“I do start-ups and turnarounds. I use a broad brush. I am not a detail guy. I do high-energy, short-burst activity that makes a quantum difference.”
Normally, business plans are skewed to achieving a year-end budget. If you look at a graph of sales there's a hockey-stick effect at the end of every year. Then everyone relaxes because they've made the target and four months in they're already behind budget and starting to panic again. I think much of this attitude arises from our inherent habit of burying our head in the sand when it comes to being faced with a challenge or daunting task such as beginning the year with a stretching target. We hope that by ignoring it it will disappear … Well, it usually doesn't. The kind of business at Telecity is of a highly recurring nature: every deal made in January generates twelve months' income; any sales made in December are only one month's income in that year. I wanted to find a way of showing my team how to focus on targets right from the beginning, to engage, and to never be afraid of commitment from the very start.
We went bobsleighing at Lillehammer in Norway. I thought it would be great fun. It was more frightening than swimming with the sharks. After three or four initial runs in a slow-running practice sled, we swapped to a real Olympic bobsleigh steered by a professional driver. The twists and turns came up with unbelievable speed. The G forces ...