What is the most important attribute of a business leader?
Emotional intelligence is vital. You need to have an appreciation of what your customers and staff are thinking and how your way of operating makes them feel. As the latest CBI research demonstrates, customers’ buying decisions are guided by a company’s behaviour, so ensure that your ethos is reflected throughout the business.
What is your guiding principle?
Be honest and direct as trust is absolutely key in being successful. This ability to trust becomes even more important the higher up an organisation someone progresses.
If you hadn’t gone into business, what might you have done instead?
Music was, and still is, really important to me, so rather than going into business I would have taken up that offer of a place at the Royal College of Music. Who knows what that could have led to?
What advice would you give your children in business?
Don’t take any notice of The Apprentice. Real life is not like that. Be consistent and fair in your treatment of others and always encourage, recognising the efforts of others. Never try to manipulate or go back on your word; and, always remember, that you often come across people later on in your career, so make sure that they remember you for the right reasons!
What do your employees say about you?
I would hope that they would say that I’ve completely changed the personality of the business, making people able to come forward with ideas as they know that they are valued and a key part of the business; however, feel free to ask them.