Getting Ahead

How This Manager Went From Part-Time Employee to Leading a Team of Her Own

Kim Power, the Director of Agent Customer Acquisition at AWL.
Kim Power, the Director of Agent Customer Acquisition at AWL.
| Courtesy of AWL

After Kim Power became a mother, she was looking to go back to work in a way that suited her life as a parent with two young children at home. “A friend told me about a part-time, work-from-home opportunity, which was the perfect way to ease back into the workforce,” she says.

Little did Power know that this position with AWL—an Austin-based company that helps insurance companies connect with consumers—would propel her career to new heights. Within just a few months, she was helping out on special projects with the sales team. “Soon after, I was invited to pioneer a remote role on the Customer Success team working directly with customers,” she recalls.

Since 2018, Power has been the Director of Agent Customer Acquisition—a position she wasn’t sure would be a perfect fit. “I never considered myself a salesperson, or even found an interest in sales,” she says. “But these last four years have been my favorite here at AWL. The change challenged me, but I soon found myself thriving in the fast-paced and exciting environment.”

Here, Power shares why you don’t need experience in the insurance industry to thrive at AWL, what she looks for in candidates, and the benefit of the company’s hybrid work environment.

You’ve been at AWL for almost a decade and have been promoted six times. How does this exemplify the way the company encourages growth from within?

AWL’s No. 1 asset is our people. We work hard to find talent that perfectly aligns with our core values. Keeping our focus on people and striving to place them in the right roles is what sets us apart from others. We believe in developing individuals based on their passions and interests, with leadership in mind. Leadership at AWL exists across roles, whether that is leading by example as an individual or directing a team. Either way, it’s about being better today than yesterday and growing together. In the past 10 years, my leaders and mentors have pushed me to identify those passions and interests, ultimately challenging me and preparing me for my next role.

What are the core responsibilities of your role?

As the Director of Agent Customer Acquisition, my core responsibilities focus on leading the team of account executives that are tasked with securing new customer demand across all insurance verticals. Their efforts ensure our large, diverse agent customer base is stable and growing. Simply put, I spend my time making sure we are focused on the right deals, driving results, and pushing the team to make the most money they can.

As you build your team, what are you looking for in candidates? What does it take to succeed in the roles you are currently filling?

It’s important to me to find potential candidates that are high energy, driven, and goal oriented. Strong communication and organization are also crucial to being successful in a transactional sales role like this. Ultimately, if a candidate is fearless and hungry and has a winning attitude, they can be successful here at AWL.

What is the biggest misconception about working in the insurance industry and how would you respond to it?

The biggest misconception I discuss with candidates is that it may be too complex to understand without previous experience in the industry. What’s great about the account executive role at AWL is that you don’t have to be an insurance expert to help our customers find success with our products. We let the agent customer be the insurance experts, then we provide the expert guidance on how to use our products and services to expand their agencies.

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your current role and how have you overcome it?

One challenge that comes to mind is ensuring I spend ample time forward thinking and planning what’s next for the team. The day to day in sales at AWL is fast and exciting, and it’s easy to get distracted by that. Putting strong managers in place to help lead the pack and empowering them has been instrumental to our success.

What have been the keys to your success as a director?

Surrounding myself with strong leaders, learning to delegate, and remaining steadfast even while navigating challenging times.

How do you practice work-life balance? Are there any related benefits or perks that you take advantage of at AWL?

If I’m not at work, I’m with my family. It’s a real privilege to work for a company that encourages and supports the balance we all need as individuals. I am very thankful for a flexible hybrid work environment, a generous paid time-off benefit, and a supportive team that always has my back.

You’re organizing a dinner party with your biggest role models. Who’s invited and what will you talk about?

Jesus Christ. I would look forward to celebrating His unconditional and abundant love for us all. I’d give thanks to the story he has written for my life and praise his perfect timing and plans. And maybe I’d ask for a sneak peek into future adventures!

Updated 9/9/2022