Tim Leman

Tim Leman

Tim is Chairman and CEO at Gibson. He joined Gibson in 2005 as the Director of the Employee Benefits Practice. He led a major overhaul, transforming the division into one of the leading employee benefits practices in the Midwest. In early 2007 he became a principal and later that same year was appointed Chief Growth Officer. In 2009 he was named President, in 2011 became Chief Executive Officer, and in 2014 Chairman of the Board.

With Tim’s leadership, Gibson has been selected as a Best Places to Work in Indiana, named to Principal’s 10 Best list for employee financial security, maintained its status as a Reagan & Associates Best Practices Agency, recognized as one of 20 Indiana Companies To Watch, and named to the Inc. 5000 list. Read Tim's Full Bio


Recent posts by Tim Leman

2 min read

Business Is A Team Sport

By Tim Leman on Apr 2, 2021 6:30:00 AM

Who is your all-time favorite teammate? What virtues do they demonstrate that endear them to you?

It’s likely they epitomize what Pat Lencioni has labeled an Ideal Team Player (ITP):

  • They are humble – without concern for their own status.
  • They remain hungry – always pursuing growth and giving their best effort.
  • They’re smart when it comes to people and relationships – emotionally intelligent, exercising good judgment and intuition within the team.

Topics: Executive
2 min read

Advancing Our Just Cause

By Tim Leman on Mar 5, 2021 6:30:00 AM

We are playing an infinite game at Gibson. The purpose of our game is different from the finite games most of us are used to playing.

Our desired “win” is not to beat some other group, but rather to keep our deepest values “in play”. It’s our values – being authentically lived out by our amazing employee-owners – that’s creating our greatest impact. From our own employees, to our clients, friends, and community members, we’re in business to help others find their edge.

Winning a new client, hitting our numbers for the quarter, or nailing our annual goals are all meaningful milestones or measures of progress. We aim to achieve those. But they are only finite scores, with defined winners (and losers). Even a multi-year plan is just that: a longer-term goal with a specific outcome, and still a defined end.

Maybe a “goal” of continuing play doesn’t sound very exciting to those on the outside. Perhaps it inadvertently signals a lack of accountability. Nothing could be further from reality.

Topics: Executive
3 min read

Decisive Leadership Required

By Tim Leman on Feb 5, 2021 6:30:00 AM

Uncertainty is chronic.
Instability is permanent.
Disruption is common.
We can neither predict nor govern events.

As Jim Collins writes in BE 2.0, a ‘new normal’ doesn’t exist. “There will only be a continuous series of ‘not normal’ episodes.”

GULP. What to do?

It’s never been more important for leaders and their teams to be rapidly improving their readiness. Those most prepared, and willing – the ready – will be able to adapt and thrive. For the unready, whether they realize it yet or not, the future will be a scary and unpleasant place.

Leaders must act clearly and decisively. Accountability and discipline will be key. So will humility, vulnerability, and fairness.

As Collins considers his work over the past thirty years, he comes back to what might be the principle he’s most closely associated with: first who, then what. Successful organizations will be the ones with the right people (RP) in the right seats (RS) on the bus.

Topics: Executive
3 min read

The Edge

By Tim Leman on Jan 8, 2021 6:30:00 AM

Have you ever felt you might be on the edge?

Like individuals, teams also find themselves on the edge. It can run the gamut between being in a precarious position, almost there, before the fragile bonds holding everyone together begin to break; to one of great excitement and pure joy, roaring down the hill together after the long climb up.

What separates those special teams – the kind, if we’re lucky, we get to be a part of maybe three or four times in our life – from the more mundane, but solid experiences?

Topics: Executive
3 min read

Top 10 Blogs Of 2020

By Tim Leman on Dec 18, 2020 6:30:00 AM

Another year of blogging is in the books! 

In what has been a strange and challenging year for everyone, I hope these posts brought you some insight, nuggets of wisdom, or perhaps opportunities for reflection in 2020. 

Here are the most popular leadership blogs of the year:

Topics: Executive
3 min read

Let The Games Begin

By Tim Leman on Dec 4, 2020 10:23:30 AM

Did you claim victory over 2020, or did it get you?

How you answer that question has much to do with the kind of game you’re choosing to play: finite or infinite.

Topics: Executive
1 min read

Excellence Is The Next Five Minutes

By Tim Leman on Nov 6, 2020 6:30:00 AM

This year our team has been talking about the Infinite Game, from Simon Sinek’s book. He talks about winning in a totally different fashion than I think we’re all used to.

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Winning is about staying in the game, continuing to play, not giving up, and being resilient.

This concept can sometimes feel overwhelming. It got me thinking about another book our team at Gibson drew on in recent years - The Excellence Dividend by Tom Peters. One of things I found most useful in this book was that Tom talks about how excellence is all about the next five minutes.

Topics: Executive
2 min read

Study Your Worthy Rivals

By Tim Leman on Oct 2, 2020 6:30:00 AM

Growing up in the world of sales, and especially cutting my teeth during my formative years at an incredibly sales-centric organization, I was taught to greatly dislike my competitors. You might even say from time-to-time that I “hated” them. I suspect many can relate to this.
 
I was coached to never be around or hang out with the competition. I believe the exact quote was, “They can’t buy any insurance from you, so why would you spend time with them?” I didn’t know why I disliked them, just that I did. 
 
However, as I’ve studied and learned more about the infinite game, I’ve realized that is not who I am. My natural mindset is one of abundance. And being someone who is quite resilient and always focused on the long game, I’ve really connected with Simon Sinek’s Infinite Game.
 
Yet unwinding years of training, observation, and mimicking my more experienced sales colleagues took some hard mental work.
Topics: Executive

Building Trusting Teams

By Tim Leman on Aug 7, 2020 6:30:00 AM

Building trusting teams is critical. A team can accomplish more and endure longer, together, than they can alone. It’s a key part of playing the infinite game.

Topics: Executive
2 min read

The Capacity For Existential Flexibility

By Tim Leman on Jul 10, 2020 6:30:00 AM

“The lesson is that resilience is about flexibility.” - Aron Ralston, author of Between A Rock And A Hard Place

Beyond the normal day-to-day elasticity running a business demands, playing the infinite game requires existential flexibility. What exactly is existential flexibility?

Simon Sinek describes it as, “The capacity to initiate an extreme disruption to a business model or strategic course in order to more effectively advance a Just Cause.” In other words, it’s a big-time offensive maneuver and not to be confused with the defensive adjustments companies make when facing changing client needs or market conditions.

Topics: Executive