Tim Porter, managing director, Lex Autolease
Who has had the biggest influence on your career?
A former boss who appointed me into my first major leadership role at age 28. He described me as his ‘wildcard’ choice just ahead of giving me responsibility for a team of more than 300 people!
What is your dream holiday?
Round-the-world flights and a spare three months. There is nothing quite as energising as meeting different people in different situations, especially if there’s a heady mix of scenery, sand and sun thrown in.
Who was the last person you received a text message from?
My teenage daughter with a request for the taxi service of mum and dad.
What is your favourite sitcom?
Open All Hours; well, anything by Ronnie Barker. He provided British comedy at its vintage best including the fork handles sketch.
What is your favourite film?
Can I have two? Sliding Doors because it could happen to any of us and probably has, and The Untouchables – a gangster classic with a stellar cast.
You are on a desert island – what three things do you take with you?
A boat, a motor and a flare. I’d be bored in no time so would need to escape.
When was the last time you took public transport and where were you going?
The train from Stroud to Paddington last week for a business meeting – a well-trodden path.
What was your biggest mistake in business – and what did you learn from it?
Not trusting my gut instincts enough during the earlier stages of my career. Experience has taught me that your early intuition is more often than not the right one.
What is your best childhood memory?
The summer of 1976. A school holiday period of shorts, trainers and wall-to-wall footy on scorched grass.
Who was your childhood hero and why?
As a teenager my passion was playing rugby, so when a family friend broke into the Bath and England team he became an instant hero.
What is your favourite dish at a restaurant?
It’s very traditional I’m afraid. While I like a range of exotic dishes, there’s something special about a well reared, prepared and cooked steak. In my view, surprisingly few restaurants tick all these boxes.
What’s your least favourite food?
Wickedly hot curries. In fact, wickedly hot anything.
What is your favourite book?
The Making of the English Landscape by WG Hoskins. It’s an inspirational view on the history and beauty of our surroundings. For regular reading, current affairs is more my thing with The Week my favourite due to its easy style and satirical tone.
What would you say is your guilty pleasure?
For someone with a sweet tooth with a weakness for chocolate, it has to be milk chocolate.
How would you describe your leadership style?
A high-energy team player with a calm and assured personal presence.
When did you last feel guilty about the environment and why?
About two weeks ago while clearing out at home. Having recycled all we could, we still ended up throwing quite a lot of stuff away that will end up in a landfill site. It made me realise we need to be more selective with what we buy and how we use it.
What is the one object you couldn’t live without?
If you could work in another profession what would it be?
A veterinary surgeon, but only if combined with the round-the-world flights!
Which superhero from comics would you most like to be?
Batman. He’s a superhero yet still a regular guy. How cool is that?
What is your dream car?
An Aston Martin DB9 with the current V8 Vantage a very close second.
What was the most pivotal moment in your life?
Deciding not to join the family business after graduating from university (great support from open-minded parents). This decision led to a diverse range of early career experiences.