What it means to be first; What it takes to be first.
Who doesn't want to be first? Being in first place, being first in a lunch line or getting out of the parking lot first after a ball game has its rewards. We can all be first in something. We can be the first to congratulate someone, to say thank you or to offer assistance.
The first thing for many risk managers is a serious student or employee injury. This can change the course of a day or a career. Getting to the scene of an accident first is important. Being first with a valuable loss control resource or a positive word of encouragement has helped many risk managers become the first person that others go to when they need advice.
Peter Drucker says that an effective executive "puts first things first." Is being number one at what you do the thing you put first? What about being the first to volunteer, the first to ask for help or the first to step aside so that someone else can move ahead. There are many ways to be first.
Who was the first school risk manager? In 1977, the California Association of School Business Officials assisted in preparing "Administration of the School District Risk Management Program." An earlier 1969 edition may have been the first published guide for school risk management.
Was Schools Insurance Authority, Sacramento, the first group self-insurance plan for schools? Or was it Texas Association of School Boards Risk Management Fund? Insurance companies have been created by school districts in three states. Was School Boards Insurance Company of Pennsylvania first or was it the New York Schools Insurance Reciprocal?
Cheryle Mangels of Colorado School Districts Insurance Pool was the first risk group executive to become president of the Association of Governmental Risk Pools. James Huckaby, Mesquite ISD, TX, was the first school risk manager to serve as president of the Public Risk Management Association. On January 1, 2011, Scott Clarke, Miami-Dade Schools, will be the first school risk manager to become president of the Risk & Insurance Management Society.
For school risk groups, being first might make all the difference. Are you #1 in member service? Is your risk control program the best of the best? Are you first in the minds of your reinsurers?
Being first to introduce a new program is another way to become #1. Creativity and concentration are often the key ingredients of being first.