Oakhurst’s Robert Glynn on work, life and unicycles

Great businesses are driven by interesting people, and insurance businesses are no different. CN&CO’s Blake Dyason recently caught up with Robert Glynn, Managing Executive of Partners, Products and Underwriting at Oakhurst Insurance, to find out how he balances family, work and health…

BD: You live in George but spend a fair amount of time travelling the country visiting brokers. What is your favourite place in South Africa?

RG: My favourite place in SA is the Garden Route. I am truly blessed to be able to enjoy mountain and sea views on a daily basis. I enjoy being outdoors in my spare time and I can leave my front door and be out in unspoiled nature within 10 minutes.

BD: We know that travelling isn’t always easy, especially with young kids. How do you manage balancing family and work?

RG: Family means everything to me. I simply ensure that I make time for them. If there is work to be done after hours, I wait until my family is asleep and do it then. ‘’Me’’ time is limited to early mornings, before anybody is awake, and the odd ride/surf over a weekend for an hour. Whenever possible, I try to exercise with my family. My daughter is making great progress on the unicycle and my wife has started running with me over weekends.

BD: You ride a unicycle? Wow! What got you into this balancing act?

RG: It has always been a childhood “itch” and a few years ago I took the plunge and bought one. Once you learn to ride, you feel like a six-year-old who has just learnt to ride a bike! Riding a unicycle is very tiring. I find that half an hour to an hour’s riding provides a good workout. I can then spend more time with my family.

BD: How do you get on or off without falling?

RG: Nelson Mandela once said, ‘’Don’t judge me on my success; judge me on the amount of time I have fallen down and got up again.’’ It took me three months of falling constantly to get it right. Getting off comes naturally. Getting on however, takes many hours of practice.

BD: What is the most challenging activity you have attempted with the unicycle?

RG: Definitely off-road, single-track riding. It’s very technical and requires 100% focus. If you lose focus for a second, you get humbled.

BD: The industry is trying its best to attract youngsters into the trade and we know that the kids in George are often heading to bigger cities after school to study and get jobs. What is Oakhurst doing to encourage the youth to work in the insurance industry?

RG: Oakhurst participates in the Cape Career Exhibitions Association Annual Exhibition in the Garden Route. We set up information stands with career information and friendly Oakhurst staff who speak to the students at schools, explaining what diverse careers are on offer in insurance. We visit two schools a month, speaking to headmasters and life orientation teaching staff, educating the educators so that they can speak to the children. We also have a relationship with Nelson Mandela University in George, where the lecturers are encouraged to inform students of potential careers.

Oakhurst Insurance prides its self on delivering a wide range of products across short-term and life insurance.

To find out more, visit the Oakhurst website.

Oakhurst Insurance Company Limited (Registration Number 2006/000723/06) is an Authorised Financial Services Provider (FSP39925)