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MEMBER ADVICE: What good 'leadership' has meant during Covid-19

Peter Smits, Managing Director of Hoddesdon based Ashbourne Insurance, was interviewed on a recent episode of The Leaders Council of Great Britain and Northern Ireland podcast which was broadcast on May 28th. The podcast also included an interview with Rt Hon Lord David Blunkett, former Education Secretary and Home Secretary. Peter was asked for insights and reflections about what good ‘leadership’ has meant during the past twelve months of the Covid-19 pandemic and his view about economic growth. Lord Blunkett offered advice for small businesses and how they can look to the future.

The role of ‘business leader’ at independent, family-run Ashbourne changed significantly for Peter over the past year. In a virtual world the importance elements of leadership for Ashbourne’s MD included: instilling confidence, reassuring stakeholders, supporting staff well-being and maintaining clear communication at all times with staff, suppliers and customers. Individually and collectively, the team at Ashbourne have grown stronger after the experience of working throughout the pandemic.

The Leaders Council of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is currently in the process of talking to leadership figures from across the nation in an attempt to understand this universal trait and what it means in Britain and Northern Ireland today.

The podcast featuring Peter Smits and Lord Blunkett hosted by Scott Challinor, Business Editor of The Leaders Council can be listened in full here: and here Podcasts | The Leaders Council of Great Britain & Northern Ireland

Photos left to right: Rt Hon Lord David Blunkett, Chairman of The Leaders Council of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; and Peter Smits, Managing Director Ashbourne Insurance, Hertfordshire

Peter Smits commented, “It was an honour to be asked to participate in the Leaders Council podcast alongside Lord Blunkett and share personal experience about the challenges and opportunities of the past year, leading our team of insurance professionals. The series of podcasts are well worth listening to as they feature genuine leaders who have been there and done it, either on a national stage or within a crucial industry sector.

With the relaxing of lockdown rules, my hope is that people will now return to support high street and other local businesses who supported the community during the most challenging time in our history.”

Lord Blunkett, chairman of The Leaders Council of Great Britain and Northern Ireland said, “I think the most informative element of each episode is the first part, where Scott Challinor is able to sit down with someone who really gets how their industry works and knows how to make their organisation tick. Someone who’s there day in day out working hard and inspiring others. That’s what leadership is all about.”

Multi award-winning, third generation, family-run Ashbourne Insurance offers a wide range of business and personal insurance along with a claims advisory service. It is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and 2021 marks the 40th Anniversary of Ashbourne.

For further information about Peter Smits, Managing Director of Ashbourne Insurance visit

For more information visit Follow on twitter @AshInsServices and LinkedIn

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