Selwyn Cooper, national sales manager, Volvo UK
What has been your biggest achievement in your current role?
I think my biggest achievement has been to work across all departments within the organisation to embed fleet and business sales as a cornerstone of our brand’s growth. It has meant working with my leadership team to steer the business through massive change, to deliver our business goals.
Who has had the biggest influence on your career?
My father, who taught me the value of hard work.
What is your dream holiday?
It would be an adventure holiday, probably climbing to base camp of Everest. The sense of achievement and the feeling of having followed in the footsteps of some of the world’s greatest adventurers is, for me, incredibly motivational.
Who was the last person you received a text message from?
My wife, Alison. It was simply to remind me to pick up some feed for the chickens – in the grand scheme of things not very important but massive in the coop!
What is your favourite sitcom?
Only Fools and Horses – it’s timeless comedy which is as funny today as it’s ever been.
What three things would you take with you to a desert island?
Ipad 2, a good barbecue and a multi-tool gadget – there’s nothing you can’t tackle with one of those.
When was the last time you took public transport?
A couple of weeks ago I took a train to London to watch England v India at The Oval. I can’t imagine any circumstance when I would ever enjoy driving in London.
What is the first thing you would do if you were made Prime Minister for the day?
Make Volvos compulsory on every car list.
If you won the Lottery, what would be the first thing you would buy?
A holiday home in the Lake District, big enough for all my family to use as they chose. It’s such a wonderful area and some of my best times have been had there with family.
What has been your biggest mistake in business – and what did you learn from it?
Withdrawing from articles in the accountancy profession. I learnt that short-term gain rarely delivers long- term benefit.
What is your favourite dish at a restaurant?
Lamb Henry, a full shoulder of lamb cooked for about eight hours, and served as it is in the area of Langdale in the Lake District – swilled down with a few pints of Bluebird (Coniston Brewery)! There’s nothing better to replenish your reserves after a day walking on the fells.
What is your favourite book?
Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach – a book written in the 60s, it epitomises potential and hope. It’s a great book to help eliminate self-doubt and inspire one to push personal boundaries.
How would you describe your leadership style?
From the front.
When did you last feel guilty about the environment?
Driving to work through the area I live this morning, seeing overflowing wheelie-bins next to empty recycling baskets. The effort needed to recycle at householder level is hardly taxing and will make a colossal difference to future generations.
Who was your childhood hero?
Neil Armstrong. I remember watching him on a black and white TV at school – it must have been every boy’s desire to be an astronaut that day.
What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?
Develop a chess player’s mentality. Thinking through consequences down the line is a wise investment and avoids the law of unintended circumstances biting you back.
What is your dream car?
Any Aston Martin.
What has been the pivotal moment in your life?
Deciding to have children – most of the best memories I have revolve around Katie and Charlotte and seeing them now embark upon their own adult lives fills me with hope.