“Never apologize; it’s a sign of weakness.”

John Wayne famously uttered those words in the film “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon,” but for those of us who aren’t The Duke and don’t live in a 70-year-old Western, apologies are sometimes necessary. Witness the backlash when a celebrity caught behaving badly makes an insufficient or insincere apology (“I’m sorry if I offended anyone” and such).

Like anything else, however, apologies are subject to the “too much of a good thing” phenomenon. Excessive apologizing can undermine your effectiveness as a leader. It’s not a sign of weakness, but it can weaken others’ confidence in your abilities. Saying “I’m sorry” over and over again is like saying “I messed up” over and over again. Who wants to work with someone who’s always messing up?

Worse, “over-apologizing can desensitize your listeners when you want to deliver a sincere and necessary apology,” Donna Moriarty writes at careercontessa.com. “The more you say you’re sorry, the less power it has. Remember the boy who cried wolf? If everything rises to the need for an apology, then nothing does.”

Read the complete article here.

By Chia-Li Chien, PhD, CFP®, PMP®, Assistant Professor and Director of Financial Planning Program at California Lutheran University

Robots are whirring their way into our lives. My husband TC and I were in San Francisco two years ago. I was on a business trip, TC visited friends and families. One night after our dinner, we went to the Mall for a walk. We found this robot that asked my husband if he’d like to learn how to dance. TC hesitated but the robot started to show some dance moves with a song. After 30-seconds or so, TC said, "Oh, this is stupid!" The robot immediately stopped and said to my husband, "Would you like to learn another language?" I laughed so hard, and I believe the robot is smarter than my husband!

Robots have been helping with our daily chores for decades. I grew up having a rice cooker as a typical kitchen appliance. Today, a cat could press the button for you to get your rice done. A couple of years ago, I bought a bread machine so I can have home-made whole grain bread. I make mostly Chinese steam buns from the bread machine today. Did I mention that your cat now supervises the vacuum robot at your home? While you are busy at work, your cat oversees its operation. Obviously, people programmed robots to help us. Robots tend to help us free up time so we can enjoy other more important things like eating, living, and entertainment. Having robots or automation is not new in the financial industry. Robo-Advisor is the latest trend where the primary focus is to reduce costs for investors. According to Stat Bank from Journal of Financial Planning, robo-advisors managed assets worth $75 billion in 2018. The same report indicated that robo-advisors are in the upward trend to $250 billion assets under management by 2020.

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By Mary Ann Cook, SVP Knowledge Resources, The Institutes, and Executive Director, American Risk and Insurance Association (ARIA)

In the risk management and insurance (RMI) field, finding and recruiting the right talent is a bit like hunting a mythical creature. Legend has it, applicants, with the right skills and interest in RMI exist, but sightings are few and far between.

With a quarter of insurance professionals less than 10 years from retirement, the much-publicized talent gap in the insurance sector has put considerable focus on the need to seek out that elusive talent early in their careers and on college campuses. Stereotypes, and even some surveys, suggest that college students and young people aren’t interested in RMI jobs. In my own research, the preliminary results suggest the exact opposite. Talented, eager and engaged future insurance professionals are right in front of us. We just have to know where to look. From there, it’s a two-step process to helping them launch and maintain an RMI career.

Read the complete article here.

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For more than 80 years, WIFS has been committed to attracting, developing and advancing women in the insurance and financial services profession. Members, partners, exhibitors and sponsors benefit from connection and mutual respect for professional development and education-focused interaction rather than career opportunity promotion.