Take 5: Keith Summers

Keith Summers, Manager of Agency Relations

Keith Summers came to LCI in November 2018 after over 20 years in the workers’ comp industry. Keith spends his time interacting with insurance agents across the entire state of Louisiana so that they can understand the strengths of LCI.

What’s your favorite app at the moment?

It is most definitely the “Find My Friends” app. Of course, none of my friends will accept my invitation to follow them, but I’ve made it a requirement for my kids and wife to allow me to follow them since I pay for their phones. I’m a father of two college-aged daughters and a son in high school. At the heart of being a good dad (in my opinion) is the ability to track and stalk. And technology has allowed me to be a better stalker. And aside from the alerts from Capital One, I can usually pinpoint my wife’s whereabouts to TJ MAXX or some other retailer.

What’s the last book you read?

I listened recently to a wonderful book on Audible while commuting to and from my home in Baton Rouge and my office in Mandeville. The book, Lead….For God’s Sake, was recommended to me by one of our agents, Mitch Cholley with The Firm of Louisiana in Lake Charles. It has spiritual overtones and the ultimate message deals with how we treat and view others. It calls for sacrificing our own agenda to make others better. I realized that I don’t always do that and have often put myself ahead of others. I love a healthy debate but sometimes I’m perceived as being argumentative. This book offered a wonderful perspective on servant leadership, and it definitely showed me I have so much to learn.

The last book I read was The First 90 Days. A good friend recommended it to me when he heard I was changing jobs, and I was able to read it during the two weeks between my transition to LCI. The book presents leadership methods from two different perspectives. 

The first perspective revolves around an employee who is promoted from within a company and how that employee has to now manage his former peers. It was interesting to read about how to effectively lead a group of people who know you for who you are, the good and the bad. I actually skipped over most of that section because the other half of the book dealt with a manager leaving one company and going to work in a management role for another company. This was my situation, and I needed to see this perspective. I had been with the same company for 24 years, so my desire was to learn how to effectively transition to a new company. I had not thought about how I might be affected by a different office culture, office politics or just new people in general. In my prior job, I knew what to expect in so many areas, having known many of my coworkers for 15-20 years, and I discovered that I was really not prepared to walk in to a brand new environment and be an effective leader. As a matter of fact, I learned that transitions can be very difficult, but they can also present wonderful new opportunities to learn, grow and make new friends.

What’s the first album you bought?

How about my first 45?  “Cherry Cherry” by Neil Diamond. I was probably 3 or 4 years old and listened to that song for hours on end. First album? Probably something by Glen Campbell, KISS, or Jim Croce. I had a very eclectic (and odd) taste in music.

Where was your favorite vacation?

It would have to be my honeymoon to Cancun with my wife Laura. The island boat excursion and visit to a remote emergency room hut were both memorable but for different reasons. But I was with the one I loved and will never forget that week. The water was the most beautiful I had ever seen even to this day.

Where is your favorite hangout?

This is a most difficult question because the answer is not limited by physical  boundaries. My Favorite Hangout is wherever I am able to spend time with my family. It can be at one of many restaurants, in the car, in a cabin or a condo in another state, or just at home in our living room (or dancing in our kitchen). 

As my children have grown older and they are forging their own ways; our times together do not occur as often as I would prefer. We have to be intentional. It took some time to realize how to prioritize, and I am still learning to do so, but the memories made with Laura, Amanda, Julia and Sam are most valuable to me and wherever we are together is where I want to be.

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