What do you currently do?
I am the Group Chairman and CEO of Masternaut, the European market leader in telematics-based solutions for mobile resource management. This means that I oversee the delivery of robust, easy-to-use software solutions that provide extensive business intelligence for our customers – helping them to minimise costs and maximise profitability. Day-to-day I look after all the activities that contribute towards our corporate objectives: ensuring customer satisfaction, rapid growth – doubling the company’s revenues within the next 3-5 years – and overseeing the development and delivery of truly innovative products to the market.
What is your inspiration in business?
I am inspired by working with organisations that are full of unlocked potential and present a great business opportunity. An organisation that is full of entrepreneurs and good businessmen and an environment where people are empowered to achieve. Often these types of business need strong leadership and management to take them to the next level.
I am also enormously passionate about new technologies that solve complex problems. Being involved and at the forefront of the next wave of innovation is hugely motivational and inspiring.
Who do you admire?
I admire many people in business – especially those who demonstrate an incredible amount of perseverance, even when the going gets tough. Jack Welch is someone I’ve always greatly admired and taken inspiration from for his strong, uncompromising leadership. He delivers a clear vision, but allows the people within the organisation to see it through to fruition. This generates a culture where everyone plays a part.
I also hugely admire Albert Einstein for constantly challenging the status quo. I believe that if you do what has always been done, you will always get what you’ve always got. Einstein always looked at issues from a different perspective.
Looking back, are there things you would have done differently?
In all honesty, I don’t regret anything. I have been very fortunate, and constant perseverance has been a feature of my career. If there is one thing I would have liked to make more time for though, it would have been mentoring. I’ve had some exceptional mentors over the years, and I would have liked to begin to give back to the next generation sooner. It’s something I’m remedying now.
What defines your way of doing business?
My philosophy is that the only constant is change, so it’s vital to always be looking over the horizon to what you can do next, how to advance to the next phase and how to improve on what you’re delivering. It keeps an organisation on its toes. This must be communicated to the organisation with great clarity. There is a huge difference between being autocratic and a true visionary. No one gives you a leadership position: it is something that is earned.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out?
Be yourself. Do what you do best, and don’t try to be something that doesn’t feel natural. Keeping up a pretence becomes increasingly challenging, so start out on the right foot by doing something that you believe in. If you are honest and straightforward, people will always come to expect that of you.
Also, invest time in developing your communications skills. Being able to communicate effectively will help inspire both leadership and confidence.