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Insuring career success

WS talks to top CEO James D. Ericson

by on
in Leaders & Managers,Workplace Communication

Jim Ericson, 63, runs one of the best life insurance companies in the United States: Northwestern Mutual. The Milwaukee-based giant is the country’s largest provider of life insurance. Its 2.8 million policyholders own more than 5 million policies. Readers of both Fortune and Worth magazines have selected Northwestern Mutual as their favorite insurance company.

Ericson joined the company in 1965 as an attorney. In 1972, he became assistant to the president, and this accelerated his rise up the ladder. We spoke with Ericson about his climb and the lessons he’s learned about managing people.

WS: Your career took off after you began working with the company president. What was that like? Were you nervous at first?

Ericson: He was a very dominating individual. My first meeting with him was at 7:30 at night when he discussed a project he had in mind for me. After explaining what he wanted me to do, he looked me in the eye and sai...(register to read more)

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