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Kelly’s Career – it Takes a Team

What motivates you?

My team motivates me, 100% and the people I meet along the way.  I really do pride myself on having a fabulous team.  I always try to lead from the front. I can often be found putting the desks together, cleaning toilets and kitchens, unloading lorries in the building of the new High Street Branches which are our main ambition this year.  I will never ask anyone on my team to do something I am not willing to do myself.

Also communication!  I absolutely thrive on networking, communicating with people and listening to their ideas.  Communication is a two-way street, it’s not just about talking but listening also and I think it’s quite important that we remember that.  I am happy to say, we are quite good at doing that at Clegg Gifford.  We do like keeping things fresh and exciting and keeping everyone working with us engaged.

What inspired you to change from the retail sector to insurance?

I would never have considered insurance before, to be honest, and that’s a massive shame.  I always thought that it would be dull because it is a part of the financial industry, but now that I’m here, I know insurance is not boring at all.  It’s far from it, believe me.  When I was approached and Toby the CEO sat me down and explained what is possible in the insurance sector, the thrill and the challenge made it much more attractive.  That’s why it’s so important for me to share my story with you and for you to tell other people about it.  I hope it will attract more people to a diverse and challenging sector.

How has your experience in different industries informed your approach in the insurance sector?

Operations is such a diverse department and encompasses so much of how a business functions, from that perspective it’s similar from industry to industry so essentially my approach is the same.  It doesn’t matter whether you are in retail, insurance, or education.  The Operations team for me is the engine room and the heartbeat of the company.  That doesn’t change from sector to sector. So, I would say my approach has been the same in the cross-over from retail to insurance.  Yes, being a regulated sector complicates things a bit, but not too much.

My approach to my work has always been about communication, networking and curating a stellar team. People aren’t always good at recognising their own strengths – but I know I’m good at identifying people’s skill sets and securing an amazing team, blending the right mix of characters and perspectives. This ensures the team functions smoothly and all the expertise that we need is there.

I love surrounding myself with people who both challenge the status quo and complement the direction of a project in equal measure.  I don’t need yes people, I prefer to be challenged to achieve best practices.  I like to think that people reporting to me are perfectly capable of doing my job, keeping me on my toes and helping me to constantly learn and grow.

What are your daily tasks and responsibilities?

I have two sets of duties.

The first set is anything that’s not insurance and is handled by my team.  It can be recruitment onboarding, events, marketing, compliance, facilities and leases, setting up new branch openings and making sure they have everything that they need to start.  Because, in the beginning, it is just an empty shell, I run the whole project from start to finish, with the exception of Finance and IT.

The second set is managing the new CG branches.  We have opened five branches so far, with five more to come.  Hopefully, you have seen them on CG’s Social Media pages.  Mr Unique and Miss Flexible attended the opening events.  All the branches report to me.  I’ve been involved from start to finish in setting each and every single one up, starting with the location and all the way to launch.  As I’ve said earlier, including lugging chairs and desks in, mopping the floors, and serving drinks, I’m very hands-on and lead from the front.

My current project and maybe the most important at the moment is seeking new products for the branches that are: sustainable, affordable, unique and flexible.  It all sounds like a lot, but thankfully I have an amazing team behind me that empowers me to do my job, as I empower them to do theirs.


Part 3 : Kelly’s Career – The Award Winning Woman

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