Jonathan Woodthorpe, head of e-mobility, Npower
Who has had the biggest influence on your career?
Probably my uncle. He inspired me to strive for the best and to always seize opportunities that come your way.
What’s your dream holiday?
I’d love to go back on safari with my wife and young son, although there is a risk he’d try and chase the wild animals.
What is your favourite sitcom?
It’s a bit old now, but Blackadder. The characters are just fantastic and the situations they find themselves in are brilliant.
What is your favourite film?
The Godfather trilogy. I love all the politics.
You are on a desert island – what three things do you take with you?
Smartphone and internet connection (how would you live without it?), some beers (preferably in a cool box) and my family.
What is the first thing you would do if you were made Prime Minister for the day?
I’d put the clocks back an hour then think ‘what shall we do first?’.
If you won the Lottery, what would be the first thing you would buy?
Like most people I’d pay off the mortgage and then I’d treat myself.
What was your biggest mistake in business – and what did you learn from it?
A long time ago I created a business strategy then handed over the delivery to another team, only to find nine months later they had deviated from the original strategy and ended up in years of operational challenges. Now I challenge people if I feel they are only considering short-term gains.
What has been the pivotal moment in your life?
From a career perspective it was undoubtedly upping sticks from my home town 15 years ago and taking a role in head office. The role was a low grade but just being around decision-makers and influencers opened up a new world. From a personal perspective, being a dad means everything to me now.
What is your best childhood memory?
Visiting Switzerland with the Scouts. I’ve been in love with mountains ever since.
What is your favourite dish at a restaurant?
I love a curry – Indian or Asian.
What is your favourite book?
An atlas. Ever since I’ve been young I loved maps, exploring new places and travelling. So what’s better than a book of maps?
What would you say is your guilty pleasure?
A glass of red wine.
When was the last time you took public transport and where were you going?
Yesterday. It was a train back home from Edinburgh.
When did you last feel guilty about the environment?
Funnily enough, it was on my train journey back from Edinburgh yesterday. Some of the scenery is beautiful, but then we travelled past a huge landfill site. There has to be a better way to deal with waste.
Who was your childhood hero?
Chris Waddle, not for missing the penalty for England in the 1990 World Cup semi-final, but at Sheffield Wednesday he was truly magnificent.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I’d like to think my team considers me to be inclusive and fair. I believe it’s important to lead by example and encourage new ideas which are so important when working in emerging markets.
Which historical character do you most identify with?
At the moment it’s King Arthur. My son is convinced he’s a knight of the round table and is wearing toy armour non-stop.
What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?
Take some risks with your career. There’s always new opportunities for those who are prepared to work hard.
What is the one object you couldn’t live without?
My iPhone. After years of saying “what’s all the fuss about?”, now I’ve actually got one, I’m hooked.
If you could work in another profession what would it be?
I’d love to be a tour guide in the Alps or Himalayas.
What’s the best gift you’ve ever been given?
My son, but there are times when I wish I could just turn down his enthusiasm for everything… and I mean everything.
What’s your least favourite food?
Fish. Anything fishy is not for me.
Which superhero from comics would you most like to be?
Spiderman was always a hero of mine. He always managed to pull himself out of danger no matter who the adversary was.