Being an insatiable socialite, Penny Black is always eager to probe the personalities behind the professional veneer of her industry friends. What better way to squeeze in and share as many intimate revelations as possible than her very own ‘speed meeting’ column? This week, it’s the turn of Crawford & Co’s Greg Gladwell.
What was your first ever job — and were you any good at it?
Pressure-washing paint-stripping acid off reclaimed doors and furniture as a teenager, which I now realise was completely in breach of health & safety regulations. So mundane it was hard to shine or be poor
If an MP3 player really could only hold three tunes, what would you select for the ultimate soundtrack to your life?
Walking on Sunshine — Katrina and the Waves; The Winner Takes it All – Abba; and Brothers in Arms — Dire Straits
Who was your top teenage pin-up?
Kylie – still is
My colleagues won’t know this about me but...
When I was at college I was in the Musicians Union and played the piano for money, including sessions at a ladies keep fit class!
Favourite book of all time?
Anything by Lee Child or Patricia Cornwell
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
You reap what you sow in the long run
What would be your chosen
Speed — so I could cram more into every day
If you could be Prime Minister for the day, what change would you instigate and why?
Let’s focus on getting our own country running properly, rather than interfering elsewhere
How would a typical school report about you read?
Open, honest, hard-working and practical; enjoys creating possibilities and positive change
My top tip for climbing the insurance
career ladder is...
The insurance world is a village, so people soon get to know what you stand for and whether to do business with you
What’s the most annoying thing people do in your office?
Lingering — most meetings can be finished in 20 minutes
My last supper would comprise...
A proper Indian meal, as you would find served in India
Who has been the most influential person in your life to date?
Hilary Wilson, an independent coach, who has given me great counsel over the past 15 years
When I’m not working I like to...
Golf, family, golf, Norwich City, golf, Menorca, golf…
Last film you saw?
I Am Number Four (with the kids)
If I wasn’t working
in insurance I
would probably be...
Name your five ideal dinner party guests (dead or alive) noting what they bring to the party
Lee Mack – humour; Kylie Minogue – glamour; US General Colin Powell — leadership insights; Steve Redgrave — my sporting icon; and whoever happened to be the current Prime Minister – to shape the thinking and get the lowdown on all the consipracy theories
Marmite: foods of the gods or work of the devil?
Career high point to date?
My current role is just perfect for me right now
What do you say when strangers at a social gathering ask what you do for a living? (Be honest now)
I work for a US loss adjuster based in London
If you could travel back in time, where would you go?
I always wanted to be a pirate
Finish this sentence: Insurance is a great industry to work in because...
We help people get their lives back to normality after disaster strikes
Would you like to be probed by Penny on one of her speed meets? Get in touch via [email protected]
Sounded a good plan, Exec Team Visit to our wonderful claims team in Morecambe, bit of a ‘Back to the Floor’ & dish out some Easter Eggs. Lovely. So how did I end up with these & having to wear them home on the train? Thanks @helenidle @AXAUK @AXA_Broker #BunnyEars pic.twitter.com/cNd80WnRPd— David Williams (@AXADavidW) April 17, 2019
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