“As you progress up the corporate ladder, your focus becomes less about your technical skills and more your people management and communication skills”, says John.
Having previously held leadership positions with Marsh and Willis Towers Watson, the industry veteran, who joined Risk Strategies in 2017 and became CEO in 2019, reflects on his career progression and transition in to the C-suite.
“Effective self-reflection and awareness have helped me understand my skill set and continue to grow it”, explains John as he emphasises the need for effective delegation skills, time and calendar management in his position as CEO.
John shares his biggest career achievements – highlighting how he’s preserved the culture and values of Risk Strategies founder, as the business has grown to revenues of $1bn and over 125 offices – as well as how’s he dealt with being overlooked along the way.
“What I realised was that I had an imperfect view of my skill set. I turned that view in to a plan of action.” John stresses the importance of sharing our career ambitions and aspirations with management and the importance of constructive feedback, maintaining that too often there’s an emphasis on technical expertise and not enough focus on the soft skills of personal brand, public speaking and human capital management.
John imparts how the business is investing in tech & digital for the benefit of both clients and associates and gives his thoughts on the biggest challenges for executives and the industry, as well as the characteristics that make Risk Strategies such a great place to work.
Sharing the three skills and behaviours of change agility, self-reflectivity and a focus on growth, that he demands in new talent, John also emphasises his frustrations when recruiting.
“There’s a lot of people out there who want to move but lack the confidence to pull the trigger. They believe their value proposition is the company they’ve worked for, not the skill set they’ve developed.”
He concludes by encouraging us to challenge ourselves. “I tell our associates they’re capable of doing so much more than they know. It requires us to get a little uncomfortable at times, but that’s where the real growth occurs.”
The Insurance Coffee House Podcast is hosted by Nick Hoadley, CEO, Insurance Search, the Executive Search Consultancy for growing Insurance and Insurtech businesses across the globe.