Liberty Mutual’s Susanne Figueredo Cook Demonstrates What a Good Leader Looks Like
Not everyone is equipped with the skills to become a great leader.
For one thing, those who lead must be good at their job in addition to inspiring others to be good at theirs. For another, a leader must listen to the people under their tutelage and take into consideration many points of view in order to set a winning strategy and successfully deliver value to the organization.
Susanne Figueredo Cook stands out in that regard.
That’s because Cook, with 20 years of insurance experience under her belt, understands what good leadership looks like. And as the chief operating officer for Liberty Mutual’s Global Risk Solutions (GRS) strategic business unit, she’s employing her skill of inclusive leadership to garner results.
“One of the main things I appreciate about my role as a leader is the unique perspective that the people I lead bring to the table,” she said. “Their experiences, their perspectives, what makes them unique.”
This inclusion of thought and team diversity is the backbone of her leadership style, and it’s a big part of GRS’s future plans. Early in 2022, GRS set off on a quest to create new leadership roles that would help it more easily bring together resources and expertise from across the globe to help brokers and clients better manage complex risks. Cook’s position was one such role.
“I’m responsible for a broad range of capabilities from the policy life cycle management to billing and collections,” she explained.
From the point when a client needs an insurance product to protect parts of their business down to issuing the contract, Cook oversees the policy, quote handling and communication around understanding the coverages being applied.
She and her team are also key stewards for GRS’s global data investments: “We’re accountable for enabling a global data strategy and delivering data solutions across GRS to ensure our technology investments are bringing forward value,” she said. “That they are ultimately making it easier to do business with Liberty.”
The biggest motivation for Cook — and by extension, GRS — is finding the best way of working on a local scale to drive global operations.
“I haven’t been brought on to fix anything. I’ve been brought on to take the individual capabilities of our team and find a way to bring them together to have that global scale while having it feel local when we’re transacting with clients,” she said.
It’s a tall task but one Cook is already embracing through her actions. And if her ability to take her fellow workers’ perspectives into account makes her a good leader, her approach to building her team makes her a great one.
“My job is to be a servant leader,” she said. “Find the best talent, put them in the right positions, train them in the right way.
“In order for us to be successful, [I must] quickly recognize where I can best offer a skill to the team or look to my left and right and know what the person on my left can offer and the person on my right. Collaboration is incredibly important, because no one person in any mechanism can solve a problem or deliver the output on their own.” &
Susanne Figueredo Cook has been selected as a 2023 Risk & Insurance® Executive to Watch. To see the other executives selected this year, visit here.