What is your role now since leaving corporate life?
I am a Business and Leadership Coach specialising in helping…
1. Managers and leaders in the insurance sector deal with the challenges of transitioning into a new role, building confidence and presenting the best version of themselves.
2. Entrepreneurs building their businesses, strategy, managing time, prioritising and delegating.
3. People at the beginning of their careers working out what they might be best suited to.
Area of expertise?
Coaching and Mentoring.
Highest/proudest most recognisable previous role?
Leader of the Insurance Groups at three City law firms, RPC, Eversheds and Waltons & Morse.
How long have you been doing this subject/area?
Please can you provide some examples of recent projects that you’ve worked on?
Working with the CEO of a new specialist MGA on how to prioritise, recruit a COO and restore some work life balance.
Helping a broker develop his management and leadership skills following his recent promotion to lead a team of 40.
Supporting an underwriter following promotion to lead his class in Europe.
Steering a head of IT away from doing and towards delegating and making time for himself and his own growth.
Supporting a senior broker with the transition to leading a team of 800 people
Helping a finance director appreciate some drawbacks of his communication style and helping him develop an interested, inclusive and less challenging approach
What is your unique selling point? What makes your business approach unique?
I combine positivity, warmth, humour, experience and empathy with challenge and support – whatever it is, it seems to work!
Can you name one professional high point from the last 12 months and what made it so good?
Receiving the following feedback from a client who, when we started, was thinking of leaving his job. By having conversations with his boss he realised that promotion was possible and a few months later he got what he wanted.
“When I first spoke to David I was treading water career-wise, unsure of which path to take next. Within 6 months I had a new motivation, a new energy, and I had been promoted to management. David’s coaching played an instrumental role. David’s coaching focused on discovering my strengths and then listening intently to my complicated mess of mixed thoughts before sculpting out a credible plan of action. David has an ability to cut through complexity like a surgeon with a scalpel, which meant that together we turned my mess of ideas into a coherent career plan which played itself out over the course of a few months. David’s coaching style is receptive and personal – a light touch which keeps revealing and re-revealing its value in your day-to-day career when you least expect it.”
We need to talk about…? What is, or what should be, hot on the industry’s lips in your view?
What we can do to support individuals’ mental health.
Please describe a challenging work scenario and how you resolved it?
It’s not just about business…The feedback one of my clients received from his superiors following his promotion to Head of Underwriting indicated a need to improve the way he behaved at board and management meetings.
He often came across as disengaged, not interested and slightly embarrassed; he would fidget and mumble. My client understood how he came across (unintentionally) when under pressure and that this was due in part to a lack of confidence, understanding and focus.
Underlying the lack of confidence was his home life, which was unravelling and contributing to a torrid time. We had to walk this elephant round the room and, although uncomfortable at times, by doing so it helped unlock the block.
After three sessions he had transformed his performance and presence at board meetings.
Do you have any words of wisdom for us or a short phrase that sums up your ethos?
Camelot members are in a privileged position to have the independence, time and experience from our prior corporate lives to help others in all sorts of different ways that weren’t available to us before. So let’s use it!
Do you have a Favourite quote?
Don’t sweat the small stuff.
Any professional goals for the upcoming year?
To get repeat business from three more insurers or brokers. To help young people and continue to provide free coaching to charity leaders and those less fortunate than me.
Why are you such an asset to the industry & the network?
Having worked in the Market all my professional life I understand how it works.
I am very lucky to be a very good listener with high empathetic skills which, combined with my experience, wisdom and insight, enables me to offer solutions, support and guidance that unblocks my clients’ blocks.
Why does your area of expertise need to be spotlighted?
Coaching should be available to everyone at the various testing points of their careers, whether at the start, mid point or at the top of their working life.
It pays dividends to provide coaching to junior and middle management. A few sessions can save months of anguish and wasted energy – the cost benefit is off the scale.
Most importantly what are 2 or 3 tips or giveaways that you can give to 1 or more of the following types of businesses?
Play to your strengths and manage your weaknesses. Don’t kid yourself about what you’re good and bad at. Get real and then work out how to focus on your strengths and what you enjoy and delegate your weaknesses.
CliftonStrengths Assessment is a quick and easy way to get a look at yourself. All of my clients find it very helpful.
Insurance businesses – startup/scale ups
I have seen start ups fail as a result of the founder working all hours and not being able to get perspective and seeking support and challenge Coaching is one very good way for founders to test their priorities, review their strategy, maintain focus and achieve a good work life balance – and it’s more fun than going to the gym! Check out my website for examples of my work and some testimonials.
Insurance businesses – established
Coaching also provides support and learning when your people take on a managerial or leadership role and need to learn to thrive at doing the stuff they have never been trained to do. Moving from being a high quality technician to a leader is not easy for some.
And… Last but not least, how does being a member of The Camelot Network help you/or add value to your business?
It’s wonderful to be part of an insurance sector network where all the members are keen to help and support each other. I joined in June 2021 and wished I joined eighteen months ago, when I was starting my business.