Harvey Stead, sales director, FMG
Who has had the biggest influence on your career?
My wife always gives me focus, direction and support in life (and always skilfully manages to match our spending to our income which, as sales director, keeps me hungry!).
What is your dream holiday?
Hotel Espléndido in Puerto de Soller. It’s in a beautiful, peaceful and unspoilt bay in the north west of Majorca.
Who was the last person you received a text message from?
My 14-year-old daughter, wanting me to fund another shopping trip.
What is your favourite sitcom?
Twenty Twelve was fantastic. It was full of dry and sarcastic wit, and was probably very near to the truth.
What is your favourite film?
Pulp Fiction. Classic Tarantino, brilliant narratives and a great soundtrack. Skyfall would be a very very close second.
What is your favourite book?
The Fear Index by Robert Harris – a fictional account of how financial markets can be manipulated and where this could lead us.
When was the last time you took public transport and where were you going?
I took a train to a client meeting in Edinburgh. I use the train as often as I can and I find it gives you important time to think and reflect.
What is the first thing you would do if you were made Prime Minister for the day?
I’d outlaw all car journeys of less than a mile. This would benefit the environment, reduce traffic congestion and improve the
population’s general fitness.
What was your biggest mistake in business – and what did you learn from it?
Trying to do everything myself. To succeed you need to surround yourself with good people, learn to trust them, delegate and don’t allow yourself to get dragged into the detail, but be able to advise and influence strategy and delivery.
If you won the lottery, what would be the first thing you would buy and why?
I’ve always said I wouldn’t want to win a life-changing amount because I wouldn’t want my life to fundamentally change.
What is your best childhood memory?
My father teaching me to water ski at the age of seven.
Who was your childhood hero and why?
Not really a childhood hero, but Ayrton Senna was a force of nature, a powerful combination of spectacular raw talent and sometimes terrifying and fearless determination.
What is your favourite dish at a restaurant?
As a proud Yorkshire man, it has to be roast beef and Yorkshire pudding.
What’s your least favourite food?
Pasta. I don’t really get it.
What would you say is your guilty pleasure?
I love the TV series Mad Men.
How would you describe your leadership style?
Passion and enthusiasm are key drivers for me. Within my teams I want to engender a real sense of pride in our business and what we deliver.
What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?
Don’t just chase the money – it’s not everything. Enjoy what you do.
When did you last feel guilty about the environment and why?
As I’ve grown older, I’ve turned into my father, wandering around our home turning off lights and TVs in empty rooms.
Which historical character do you most identify with?
Winston Churchill. He was a man who stayed steadfast and true to his beliefs, even in the darkest time in our modern history. We all owe him more than any one individual I can think of.
What is the one object you couldn’t live without?
My bike which I use as often as I can. It’s a great way to unwind and keep fit.
If you could work in another profession what would it be?
I’m too tall to be a racing driver, but as a petrolhead I would love to be a team mechanic.
Which superhero from comics would you most like to be?
I’m not sure you can count him as a superhero, but I once had a job that required me to dress as the Sugar Puffs Honey Monster.