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Core Values

What are Values?  In short -  values are at the root of who we are. Our  values are the things that we believe are fundamentally  important to us  in the way we live and work.

When our values align with what we are doing and the way we behave,  then we are more likely to feel content and fulfilled; acting against our core values usually results in discontent and even unhappiness. Life can feel off kilter in some indefinable way.

For example – if one of your core values  is family, but you work long hours or travel a great deal, will this cause you stress?  Or if you prize health as a core value but are offered a role with a tobacco company, how will accepting that role make you feel?

Spending some time defining your values therefore can really help you as you seek answers to questions about your career and other major life choices.   To help you define what these values are, here is a brainstorming exercise to start you thinking.

Ideally you should aim for around 10 values that are most important to you.  At the end of this article, you’ll find a list of the most common personal values, if you need a bit of extra help.

Once you have your top 10 values, it is an idea to rank them,  and then use these as a measure against important decisions you  have to make. And don’t forget that your values and their relative rankings can change over time. So for example at the start of your career, ambition and success may be fundamental to you, but at a later stage, balance  and freedom might come to the fore.


Core Values


If you would like some help in defining your values and how defining these values will  give you greater control over your career and life,  call Liz (020 7419 6416) for an initial discussion.

Core Values - Words


A great headline – though sadly not mine.  I stole it.  To be fair to me, I’m just making a point; it was far easier to lift it from another article than to use my imagination – but am I wasting what sets me apart?

I recently read about a very interesting idea related to the ever-growing predominance of artificial intelligence and machine-centric automation in our workplaces; The House of Beautiful Business.  It is an initiative based on the premise that as machines take over more a more of our jobs then we, as humans, need to re-evaluate our purpose in the business world.

“As machines take our jobs and do them more efficiently, the only work remaining for us humans will be the kind of work that must be done beautifully rather than efficiently”

The initiative was created and run by Tim Leberecht and some like-minded partners, and they held a ‘pop-up’ event in Barcelona recently to coincide with the Mobile World Congress. Leberecht is the author of ‘The Business Romantic’, is an acclaimed speaker at Ted Talks and a regular writer and event-creator for this very idea.

Fundamentally, he doesn’t want to fight the growth of AI but instead ask the question of what we can offer that machines cannot. What advantages do we have to offer? For him it comes down to our basics; our ability to feel, to transcend and to imagine (not just predict!). Our ability to hope, create illusions, and develop entirely fictitious worlds, says Leberecht, separate us from animals or robots.

“It is paramount that we don’t surrender to a reductionist market-based view wanting us to believe that the wonder of life is a simple economic equation”

It’s an interesting view – and I tend to agree with it; some of the most innovative and loved products or businesses throughout history have not just led directly from existing conditions. Innovations by nature don’t arise from just incrementally building on what we already have – they come from crazy, out-there ideas where someone has thought beyond what can be predicted.

For me it’s the ability to surprise which is key. Positive and intelligent surprise.

We live in a ‘click and paste’ world where so much information at our fingertips leads to a predominance of plagiarism, fake news based on half facts, re-shared tweets, re-posted Facebook messages and even classic movie remakes with endless sequels. At a time when we should be thinking more and more about what makes us stand out, our behaviours seem to be pointing the opposite way.

-          Tariq


TAS Blog


Over the past few days I’ve mentioned in  conversation that I am attending an event to celebrate International Women’s Day this evening,  and whilst in the main the people I’ve spoken to are ‘in the know’ about IWD, I have also encountered some quizzical looks and raised eyebrows! And I would hasten to add here that the latter responses have been cross-generational and not age or gender specific!

So it got me thinking about the assumptions we make, and how these in themselves can exclude others – the antithesis of the values of IWD, which are :

  • Justice
  • Dignity
  • Hope
  • Equality
  • Collaboration
  • Tenacity
  • Appreciation
  • Respect
  • Empathy
  • Forgiveness

If for example I assume that everyone I meet of course knows about IWD, and don’t explain what it is and what it means, I am effectively creating barriers where they don’t need to exist and excluding people who might want to find out more.  This does not help promote the inclusiveness we’re aiming for!

So, in an attempt to educate and inform,  in essence – ‘International Women’s Day (March 8) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.’

In practice, what does this mean? International  Women’s Day is a global event played out on a local level and sees thousands of events – global gatherings, conferences, awards, exhibitions, festivals, fun runs, corporate events, concert performances, speaking events, online digital gatherings and more. Events are held by women’s networks, corporations, charities, educational institutions, government bodies, political parties, the media and further communities.

To find out a bit more, visit the  IWD website.

The theme for this year is  #BeBoldForChange. Will you?

As for me – well I’m very much looking forward to attending the Voice at the Table  Women’s Day Reception  this evening .

By Liz Watt – Executive Coaching at BLT


Could sell you a mortgage?

The next couple of years are going to be pivotal in the retail banking sector. While the Competition and Markets Authority is increasing competition between the banks, the consumer is demanding an ever increasing digital service with the smartphone being the vehicle of choice. Have you heard of the Open Banking Initiative? No, neither had I, but it’s going to shake up the retail banking sector even more.

The OBI is due to be in place within the first three months of 2018. It offers the innovative (and slightly scary) option for customers to use rival services without switching bank accounts. Many new banks are operating digital – only transformation models, lowering the cost of customer acquisition significantly, through operating via an app-only model.

Let’s hope that the challenges (and opportunities) facing the retail banking sector lead to a more streamlined and efficient offering for us the consumers. Atom Bank are planning to offer mortgages via their app in 2017, with reportedly signed up as a consultant and advisor to enhance their presence on digital and social media platforms. Looks like our days of setting foot in a bank or talking to anyone on the phone about a mortgage application will definitely be a thing of the past!

20 Questions…

This edition of ‘20 Questions’ is with Angel Gavieiro (PhD, MBA), former Head of Strategy at Lloyds’ Wholesale Banking & Markets, and Barclays International Retail & Commercial Banking.


Angel Gavieiro


What was your first job?
Trainee, while in my last year at university, at the Fixed Income department of Societe Generale in Madrid back in 1994… such luck and a privilege!

Who’s influenced your career most (and why)?
4 come to mind equally: at SocGen, Demetrio Salorio who taught me to be a banker; at McKinsey, Pedro Mateache who believed in me as a strategist; at Barclays, Renier Lemmens who opened for me the path to senior executive; at Lloyds, Steve Winningham who inspired me about how to be a leader; and all across, the teams that I had been honoured to lead, … a constant reminder of why.

What’s the best piece of advice you could give someone?
“Believe in yourself”: if you put your head and effort to it, you can do it!

What’s the best/worst quality in a leader?
Best: his/her commitment to serving and supporting the team.
Worst: the opposite, his/her commitment to self-service.

What was the worst piece of advice you’ve been given?
“They (my direct reports) are a snake nest, just close yourself in your office and hit them with numbers-based performance targets, that will do it”… I will not tell you who gave me this “jewel of wisdom”.

What was your best meeting ever (and why)?
2006, divisional Exco in Dubai at Barclays Int’l Retail & Commercial Banking; I was presenting the Asia-Pacific internationalization strategy for approval; it was 2 hours with lot of challenge back from our CEO, David Roberts, … but it was a complete hit because the work done by the team was top-notch, simply brilliant, and thank God I had a solid delivery day (it could have been different!).

What did you want to be as a child?
The question sparks a smile in my face. I grew up in a small village in the NE of Spain, out of a humble family running a farm and a small distribution outlet of Purina (fodder business); I was 10, one day the Purina regional supervisor was visiting and asked me that question… “a clerk”, I replied.

If you weren’t in your current role, what would you be doing?
If I were not in a business career I would probably be a physicist, always was intrigued by atoms.

Tell us about a turning point in your career
The MBA, at Duke University: first, it provided me with the confidence that I could do business anywhere globally; second, it introduced me to the strategy consulting world; third, it gave me the chance to intern and receive an offer from McKinsey.

What was your worst mistake (and what did you learn)?
At Lloyds back in 2010, not to have taken the opportunity (despite some stakeholders’ views) to merge my team of strategy at Corporate Banking with the one at the Financial Markets division when their head role became vacant… 18 months later, both divisions merged and I was made redundant!

Lesson: take the opportunity when it shows, even if you are not fully convinced!

What’s your favourite holiday destination?
We (my wife & I) do not have one in-particular, we love to explore different parts of the world, a different place each time… there is so much to see!

What are you passionate about?
Best-in-class Leadership & Management (ref. Peter Drucker’s “Management”)… it is so preciously scarce, and it is so critically important!

Who’s your business or personal hero/heroine?
Albert Einstein… his quotes speak of extraordinary breath & depth of wisdom; his key contributions to physics were only possible because his capability to think unconventionally (ie: “out of the box”).

What’s your favourite quote or motto?
“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them” (A. Einstein).

What’s your greatest business achievement?
At Lloyds: the creation from scratch of the Strategy & Business Development team for Corporate Banking and its business units.  Over time, 15+ top-notch professionals delivered 100+ projects – key to the turnaround of the merged LTSB-HBOS divisions from deep waters (2009-12).

What’s your greatest personal achievement?
The family that my wife Isabel (we first met in 1995) and our son Diego (born in 2005) have put together, and day to day live happily… that has been, is and will be the Most Important.

What’s your favourite gadget?
The green Montblanc that my former colleagues at SocGen gave me as a farewell present in June 2000 when I departed to my MBA. It was nearly lost after an internship interview with PwC in the US, which I put at risk by returning to the room an hour later, interrupting to “rescue my pen”.

What would you choose as your last meal?
Spanish seafood paella, of course, and if I may add – with a bottle of Alvariño white wine from Galicia.

What’s your all-time favourite book (and why)?
“The Name of the Rose” by Umberto Eco. It so exquisitely written that is able to transport you to an epoch where the evolution from myth to science was actually happening. It impacted me especially because I read it when I was in high school starting to study epistemology in philosophy class.

Which one person, dead or alive, would you like to have dinner with?
Albert Einstein, of course.

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