Fleet News

The Last Word: John Lewis

What has been your biggest achievement in your current role?

Being made the custodian of a very strong and well respected brand and making it even stronger and more respected by both government and the fleet industry.

Who has had the biggest influence on your career?

My grandfather, who was a very practical man and taught me to be analytical and logical in my thinking.

What is your dream holiday?

I would love to visit China to see the Giant Panda reserves and the Terracotta Army.

Who was the last person you received a text message from?

My wife, to remind me I was late coming home – yet again!

What is your favourite sitcom?

Dad’s Army – for the easy watching simple humour. It also reminds me of some of the characters I met during my time trying to convince the bank that owned Dial to let us sell contract hire to their customers.

What is your favourite film?

Any Pirates of the Caribbean for the action and special effects, especially on Blu Ray.

What three things do you take with you take to a desert island?

A box of matches, a good knife and lots of rope. I have always fancied building a raft.

What is the first thing you would buy if you won the Lottery?

My village, so that I could elect my own parish council and get some action on speed limit enforcement and traffic calming measures at last.

When did you last take a trip on public transport?

I took the train to Darlington to visit one of our members, Northgate. It seemed like a good idea to be able to work on the laptop and mobile on the way.

However, I was only able to get reception for less than half the journey so I arrived home frustrated and still had to catch up in the evening.

What has been your biggest mistake in business – and what did you learn from it?

Not engaging properly with the management of a recently acquired company and quickly learning that our new customers were set in their ways and needed continuity of relationships.

It gave me a very quick lesson on listening to people’s needs, which is something I have carried over to the BVRLA with the introduction of an annual survey to make sure we are listening to our members.

Which superhero from comics would you most like to be?

A complete character change to Dennis the Menace. He was never intent on saving the planet but he did have a lot of fun and always redeemed himself.

What is the first thing you would do if you were made prime minister for the day?

Set up an independent fuel regulator to ensure fair pricing of the road fuel. This is essential to provide the cost-effective transport that will help grow the UK economy.

What is your best childhood memory?

Getting my first three-wheeled bike. It was white with red tassels on the handlebars and a boot – mobility at last!

What is your favourite dish at a restaurant?

Pan-fried calves’ liver, because my wife hates handling and cooking it.

How would you describe your leadership style?

Engaging, communicative and action-oriented.

When did you last feel guilty about the environment?

Every time I fill up our four-wheel drive at weekends – mainly because of the cost.

Who was your childhood hero?

My grandfather, who taught me all I know.

What is your dream car?

I am the luckiest guy I know because my dream car was always an AC Cobra MkIV and I have been fortunate enough to own one (not a replica) for nine years. I have sold it now as I want to live a bit longer!

What was a pivotal moment in your life?

Being asked to take on the role at the BVRLA. It was a great challenge and has enabled me to put something back into the industry that has given me so much.

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