Mark Forrest, general manager, Trimble Field Service Management
Who has had the biggest influence on your career?
Steve Berglund, CEO of Trimble. He is a very focused and determined leader who has taken the business from strength to strength.
What is your dream holiday?
To spend it on the beach in North Queensland, Australia, because that’s where I grew up.
Who was the last person you received a text message from?
A co-worker, telling me how badly the Australian cricket team was playing!
What is your favourite sitcom?
The Big Bang Theory, because my son loves it. It’s more intelligent than your average comedy.
What is your favourite film?
I enjoy films that are easy to watch. I travel a lot so when I’m on a plane I like pure escapism.
What is your favourite book?
A Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela because of the story of persistence.
When and where was the last time you took public transport?
From London to Heathrow to go to the airport.
What is the first thing you would do if you were made Prime Minister for the day?
I would run more of a meritocracy, where everyone would have the chance to get on in life if they put their mind to it.
What was your biggest mistake in business – and what did you learn from it?
Assuming that conveying something once can change people’s action and focus. I’ve learnt that consistent and regular communication keeps everyone on the same strategic path.
If you won the lottery, what would you buy first and why?
A large cattle property in Australia, so I can go and relax and enjoy the local surroundings.
What is your best childhood memory?
Spending holidays working with my grandfather back in Australia.
Who was your childhood hero?
Wally Lewis, a legendary rugby league player in Australia.
What is your favourite dish at a restaurant?
Grilled barramundi, a native fish to Australia. It is simple, classic and delicious.
What would you say is your guilty pleasure?
Wine. It’s a great way to unwind, especially if you’re drinking it in the sunshine.
How would you describe your leadership style?
Managing by walking around. You get to know so much by being approachable.
What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?
Don’t be afraid to be entrepreneurial. Taking risks is an important element of good business.
What is your dream car?
The new Jaguar F-Type.
When did you last feel guilty about the environment and why?
I travel back to Australia a lot to see family, which isn’t great from a carbon emission point of view, but if I didn’t fly, I’d never see them.
What is the one object you couldn’t live without?
My mobile phone.
If you could work in another profession, what would it be?
Agriculture. I grew up on a farm – it’s what I imagined I’d do as a child.
What is your biggest achievement in your current role?
Creating a truly global organisation that services our customers. We were also selected to provide fleet solutions for the MOD last year, something we were very proud of.
You are stranded on a desert island – what three things do you take with you?
A fishing rod, my family and something to read to keep my brain stimulated.
Which historical character do you most identify with?
Captain James Cook. I have always enjoyed exploring and visiting new locations.
What’s the best gift you’ve ever been given?
A Ferrari for my 40th birthday only to discover later that it was a remote control car!
What has been the pivotal moment in your life?
The day I left Australia to move to the US. I left my family and my home to start a new life in America. It was a leap of faith but definitely worth it.