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Equitable President Nick Lane asks: How do you keep score?

March 29, 2023
Equitable President Nick Lane asks: How do you keep score?

Nick Lane

Equitable President asks: How do you keep score?

Don Yaeger’s Corporate Competitor Podcast Episode 139

Playing lacrosse at Princeton taught Nick Lane that there are different ways of “keeping score,” whether the “game” you are playing is on a field or in a business or, simply, in life. One way to keep score involves winning, which in collegiate lacrosse ultimately means winning the National Championship. By that definition, Lane certainly learned how to keep score at Princeton as the Tigers won two national championships during his undergraduate years.

Today, as the president of Equitable, in charge of the company’s Retirement, Wealth Management and Protection Solution businesses and its Marketing and Digital functions, Lane keeps score using a different criteria, one he also learned at Princeton playing under legendary coach Bill Tierney.

“The role of a leader is to make people better,” said Lane. “What truly made Coach Tierney special, and I think this is true of all great coaches, was that it wasn’t just about winning the games. He wanted to change people’s lives.” And it was his coach’s notion of keeping score by the impact you have on people that Lane also extended to his own career in business.

“What do you do for the American public? What do you do for your clients? How are you helping them be successful in their journeys?” asked Lane.

By now, it should be clear to readers that Lane is a strong proponent of servant leadership, the practice of taking responsibility for your team’s success, while, in turn, holding individual team members to a high level of accountability. Like a great coach, a great business leader makes people better by setting a certain tone, helping teammates develop their individual skills, setting goals for the team and helping every team member believe in the team’s purpose—and in each other.

In the podcast, Lane shares lessons learned not only on the lacrosse field and C-Suite, but also as a Captain in the United States Marine Corps where he was responsible for a wide range of logistics, training and other areas. Listeners to the podcast will learn:

  • Two pieces of information every leader should use to coach and mentor others.
  • How incredibly easy it is to cut corners in practice, and how incredibly hard it is not to suffer as a result when you’re playing for keeps.
  • How living and working in Japan in the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster taught Lane that caring was the universal language of highly respected and successful leaders.

To be a good servant leader, said Lane, you keep score differently. “Your communication skills or industry knowledge don’t matter as much,” he said. “It doesn’t matter what culture you’re in. If people see that you care, they will follow you.”

You will learn:

  • 8:00 How to emphasize the power or “we” on your team.
  • 15:00 How to discover the level of employee interaction required to achieve success.
  • 18:30 The difference between being accountable and responsible.
  • 27:00 How to identify a meaningful friend or mentor.


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Equitable is the brand name of the retirement and protection subsidiaries of Equitable Holdings, Inc.

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