First He Protected His Country, Now He Protects His Clients: Alliant’s Noah Hardie
Noah Hardie has always thought himself a protector. It is a devout purpose that has governed all his decision making, from what sports positions he played to the career he set out to master.
For Hardie, protecting people was always the job to do.
So, after graduating high school, Hardie immediately enrolled in the United States Air Force Academy, where his childhood dream of becoming a pilot came to fruition.
“I was about five years old, and from that point forward, I decided I was going to be a pilot,” he said. “So it seemed that the smartest way to do that was to go to the Air Force Academy.”
“I was born and raised in California. I was there up until I was 17 until I left for the Air Force Academy,” said Hardie.
“Since then I’ve been pretty itinerant. In the military you move every two years. And after the military when I worked for the government, you also move every two years. So for most of my life post- college I moved every 24 months. I was lucky enough and blessed enough to have lived in a lot of different countries…France, England, Malta, all over. And that was my young life.”
After four years of military service, Hardie continued his work in service of his country by working for the FBI. His roles within the military and government enabled him to fully embrace his inclination to be a protector.
“I felt like I was protecting the American people, and that’s what I did.”
Now, Hardie resides in New Orleans with his wife, whom he calls an admirable teammate, and his four sons. He is a senior vice president at Alliant Insurance Services, a role that is a significant change from a career in the military and government.
Though the day-to-day operations between his career in insurance and public service differ, the driving force behind why he chose to walk down each path are one and the same.
Insurance as a Fulfilling Career
Though he used to spend his time working to protect his country, Hardie views his job as an insurer in a similar fashion. Now he’s protecting someone’s business and livelihood.
These “someones” have become much more than just clients to Hardie. Many of his insureds become friends, and even family, something that could be potentially tricky for some, but which Hardie views as a motivating factor.
These close-knit bonds make it so that Hardie works twice as hard to never leave his clients disappointed, treated unfairly or left to miss their goals. Hardie genuinely understands what concerns keep his clients up at night. And he doesn’t want to ever let them down.
“You don’t want to disappoint your family,” he said with a smile.
Hardie’s role as an insurance executive does not keep him chained to his desk every day, as he believes that does his clients and company a disservice. It’s important to him to understand the full picture of not only his client’s business but also the risks they are looking to mitigate.
This includes regular visits to client businesses and a familiarity with their operations. It also means Hardie strives for careful understanding of coverages so he can serve as an advisor to clients, rather than simply sell policies.
Support Throughout Any Endeavor
Hardie believes that his clients deserve more than a bare-minimum effort, and he undoubtedly knows that he can deliver on what they need. He credits his work ethic to his practices of discipline and patience, two qualities instilled in him from his time spent in public service.
Who else does Hardie credit to his success in his diverse career?
“It’s kind of a cliché answer, but I think my parents have really had the biggest effect on me as mentors,” he recalled.
His father instilled in him the importance of maintaining qualities of honor, integrity and duty. While his duty has shifted from country to client, Hardie’s unwavering mission is always to perform that duty. The value of integrity his father taught him has played a significant role throughout his life.
“My dad always said, ‘Your integrity is the only thing people can’t take away from you. That one you must give away.’ ”
Hardie’s mother taught him meaningful lessons on empathy.
“She drove home that you have to try to understand where people are coming from. It’s important to be empathetic and understand not just your clients but also your underwriters, too.”
Hardie practices empathy in the office. He acknowledges the benefits of being an empathetic leader, because understanding the people around him, no matter the issue, is of the upmost importance. If the team isn’t succeeding as a whole, then no one individual can succeed.
Coincidentally, Hardie recognizes that reminding himself of this is his biggest challenge.
“You can’t always drive, drive, drive. You must take time to make sure everyone around you is coming along with you, and you’re all going in the right direction and not scattered in your efforts.”
Bringing It All Together
A career as an Air Force officer or a government worker differs entirely from what a broker does every day. Hardie has shown what remains universal are the lessons each have provided him.
And each career has fulfilled him in the same way.
“What’s important and fulfilling to me in my work today is what was important and fulfilling in my work before, which was putting myself out there to protect my people. Whether it’s my team in the field, my countrymen or my clients, that’s what I’m all about. I’m all about protecting those people.”
And while the content of his job as a broker stimulates him, it’s not the technicalities of the business that get him out of bed every morning; it’s the motivation to truly better the businesses, and thus the lives, of the people he serves.
For Hardie, it has always stemmed from a desire to take care of people: “That’s the job for me,” he said. Simple as that. &