Barry Beeston, fleet sales director, Nissan
What has been your biggest achievement in your current role?
Having only been in the role for a short time it’s difficult to highlight any “big” achievements. In my last role, it was satisfying in being instrumental in growing Nissan’s contract hire market share from 1.5% to 4.5% in three years.
Who has had the biggest influence on your career?
In the early days a good friend gave me guidance and direction. For the past 10 years my wife has provided an objective view and is always very supportive.
What is your dream holiday?
An African safari. Having been once, the memories will always be with me. To see such animals in their own environment is an incredible experience and I would definitely go again.
Who did you last receive a text message from?
My wife, asking when I was leaving work for home.
You are on a desert island – what three things do you take with you?
My toolbox, some matches and a mobile phone. I think I would probably enjoy the first few weeks then use the phone to get rescued.
What is your favourite sitcom?
I always appear last in the queue for the TV behind two kids and the wife, so can’t remember the last time I saw a sitcom. This industry has its fair share of comedians though!
When was the last time you took public transport?
It was only last week. I took a train to London for a business meeting. A Nisssan Leaf would have been more comfortable and cheaper, but there wasn’t one available.
If you won the Lottery, what would be the first thing you would buy?
A holiday home in the Caribbean – a true winter getaway – and a new horse lorry for my wife and daughter. Based on the new NV400 of course!
What is your fondest childhood memory?
Family holidays in Cornwall – long, hot summer days playing on the beach.
What is the first thing you would do if you were made Prime Minister?
Sort out the education system in the UK. The current system is a lottery with so many young people not being developed to their full potential.
What is your favourite dish at a restaurant?
Curry. When I moved to the Midlands in the late 1980s, the Birmingham Balti House was a completely new experience and one I still enjoy today.
What is your favourite film?
Gone in 60 Seconds. For a car enthusiast, its brilliant to see so many great cars in one film.
What is your favourite book?
I don’t have a favourite. I tend to read mainly factual books to find out how to do things or understand topics that I am interested in.
How would you describe your leadership style?
Performance-focused, but always willing to listen, adopt good ideas and adapt to change.
Who was your childhood hero?
Barry Sheene. I was always amazed at his resilience. No matter how many times he crashed, he would always get back on and race again.
When did you last feel guilty about the environment?
I don’t really. I think we are more environmentally-focused than ever before. There’s still a long way to go, but at least progress is being made.
Which historical character do you most identify with?
Winston Churchill, one of the great leaders, with the ability to motivate a nation despite overwhelming odds.
What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?
Enjoy life, make the most of being young and experience as many things as possible while you have few responsibilities.
What is the one object you couldn’t live without?
My coffee machine. I can’t start the day without a good cup of coffee.
Which superhero from comics would you most like to be?
The Lone Ranger. He always saved the day in the nick of time to.
What is your dream car?
An AC Cobra. It would be my second purchase if I won the Lottery.
What was the pivotal moment in your life?
Leaving home at 18 and move away from family and friends. It taught me to be completely self-sufficient and look at change as a positive.
What was your biggest mistake in business?
Investing in a nightclub in Liverpool – the lesson – accurate risk assessment is an essential part of business – don’t ignore it.