Most of us have watched and/or read about the Sochi Olympics. I marvel at the dedication and commitment that it takes to even qualify for the games, let alone win a medal. The sacrifice, perseverance and preparation that is required to become a world-class athlete is mind boggling. The games are divided into individual and team sports.

The individual events include the giant slalom, slope style boarding and figure skating. These sports rely on your individual efforts. Then there are the team sports: pair skating, cross country relay and hockey.

I was fascinated with team hockey. Most of the other team sports allow significant time to practice together, to understand the subtle nuances of your partner or team member. Many of the pairs skating couples have skated together for years. Hockey takes the best players in the world, from various teams and leagues, and puts them together by country. They may have two to three days to practice together prior to going into battle. How is it possible for these gifted superstars to practice for three days and go out on the world stage and perform at such a high level? I don’t understand, but am truly amazed.

Olympic hockey symbolizes all that makes our business great. It is characterized by the interdependence we have between our producers, staff and carriers/service providers. It’s the magical coordination of all three entities that makes for a championship team.

A producer can produce, but the retention of the client is dependent on the efforts of the support staff. The carriers play an integral part of the equation, by not only providing quality product, but providing a high level of timely service to satisfy the needs of the producer and client. Should one of the legs of the stool fail, the client experience is fraught with potential disaster.

We have a responsibility and obligation to be sure our team is competing at an Olympic level. Are you and your team a gold, silver or bronze medalist?

Torelli, CLU, ChFC, MSFS, is and EBA Advisory Board member and president of Newport Beach, Calif.-based e3 Financial.

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