Issue - July/August 2022


Be the Leader You Want to See

Michael S. Czarnecki, Vice President of Claims and Customer Service, National Forwarding Company and National Claims Services

My personal journey towards a leadership role and position within National Forwarding Company was somewhat of a trial by fire because my transition period coincided with the Covid years. Additionally, on the TSP/industry side of the business, major changes have been made to the DoD program over the last few years. These changes include a host of adjustments to the claims business rules and tenders of service, and an ever-rising bar to meet customer service needs and goals with our service members and agents. The last few years have presented quite a learning curve for myself and my peers.

I believe the toughest barrier to overcome was the constant transitioning between the office and home work environment in terms of planning how to not miss a beat with 20+ employees on my team. We soon learned what worked and what didn’t work, and have been adapting ever since. We realized from the start there was never going to be a one-size-fits-all approach, and I feel like going into it with that mentality really helped us transition as smoothly as we did.

Of course, just like many other companies, hiring and maintaining our workforce has been an absolute challenge as well. To be completely honest, I wouldn’t be where I am today at National Forwarding Company without the dedicated department I have around me. We are all constantly in contact and discussing different issues that are going on in this industry as well as specific claims. This continuous discussion within our office makes us all better at what we do—especially discussions about the different examples and endless ways to troubleshoot claims related issues. We consider ourselves jacks of all trades because the knowledge acquired from working in a claims department has a way of branching out into other departments and tasks—especially Move Management and Operations—so we’re all constantly getting better at what we do.

When I transitioned into this role, my number one goal was to have an open-door policy, meaning that I wanted to be approached and confronted with as many issues as possible. Another major value for me is to absolutely remain on the front line with my claims adjusters and maintain my own claims workload. My motivation to do more and help more stems from seeing how hard my group works; since that’s what I want in a leader, that’s what I strive for as a leader.