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Thank you to the 1,400 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 questions!
I hope reading

7 Questions with Richard Beaven

helps you in your leadership.



Jonno White

7 Questions with Richard Beaven

Name: Richard Beaven

Current title: Former Chief Operating Officer

Current organisation: Brightside Group

With over 40 years in financial services ranging from banking to insurance, I have been a C-suite member for over 15 years and on the board of several companies

7 Questions with Richard Beaven


1. What have you found most challenging as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise?

Leading through major crisis be they financial or issues like the pandemic

2. How did you become a CEO or executive of a large enterprise? Can you please briefly tell the story?

I had a long career in Barclays where I ran the branch network, I then moved to the Bank of New York running a custody business in Europe. I was headhunted to join Reuters where I was the global head of service and was part of the Thomson Reuters deal team. I joined the insurance market as the COO of Lloyds Banks general insurance business. Subsequently I have been the COO of two insurance brokers both of which were sold in market trade sales. My sweet spot is leading change in businesses the need to build a new business and operating model

3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?

I am religious about not working silly hours or weekends. My day is punctuated with proper away from the desk breaks and when we are in the office I prefer to walk around to see people rather than the coming to me. Meetings are either 25 mins or 50 mins. The day always starts with a Directors meeting called ‘what matters most’ which keeps focus on the key things. Each of my leadership team has a 30 mins call every week and and hour once a month. We meet collectively for an hour a week with a longer monthly performance review.

4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?

That it is possible to manage 5 generations in the workplace but it takes a lot of thinking about. What worked for baby boomers doesn’t work for gen-z and we don’t need offices to thrive

5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?

In spite of the Gods - a book about India which helped me understand that amazing country and it culture and to enjoy many work visits

6. How do you build leadership capacity in a large enterprise?

Recruit talent not friends, rake risks on people, it’s always rewarded. Get clear on priorities and get out of people's way - allow them to lead, support, help and challenge. Exit the weak with compassion.

7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise so far?

My work on diversity and inclusion is the most meaningful of my career. Seeing people scared to bring their whole selves to work and feeling so much better about who they are when they do is a wonderful feeling. Creating a culture of safety and inclusion in the companies I work for is the best achievement.

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