A Management Idea


Traditionally when people think of managers they think of people in an office behind a closed door. There is the idea that this person is not approachable and they are separate from the office culture around them. By contrast the idea of “management by walking about” (a phrase coined by Tom Peters in his work “In Search of Excellence”) is that mangers actively walk around their environment and interact with their team. In this article, we are going to look at this method and how you can make sure you can manage by walking about in an effective way.

Learn about your team
Essentially if you know what your team does it becomes easier to manage. For example, a CEO of a waste management company went on the trucks in order to see how waste was disposed and how the team did it. Having this practical knowledge therefore made it easier to manage because you knew how their day to day routine worked.

There is also the added benefit of people feeling less intimidated by you as a manager. If you can physically see the people in charge then you are more likely to talk to them- if you have ideas you can share them and if you have a problem then you will be more confident that your concerns will be addressed.

Follow up
It is not enough to simply be visible- if someone raises an issue with you when you are doing a walk around and you do not follow it up then they may feel you do not respond well to feedback or that you are not genuinely invested in this approach.

Furthermore, the approach is not “one size fits all”- some people prefer managers to be more hands off and allow them to get on with their work. Others may feel that an excessive presence of management in their working environment may be intimidating, feeling that they are being watched or observed as they work.

As with any management approach you need to gauge what is appropriate- this can either come from your own personal observations or from feedback (or more likely a combination of the two.)

The most effective way to manage in this way is to listen more than you talk- when you ask questions try to do so in a way that feels natural and try not to be too personal. It is not always easy but you can usually tell from body language or how someone responds whether or not they are comfortable with the questions you are asking.

Equally it is okay to say if you do not know the answer to a question and that you will follow up and find out, this is better than trying to bluff and being found out later on!

If this concept (MBWA as Tom Peters calls is) it is appropriate for your working environment and you can tailor it to your team it is potentially a way to make them feel more included and to make for a stronger bond between the management and the team working with them.

Please check out our website www.rightinternational.com if you have a vacancy that needs filling or need advice on your own career development.

Gary Pike MD  Right International

Tel: 01932 837798  Email me Click Here 


How To Ask For Feedback

feedbackThere is an old saying “If you don’t ask you don’t get.” When it comes to feedback as a leader this is crucial- you need to know that people get what you are trying to do and that they understand the targets you get and the goals you are trying to achieve. However, there are ways of asking and it is important to know the effective methods of asking for feedback in order to get what you need.

The problem

Essentially as people we deal with a difficult conflict- on the one hand we want to grow and learn in order to develop skills and build on experience. On the other is the need for acceptance, for people to understand what you want to do. Unfortunately, sometimes these two competing ideals in your mind can clash and this is why people can feel uncomfortable both in terms of giving feedback and taking it.

Different methods

There are various ways that you can get feedback. Anonymity can be beneficial- a suggestion box or an online survey can allow people to say what they think without feeling that someone will be judging them for it.

On the other hand, receiving information face to face can help too- in this instance what you need to do is be proactive and tell people that they can say what they want to you and that this is an important part of the process.

Feedback is learning

Another way of developing the feedback process is to get out of looking at evaluating situations in terms of “right” or “wrong”- by emphasising that you are looking at where things can be improved or developed then you can make it easier for people to look at situations in a constructive way and allow them to help you develop the process a bit more. Essentially the idea is that everyone can help each other.

You need “loving critics”

It is also fair to say that when it comes to criticism having people constantly moan is not productive either. Most people can identify the difference between constructive criticism and people who want to get a rant off their chest. By contrast people continually saying everything is great are not being constructive either, especially if they are afraid to give their true opinion.

However, if you can frame a conversation in the right way it often becomes easier to guide people into how they are giving the feedback and to make sure that it is helpful. Likewise, when it comes to you giving feedback to them you can be more empathetic before you say what you need to discuss with them.

Essentially the idea is to produce “loving critics”- people who want you to succeed (especially as it is for their benefit) and will give you what you need to hear as opposed to what you want to hear, allowing you to develop as a leader and in turn for the team to develop through this process.


Please check out our website www.rightinternational.com if you have a vacancy that needs filling or need advice on your own career development.
Gary Pike, MD  Right International 
Tel: 01932 837798  Email me Click Here


10 Ways to Build Your Mental Strength

Developing mental strength takes a conscious effort, dedication and daily practice. 

Start with these 10 exercises to work out your mental muscles.

1. Establish goals.
The human brain is naturally predisposed to reach for and achieve goals. And not just one big goal, such as I want to lose 50 pounds. Also set more manageable short-term goals such as I want to work for 30 minutes without checking my phone or I want to reply to all of my emails by noon today.

With each goal you achieve, you’ll gain more confidence in your ability to succeed. You’ll also learn to recognize when your goals are unrealistically ambitious and when they’re not challenging enough.

2. Set yourself up for success.
Becoming mentally strong doesn’t mean you have to subject yourself to temptations every day. Make your life a little easier by modifying the environment.

If you want to work out in the morning, leave your shoes next to the bed at night and sleep in your gym clothes. If you want to eat healthier, remove the junk food from your pantry. When you set yourself up for success, you won’t exhaust your mental energy trying to resist the urge to sleep in or to dig into a bag of potato chips.

3. Tolerate discomfort for a greater purpose.
Discomfort can lead people to look for unhealthy shortcuts. Rather than deal with a problem, they reach for something that provides immediate emotional relief—drinking a glass of wine or binge-watching their favorite show, for example. But those short-term solutions can often create bigger long-term problems.

Practice tolerating discomfort by reminding yourself of the bigger picture. Push yourself to work on your budget even though it causes you to feel anxious; run on the treadmill when you feel tired—don’t escape the discomfort. The more you tolerate discomfort, the more confidence you’ll have in your ability to do difficult things.

4. Reframe your negative thoughts.
Strive to develop a realistic yet optimistic inner monologue. Reframe catastrophic thoughts, such as This will never work with If I work hard, I’ll improve my chances of success.

You can’t eliminate all of your negative thoughts. Everyone has rough patches and bad days. But by replacing those overly pessimistic thoughts with more realistic expectations, you can stay on course and equip yourself to manage the bad days.

5. Balance your emotions with logic.
You make the best decisions when your emotions and logic are in sync. If all your decisions were emotional, you wouldn’t save for retirement because you’d be too busy spending your money on what makes you happy right now. But if all of your decisions were logical, you’d live a boring life devoid of pleasure, leisure and love.

Whether you’re buying a house or thinking of a career shift, consider the balance between your emotions and logic. If you’re overly excited or especially anxious, write down a list of the pros and cons of moving forward with the decision. Reviewing that list will boost the logical part of your brain and help balance out your emotions.

6. Strive to fulfill your purpose.
It’s hard to stay the course unless you know your overall purpose. Why do you want to earn more money or hone your craft?

Write out a clear and concise mission statement about what you want to accomplish in life. When you’re struggling to take the next step, remind yourself why it’s important to keep going. Focus on your daily objectives, but make sure those steps you’re taking will get you to a larger goal in the long run.

7. Look for explanations, not excuses.
When you don’t perform as well as expected, examine the reasons why. Look for an explanation to help you do better next time, but don’t make excuses for your behavior.

Take full responsibility for any shortcomings. Don’t blame others or the circumstances for your missteps. Acknowledge and face your mistakes so you can learn from them and avoid repeating them in the future.

8. Do one hard thing every day.
You won’t improve by accident. Purposely challenge yourself. Of course, what’s challenging to you might not be to someone else, so you need to analyze where your comfortable boundaries are.

Then pick something slightly outside those boundaries and take one small step every day. That could mean speaking up for yourself when it’s uncomfortable or enrolling in a class you don’t feel qualified for. Push yourself to become a little better today than you were yesterday.

9. Use the 10-minute rule.
Mental strength won’t magically make you feel motivated all of the time. But it can help you be productive, even when you don’t feel like it.

When you’re tempted to put off something, use the 10-minute rule. When you eye the couch at the time you planned to go for a run, tell yourself to get moving for just 10 minutes. If your mind is still fighting your body after 10 minutes, give yourself permission to quit.

Getting started is often the hardest part. Once you take the first step, you’ll realize it’s not nearly as bad as you predicted, and your other skills can help keep you going.

10. Prove yourself wrong.
The next time you think you can’t do something, prove yourself wrong. Commit to doing one more pushup at the gym or closing one more sale this month.

Your mind will want to quit long before your body needs to give up. Prove to yourself that you’re more capable than you give yourself credit for, and over time, your brain will stop underestimating your potential.

article by Amy Morin



Please check out our website www.rightinternational.com if you have a vacancy that needs filling or need advice on your own career development.

Gary Pike MD  Right International 

Tel: 01932 837798  Email me Click Here 

Be Direct

be direct

One of the big problems people often have with offices is “office speak”. If people hear someone using euphemisms they don’t understand (a classic cliché being “Let’s put it up the flag pole and see who salutes” or “singing from the same hymn sheet”). What people want is clear instructions that they can understand and as a leader it is your responsibility to make sure people know that.

Talk about the matter at hand

One problem people have in life as well as in work is that they may talk about the other person rather than what they need to do. In business terms try not to say “You need to do this”.

It is better to say “You need to do this because we have this particular goal that we need to achieve and if you do this then we will be able to achieve it.”

The trick is to do so in a way that has conviction- people often focus as much (if not more) on the way something is being said as the actual content of the message someone is giving them.

Don’t say I’m sorry

In politics they say “Never apologise, never explain”. While this is not quite true in business (it helps to explain a bit) avoid prefacing any instructions with “I’m sorry but” as it negates what you say. In order to make a statement positive just state it!

Acknowledge disagreement

Inevitably there will be some negative feedback and some people may feel the need to call you on what you have to say. The best way to deal with this is to maintain a polite but firm approach, acknowledging what someone has to say but then giving them a clear counter argument and then move on.


As with “I’m sorry but” you should remove “With all due respect” from your mental dictionary. The phrase often puts people on the defensive as it can come off as a bit patronising and this may mean whoever you are talking to becomes harder to communicate with as they feel (rightly or wrongly) that you are looking down on them.

Authenticity is key

If you try to act tough but don’t want to follow through people will see that. Empty threats with no follow through will result in a team not respecting you. Equally it is important not to be a pushover either and you need to maintain self-confidence.

Authenticity is about giving a message that you believe in and doing so with a passion that comes from you. If you want to be a leader it is not about giving orders or getting people to like you but getting a team together to achieve a common goal. If you can create that with your team then you have an opportunity to achieve great things but it has to come from you and your own self-belief rather than trying to create a front that you want people to like/be afraid of. In short tell people what you believe in and in a confident way and it is likely they will want to follow!

Please check out our website www.rightinternational.com if you have a vacancy that needs filling or need advice on your own career development.

Gary Pike MD  Right International 

Tel: 01932 837798  Email me Click Here

Holidays Over – Time to Build Your Team

team builderNow that the holidays are coming to an end, it is a time that many companies are planning for the final quarter of this year and looking towards 2018.

The key to successful growth and profits is to ensure that you have “…The Right People on the Bus, The Wrong People off the Bus and the Right People in the Right Seats”, to quote Jim Collins “From Good to Great”.

With this in mind I would like to present a selection of the “Right People” who might just be what you are looking for on your bus!

Here are a short selection of such candidates that have confidentially asked us to help them in their next career move.

General Manager – Product & Pricing – Leading Technology Company
Experienced at Board level decision making resulting in exceeding aggressive profitable growth expectations with innovative product & pricing solutions for motor & home insurance

Broker Distribution Director – Leading Insurer
P&L, performance management and commercial strategy for commercial book

Commercial Director – Leading Insurance Intermediary
Achieves high performance through commercial strategy, new product development, digital development and the management of external data and retail pricing

Director of Fraud – Leading Insurance Intermediary
Approved person, responsible for all insurance counter-fraud defences, internal and supplier fraud

Operations Director – Leading Insurance Intermediary
Consistent record of exceeding financial targets whilst delivering regulatory compliance

Strategic Claims Manager – Leading Insurance Company
Manage strategy and business improvement recommendations across multiple UK regions

Active Underwriter – Lloyd’s Syndicate
Responsible for syndicate underwriting strategy and performance

For more details on these candidates please contact me.

Alternatively please tell me what you’re looking for and I’ll guarantee a shortlist of the best candidates in the market within 20 working days.



Gary Pike
Managing Director
Right International Headhunters
Tel: 01932 837798
Mob: 07710 313 663


How Can Leaders Promote Creativity?


People often talk about “thinking outside the box” or “the need for innovation.” In some cases this can be achieved by a group that is allowed to think for themselves, in other instances an individual can come up with an idea everyone else didn’t think of. Whatever the way you get to a creative solution it is important for leaders to know how to encourage creativity.

Be supportive

One of the problems with encouraging a different mindset is that it can be at odds with the business environment. This is not simply a case of adding a pool table or some nice ferns- it is more about the mindset and finding ways to use it effectively.

For example let’s say that you are looking to sell ice cream. It is a particularly cold summer with a lot of rain. A creative person may look at this and think “We could focus on selling to places that are not dependent on the weather, such as theatre and cinemas.”

Encourage a team approach

Some people in a team can feel threatened by creative individuals. It may be that their ideas at odds with how they do things or in some cases it may be a clash of personality.

The trick with this is to encourage a team approach early on. When you first meet the group ice breakers can help people get to know each other. Improvisation can be a great tool with this as well as the exercises can be fun but can also allow people to ease back on the logical side of the mind and instead adopt a more free-flowing approach to ideas.

Keep them stimulated

It can be difficult to keep someone with a more imaginative approach occupied. This is not to go with the “tortured artist” cliché but often they may find it harder to do certain types of work and this may mean they find it harder to stay focused. This is why it is important to consider what roles people play and whether they are suited to the particular tasks you give them.

Equally this can work the other way as well- someone who is very organised may not necessarily be confident over the phone so would be better suited to an admin role rather than a sales role. This doesn’t mean anyone is right or wrong and ultimately it is about finding the most appropriate roles for the individuals in your team.

Let people learn from their mistakes

This is arguably one of the more difficult aspects because as you are expecting people to fail. In an exercise you should look at what happens when a task goes wrong and offer feedback- it is about getting people to use their skills and adapt.

A constant process

Of course feedback can work the other way as well- a creative person may have noticed a way to make your work process more efficient but may find it intimidating (again it is a cliché but some creative people can also be very introverted).

Using anonymous feedback forms, surveys and suggestion boxes can be just a few of the ways to encourage a dialogue. In short if you can create the right team ethos and environment you can help creative individuals flourish.

Please check out our website www.rightinternational.com if you have a vacancy that needs filling or need advice on your own career development.

Gary Pike MD  Right International 

Tel: 01932 837798  Email me Click Here 



Insurance Interim’s – Immediate Impact!

rising scaleAre you looking for additional help or support with a particular project or assignment?

We’re representing a number of experienced candidates IMMEDIATELY AVAILABLE for Interim/contract opportunities:

Interim candidates immediately available include:

CFO – Private Equity and PLC
Track record of driving profitable growth, profit improvements and deal execution.

Motor Claims Operations Director /Supply ChainLeading Insurer and Network Supplier

Marketing/Product DevelopmentLeading Personal Lines Broker
Market strategies and using data and insight to deliver innovative and considered propositions that deliver growth and demonstrate customer value.

COO – Commercial Broker
Transformational change, sales force upgrade, business optimisation, best practice process review, operations; future state operating model design.

Online Trading ManagerLeading Broker
Experience of creating new innovative strategic alliances to expand online distribution and product reach.

Director of FraudLeading Insurance Intermediary
FCA CF1 & CF11 approved person, responsible for all insurance counter-fraud defences, internal and supplier fraud

Operations DirectorLloyd’s Market
Compliance, risk, change leadership, service and process improvement, increasing effectiveness, productivity, cost reduction.

For more details on these or other Interim candidates please contact me.

Alternatively please tell me what you’re looking for and I’ll guarantee a shortlist of the best candidates in the market within 20 working days.

For Current vacancies click here

Gary Pike
Managing Director
Right International Headhunters
Tel: 01932 837798
Mob: 07710 313 663

Know Your Team

TeamIf you are the leader of a team then people are going to come to you. They will expect you to make decisions on their behalf and the chances are they will come to you if they have any problems. In order to get the most from your team it is important to know who they are.

Ask around

The chances are if you are new to a business then you are working with people who have worked with your team members before. Therefore, do not be afraid to ask- who are the people who are the most self-confident and who needs a bit of cajoling? Who works best on their own and who works best in a team? This may sound obvious but if you know this in advance it becomes easier to assign people in roles that are best suited to them.

Get to know people

There are various ways to break the ice- one of the simplest is to post a survey and get people to talk about their family, interests, career goals etc. Then when you have the first meeting you can talk to the team and help them get to know each other a bit better as well!

Team building exercises can help as well but sometimes the simplest methods can work best- a post-work meal or a trip out after achieving a big target can make a big difference.

One-on-one time

While the team is important one-on-one time can work well. You can get to know someone on a deeper level and find out what their personal goals are and what they want to achieve. If you can find out what drives them it then becomes a lot easier to motivate them.

Talk informally

The danger is that you can do all of this work when you first get to know the team and then keep your distance. While an element of that is important (you are still ultimately their boss rather than their friend) your communication should not be solely restricted to official statements, reviews etc.

Being able to discuss things informally (either one on one or smaller groups, not everyone at the same time) makes it easier to know more about them. This can also help if you need to learn about things that could potentially affect their work (illness, stress, losing a loved one etc) and can adjust your plans accordingly.

Don’t be intrusive

As with anything in life there is also a balance- do talk with them too much as it could make them feel uncomfortable. If it seems that someone doesn’t want to talk or feels a bit awkward it is alright to move on or postpone a talk for a later point.


Finally, as well as working together it is also worth discussing things after a project has been completed or at the end of a busy sales period. This is a good chance for the team to give you feedback as well so you can adjust your leadership approach as well.

In short getting to know your team and who works best will allow you to get the most from them but equally working with them can help you improve your skills along the way as well!

Please check out our website www.rightinternational.com if you have a vacancy that needs filling or need advice on your own career development.

Gary Pike MD  Right International 

Tel: 01932 837798  Email me Click Here 


Top 10 Interview Tips



Having personally interviewed and hired numerous people for my own business, as well as working with my team preparing candidates and clients for interviews, I wanted to share my top 10 tips for success with you.


1. Be on time and anticipate travel problems.

This sounds really obvious but if you arrive late it sends out the wrong message and can put you into panic mode, affecting your performance.


2. First impressions do count!

Be sure to look smart but do not overdress. My mum always said clean your shoes and smile!


3. Do you have a role profile?

It is essential that you are clear and understand the key responsibilities of the role you are interviewing for.


4. Be prepared – research research research!

When interviewing individuals for my own business or when prepping a candidate before meeting with a client, I expect (and so do clients) that you have done your homework. E.g. What new products have they launched? What is the background of the person you are meeting with? What do you have in common? *Key factor, be careful not to over ‘name drop’.


5. LinkedIn! Do you have mutual connections?

Could you confidentially reach out to a contact to gain any further insight on the company or the person you are meeting with?


6. Where can you add value?

Put yourself in the shoes of the person interviewing you, what can you do for them and the business they work for? Give clear examples that back up your statements. * Key factor, be precise DO NOT waffle.


7. Based on your knowledge of the role and company, anticipate the questions you are likely to be asked.

Make sure you work through clear logical answers to those questions. E.g. if the role requires travel/relocation, be clear on how you would approach this subject.


8. What more do you want to learn about the opportunity?

Have a number of key questions you want to ask, show you’ve done your homework and are genuinely interested (if you are!)


9. I personally like “If I was hired and 12 months down the line you said I had done a great job, what would you expect me to have achieved?”

I like this questions as it gives clarity on expectations and shows the hiring authority is clear on what they are looking for. It also allows you to consider if it is something you are capable of doing and gain clarity on what some of the challenges will be.


10. Money!

If the subject of money arises, I would always suggest sharing your current/last role base salary/package but do not get drawn into a discussion around expectations on a first meeting, unless there is a real disparity between what the client is prepared to pay and your current package. If this is the case, it would be worth having the discussion early on in the process. If working with a recruiter, they should manage this process for you.


I hope you found this helpful. Please let me know any of your top tips.

Gary Pike

Founder & MD

Right International Insurance Headhunters

Everyone Lives By Selling Something

handshake There are a lot of people out there that don’t think they are sales people. However, in reality the skills needed in order to sell something are skills that we use every day. Essentially everyone lives by selling something all the time even if they are not necessarily aware of it.

When you go out on a date do you just turn up and hope for the best? Some people might but generally speaking if someone really wants a date to go well they smarten themselves up, maintain eye contact and do their best to present themselves in a positive way.

Likewise, if you go for a job interview at one of the best venture capital executive search firms the best candidates tend to research the company- they look into the executive recruitment company who is interviewing them, learn the language of the company and do their best to reflect what they feel are the positive attributes that their potential employer sees in themselves.

There is an old saying that “people buy from people”. You don’t necessarily need the smartest suit or the firmest handshake (and indeed that can put some people off!)

Let’s say for example that you run a café. This can be difficult because there are a lot of cafes out there. What you need to do is find out what makes yours stand out.

You have to let people know about it- your promotion should reflect this, showing people that you believe in what you are selling.

It is important to emphasis that there is a difference between self-confidence and arrogance. A self-confident person puts people at their ease whereas an arrogant person wants to dominate.

To go back to the example of the café you want to stand out. However, in your promotion you talk about how terrible chain restaurants are and how you are better for being independent or how your coffee is much better than everyone else’s.

As any sales and marketing recruitment agencies would tell you it is more effective to focus on the positives and to encourage people to be a part of what you have to offer then to infer that you feel they need to be educated that you are superior to them.

Just to be clear being positive doesn’t mean you will always get what you want- learning to deal with rejection and learning from mistakes is equally a part of maintaining self-confidence.

Ultimately whether you are looking to get a raise, a promotion, want someone to take a flyer in the street or sell a product you are selling something and often that thing will be you.

As stated before it may be a cliché but it is a cliché for a reason- people really do buy from people. Your body language, the way you communicate and how you do it will affect whether or not you achieve a positive outcome.

In short learn to be your own cheerleader, your own PR and your own manager. Spread the positive words and keep pushing.

Please check out our website www.rightinternational.com if you have a vacancy that needs filling or need advice on your own career development.
Gary Pike MD  Right International 
Tel: 01932 837798  Email me Click Here