Lisa Corless is President & CEO of AF Group, a premier provider of innovative insurance solutions. Before joining AF Group, Lisa served as COO for Texas Mutual Insurance Company. She holds numerous professional honors including the Woman of Influence award from the Austin Business Journal, and the 2017 Women to Watch award from Business Insurance. "Leadership to me means 'Servanthood.' I have found so much personal reward in understanding and working to meet the needs of others."
What does leadership mean to you?
For me, leadership is built around three essential elements. The first and obvious one is “Team” – because any success I have as a leader is, in large part, because of the teammates who are committed to our collective success. Leadership also means “Collaboration.” Throughout my career, some of my proudest moments have been those achievements that were accomplished alongside a talented and inspired team working together toward a common goal.
Most importantly, leadership to me means “Servanthood.” I have found so much personal reward in understanding and working to meet the needs of others. A servant’s mindset has enhanced my relationships, created exceptional friendships and has provided me with deeper meaning in my role and life.
Who has influenced your idea of leadership?
My dad was certainly the person who helped me frame what it means to be a leader, and his consistent example has modeled me at a very early age. Beyond that, I’ve been inspired by those who lead or have led with vision and empathy, including Eleanor Roosevelt, Lee Cockerell and Maya Angelou. But honestly, the greatest influencers on my career have been teammates along the way. I’ve been fortunate to partner with many talented individuals who have let me know when I’m getting it right, provided helpful perspective when I’m getting it wrong, and offered genuine insights on how I can improve. And fortunately, I am still learning in the process.
Why do we need more women in leadership roles? What do they add to the table?
We need more women in leadership roles, and also greater diversity in these roles. Research has made it clear that diversity provides the opportunity for greater success, as shared ideas help us see things from differing perspectives and world views, which results in better outcomes and an inclusive, innovative workplace. We’re making amazing progress on this as a company, and the issue is being raised in such positive ways across the business world.
How are you leading in your career/community?
There are a number of things that I am involved with in our community -- not so much as a leader -- but as someone who is concerned about keeping our community a great place to live and work. In particular, I have a great passion for our health care delivery system in the region and am very involved with the Sparrow Foundation. I am also actively engaged with AF Group’s work to partner with area schools and universities to explore creative ways to build our future workforce.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
After many years in Texas, the Lansing area has truly become home to my husband and I. The deep relationships we have developed here reflect the sincere and altruistic nature of the people across our community. I am so proud to be a part of this wonderful, vibrant region.
What is the best way for someone to contact you?
Via email: firstname.lastname@example.org