That is a good question. Throughout my business career, I have been very, very lucky that I have had a great set of bosses.
They have supported me and have given me the freedom to develop and grow. I learned different things from all of them, and I am reluctant to name any one of them, because I think it would be unfair on the others by possibly forgetting a name.
Whether it was my managers at Volkswagen Group – many of them gave me promotions and helped me develop my career and that continued at Jaguar Land Rover, where I was introduced to the global business world, all of them helped to make me what I am today.
Some of them were brilliant in their thinking and their clarity. Some of them were brilliant in their understanding of people. Some of them were massively supportive in terms of team dynamics and getting people to learn together.
I’ve tried throughout my career to pick the best from them. It could be their energy, a way of thinking, a turn of phrase, a perspective on life or business and, let’s be honest, very occasionally there has probably the odd time where I’ve learnt what not to do as well. No one is perfect that’s what makes great leaders human.
I’m not one who idolises Steve Jobs or Richard Branson from afar. For me very simplistically, people’s happiness at work, and therefore their ability to achieve is largely determined by their boss and their boss’s boss.
A great boss can turn an average job description into a fantastic experience. And I try to learn from all my great bosses and pick the best bits for the right set of circumstances.