Biggest achievement as chairman of ACFO?
ACFO is all about a team of people who, like me, all have a day job and volunteer their time to ACFO. However, I do think I’ve succeeded in modernising the organisation and taking us in new and different directions. When I first joined the board my fellow directors at the time had all been involved with the association for many years and whilst there is no substitute for experience, sometimes its necessary to take a step back and look at things from a different perspective and a with a fresh pair of eyes.
Person who has had the biggest influence on your career?
When I first started working at Nokia and got involved in the strategic side of fleet operations and attending meetings with Heads of Departments I was always really enthusiastic and keen to put my point across – sometimes overly enthusiastic when I look back now. My boss at the time took me to one side after one such meeting and tactfully pointed out that you make a far greater impact by sitting back, letting everyone else have their say and then making your point very quietly when everyone else has finished. And she was right – it’s the approach I apply at almost every meeting.
Last person you received a text message from?
My best friend Cheryl – actually I seem to receive 90% of my text messages for her. Usually we’re making arrangements for our end of week socialising which varies from which pub we’re going out to or whose house we’re meeting at for pre-pub fizzy!
You are on a desert island – what three things do you take with you?
Sun-tan lotion because despite being fairly dark-skinned I like to make sure I don’t burn, Richard Armitage (Lucas North from Spooks) to apply the sun-tan lotion and …………………… oh you just wouldn’t need anything else!
What is the first thing you would do if you were made Prime Minister for the day?
I would ensure that respect is given to everyone who deserves it. For example, respect for disabled people by not having their parking spaces taken up by individuals who have no disability (other than being unable to ready properly), respect for all those people and their families who have fought for this country in whatever conflict, fairness and respect for victims of crime and absolutely no respect for those that committed them. Respect for all those public sector workers that are at the front-line of providing life-saving services but very often don’t get the recognition and reward they deserve. I could go on but you’ve probably got the idea by now.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I’ve matured a lot (not just in age but in outlook) over time and realise that the things I thought were right about leadership 10 years ago don’t hold true today. I try to be inclusive, listen to what colleagues have to say and take a collaborative approach which I think I achieve most of the time - although I can be a bit bossy when its required!
When did you last feel guilty about the environment and why?
The only time I feel guilty about the environment is when as human beings we insist on driving to near extinction animals that have been around for centuries for material/cosmetic goods. In fact it’s not so much guilt I feel as outrage that we can be so cruel.
Which superhero from comics would you most like to be and why?
The Bionic Woman so I had the ability to get places quickly. Oh and x-ray vision would be a great bonus of course!
A beach buggy although I wouldn’t want to travel too far in it and I’d have to have a guarantee that it wouldn’t rain! I’ve got an old 1978 Bay Window VW Camper Van that I use every year with a group of friends (including my best friend Cheryl whose also got one) to do the annual “Run to the Sun” event in Newquay and every year there are loads of beach buggys there – they’re great fun and affordable!