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

3 min read

The Antidote To Success Disease

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

Legendary 49ers football coach Bill Walsh coined the term Success Disease to describe the overconfidence and arrogance that often follow an initial level of personal and organizational achievement. Walsh described it as a sense that, “We’ve mastered it; we’ve figured it out; we’re golden.”

“But the gold can tarnish quickly,” he added. “Mastery requires endless remastery. In fact, I don’t believe there is ever-true mastery. It is a process, not a destination.”

Walsh learned this firsthand in 1982 as his team only won a third of its games after being crowned Super Bowl Champions just one year earlier.

Businesses face the same challenge. Prevailing wisdom says Success Disease can be battled by setting and managing the right goals. While goals can provide direction and short-term motivation, they have much less to do with our results than the habits and systems we follow.

Topics: Executive
3 min read

A Healthy Obsession

By Tim Leman on Jun 4, 2021 6:30:00 AM

“Leadership is the art of getting people to want to do what must be done.” - Jim Collins

One of the marks of a great team is decisive leadership. Fostering organizational and team health is a leader’s #1 job, as no team will ever be healthier than its leader.

Let that sink in. Ms./Mr. Leader, how healthy are you? Before alignment can occur within your organization, ensure you’ve put in the work on yourself.

Topics: Executive
2 min read

Bat In The Cave

By Tim Leman on May 7, 2021 6:30:00 AM

What separates the great teams from the rest? It all starts with trust.

A lack of trust, where vulnerability is not respected or rewarded, leads to fear of conflict among team members. Without healthy debate and critique, they never go deep, causing an absence of commitment to develop where team members avoid accountability all together. Team members pursue personal gain and status over team victory. Ultimately this inattention to resultsteam results – brings an end to a once promising group of talented individuals.

Pat Lencioni has named this chain reaction of failed leadership The Five Dysfunctions of a Team in a book by the same name. I suspect most of us have been on a dysfunctional team or experienced dysfunctional leadership.

Topics: Executive
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