Amanda Mullans, operations director, Total Accident Management
What has been your biggest achievement in your current role?
It’s early days for me at Total Accident Management, so I’m still enjoying the achievement of being part of such a high-performing team.
Who has had the biggest influence on your career?
Generally speaking, it’s always been my clients who have (sometimes unwittingly) driven my career by helping me to become alive to what customers really want and how to deliver it.
What is your dream holiday?
Actually, this Christmas has been brilliant – quality time with loved ones just cannot be beaten. I’ve had a great time seeing all my family, including a fabulous Christmas day at my brother’s house.
You are on a desert island – what three things do you take with you?
I would take a generator and a laptop and start ordering the rest from Amazon. And Ray Mears to help me survive until the goods arrived… I’ll need him for when I get the ‘we tried to deliver but you were out’ cards.
What is your favourite sitcom?
Miranda – what woman hasn’t been there at some point (although hopefully not with the same frequency as Miranda)?
What is your favourite film?
I like films that stay with me long after the film itself has finished, so I would say either The English Patient or Betty Blue. That said, there’s always room for a good laugh (see ‘truffle shuffle’ in The Goonies) so it depends on my mood.
If you won the Lottery, what would be the first thing you would buy?
Obviously, before I started to buy stuff, I’d do loads of good things with the money (I’m thinking this win is substantial). Taking that as read, the first thing I’d buy for myself would be the obligatory house, but with a twist – the kitchen would come equipped with Heston Blumenthal in person to cook one of his feasts for me and some friends.
What is your fondest childhood memory?
I was lucky enough to grow up in Cornwall, so it has to be what I remember as endlessly long hot summers more or less living on the beach.
When was the last time you took public transport?
Getting to and from the FN50 Awards in London in November last year, where we were the associate accident management sponsor.
What is the first thing you would do if you were made Prime Minister?
Sort out manufacturing in the UK and recover our historically strong export performance – as demonstrated by Rolls Royce, which led the way in car exports in 2011.
How would you describe your leadership style?
Inclusive and enabling. And fun, where possible.
What is your favourite dish at a restaurant?
Carpaccio. This is my ‘road test’ for any restaurant – if the carpaccio is good, the rest is likely to follow. The Sunday roast pub test is the roast potatoes.
What was your biggest mistake in business?
Assuming that everyone would stick to the plan during a critical transformation project, and not having enough staff to handle the fall out when someone did their own thing. I keep a picture of ‘You’re going to need a bigger boat’ from Jaws on hand to remind me, and I am now the back-up plan queen!
What is the one object you couldn’t live without?
A kettle. There is no blood in my veins, only tea…
Who was your childhood hero?
Er, initially the Banana Splits – I always wanted to be in the gang. Teenage angst was underpinned by huge admiration for the likes of Steve Biko and Nelson Mandela.
Which historical character do you most identify with?
Queen Elizabeth I – a woman in a man’s world with a huge amount to sort out! She changed England into a profitable empire, but most importantly she wore some super frocks. Not sure about the teeth as a good look, though.
What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?
The cloudiness of scrumpy is not necessarily an indicator that the scrumpy is good…
What is your dream car?
I’d quite like a ‘KITT’ car from Knight Rider, but only if it was truly a KITT car with artificial intelligence and not just a regular 1982 Pontiac Trans Am – this car actually has to do the driving for me.
What was the pivotal moment in your life?
Taking the very scary decision of moving from a legal career to hands-on business management. It was a great challenge and literally took my career down a completely different – and very exciting – path.