When I founded Fresh Insurance Group, an Insurance business based in Redditch and Bracknell, it was the first in a series of daring steps – with two small children – to set up my own business.
Fourteen years on, it’s flourishing with a turnover of almost £50 million and a team of more than 200 people. Insurance is a very male-dominated world and I have had some tough times making my mark. Following the turmoil of the EU Referendum, the flurry to find a new prime minister, and Theresa May taking the baton from David Cameron, I wondered how a woman would fare in this role.
Cameron’s speech and subsequent resignation saddened me. It felt as though he was leaving a sinking ship. Over the days that followed, I listened to the debate over who will take over as prime minister and was intrigued with the notion that a woman was in the running to take the prized place at Number 10.
A leader in May
The question was whether May, somebody like myself who was in the ‘Bremain’ camp, could demonstrate the leadership we seemed to lack. I am somebody that can make the best of a bad situation and just get on with it. I hope May is cut from the same cloth, and will be able to rally the party together as we move forward in this post-Brexit era.
We no longer appear to be one country. As Andrew Marr said on his Sunday morning BBC show, the decision seems to reflect a rebellion of the “ignored against the shapers”, the “struggling against the strutting”.
However, as a nation, we are known for rallying around. We can eat strawberries and cream in the rain at Wimbledon and still have a laugh – that’s what us Brits do. In the face of trouble, we can pick ourselves up, dust ourselves down and get on with it. We can make the best of a situation and, in fact, make it work. It stands true in any work situation and that is what we have to do now.
Britain seems to be in unchartered waters, even the shadow government is in a muddle, but we will survive. That’s what makes Britain great, it is what makes business great. The best test of a good manager is not when things are in working order, but when they are not. How do they respond when faced with adversity? How well will May be able to steady the ship?
As an article in the Sunday Times aptly put it: ‘Hello World. Britain has dared to dream and is open for business’. Yes, we have dared to dream and it is now up to captain May to the steer the country back onto the right course.
About the author
Lisa Powis is the founder of the Fresh Insurance Group, an Insurance business based in Redditch and Bracknell.