent to just proficient.
"I realized that so much goes into performance. When I thrived on the phone, it was partly due to great leaders who could get the most out of me and great teammates—it was all about having the right support and clarity of expectations," Seibold added.
As Seibold approached the end of her first 2 years, she sought advice from supervisors, who provided genuine guidance. They asked about her ambitions and were very clear on what the company could and could not provide.
"Based on those conversations a very different idea of my next 10 to 15 years emerged," said Seibold. "GEICO really did provide all the possible pathways to attain the success I desired for myself and my family."
At that point, Seibold was fully invested in GEICO and, from the mentoring experiences she received, realized she wanted to mentor and teach as well. So, she began a program to become a trainer.
"I loved it—you had new associates, eager, coming in the door and I could paint a picture of how they could succeed at GEICO and impart the necessary skills and temperament to thrive," said Seibold.
By the time Seibold was promoted to supervisor, this desire to help others was ingrained and it migrated into her managerial style, leading to successes. Seibold's first team was, 'in need of improvement,' and, within six months, they excelled.
"It was less about 'we're the best' and more about being able to come to work and take pride and ensure those working for me didn't have to go home and have a tough conversation about not feeling successful at their job. I take that personally," Seibold added.
Seibold was happy as a supervisor and didn't focus on "climbing the company ladder," yet that's precisely what she did.
GEICO allowed Seibold to tap into her love of learning through a variety of company–driven managerial, business and other opportunities.
As she gained these insights and credentials, Seibold advanced in her career, which carried her back to where it all started as Regional Vice President in Buffalo.
"It's exciting that we work for a company which provides many ways to learn," said Seibold. "If you're curious and you like change, GEICO is a great place to be."
Being a Compassionate Leader
Seibold never forgot what made her tick and those early experiences that set her on a path to success.
Every time she makes a decision, she thinks about every associate and every customer that could be impacted. She wants to be able to stand in front of them and explain the 'why' behind every decision.
"My style isn't revolutionary. It comes down to three things: be the kind of person that people want to work with and for," Seibold said. "While you need to be knowledgeable, being a subject matter expert does not, in and of itself, make you a good manager, soft skills are important too; and practice what you preach."
Throughout her career, Seibold has attacked new opportunities with confidence and worked tirelessly to accumulate new skills and expertise. She has a drive to be the best for her people and the company, but she reiterates that "you can never forget to treat everyone with the respect and compassion they deserve."
GEICO (Government Employees Insurance Company), the second-largest auto insurer in the U.S., was founded in 1936 and insures more than 28 million vehicles in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. A member of the Berkshire Hathaway family of companies, GEICO employs more than 43,000 associates countrywide. GEICO constantly strives to make lives better by protecting people against unexpected events while saving them money and providing an outstanding customer experience. Along with personal auto insurance, commercial auto and personal umbrella coverages are also available. Homeowners, renters, condo, flood, identity theft, term life, and more coverages are written through non-affiliated insurance companies and are secured through the GEICO Insurance Agency, Inc. Visit geico.com for a quote or to learn more.