What was your first job, and how did you get into IT?
First was a paper round - OK, make that two paper rounds - and a marking-up job when I was 13. I was headhunted into the IT industry.
Planes, trains or automobiles?
Planes, because it usually means I’m going to a place where the sun is shining.
What sport should be in the Olympics but isn’t?
Women’s mud wrestling, for obvious reasons.
What could prompt you to give it all up and join the revolution?
Nothing. I’m a true believer that everyone (where possible) should contribute to society.
What is your favourite joke or the one you heard most recently?
This is very non-PC but made me laugh out loud: “I bought one of those anti-bullying wristbands when they first came out. I say ‘bought’ - I actually stole it off a short, fat, ginger kid.”
Should Prince William shave his head?
Yup, the comb-over is never acceptable.
In my dreams…
...Cameron Diaz and Jennifer Aniston would be my PAs. Well, it’s my dream, so why can’t I have two?
What was the best business trip or junket you have ever experienced?
My team massively exceeded its annual target, so we all got to go to Barcelona for a weekend, stay in a great hotel and eat amazing food.
…like to lose.
What would your superpower be?
I’d be a “super” footballer - Messi, Ronaldo, Zidane, Maradona (minus the drugs) and Pele all rolled into one, so England could win the next World Cup.
Do you use social media?
I use Facebook for my personal life, and LinkedIn and Twitter for business.
What has been your toughest moment at work so far, and how did you resolve the situation?
Firing someone. The situation resolved itself.
Print or online news?
Print. My girlfriend, Marie, brings home the free London newspapers every night, so it’s good to read them and relax after spending a hard day at work.
Would you rather draw up the plans, or carry them out?
Draw them up, as I see myself as more of a creative than a “manual” person. Although I’m sure Marie thinks I’m [BBC do-it-yourselfer] Tommy Walsh at the weekends.
What was your closest near-death experience?
I managed to swallow nearly a whole ice pop, which lodged in my throat when I was a young boy. I couldn’t breathe and started to turn blue like a Smurf. Luckily, my mum was nearby and squeezed me until it came out.
What is one thing you miss from being a kid that you no longer do or can do?
Playing football nearly every day. I now have to work for a living - and the knees have gone.
Are IT skills shortages best filled by on-the-job training or a formal education such as university?
I employ a 17-year old who is on a government IT training scheme, spending 60 per cent of his time with us at LAN3 and 40 per cent in classrooms. We are both of the opinion that nothing beats on-the-job training as it provides people with much more real-time learning and actual workplace experience.
What is the most important thing in business?
Not to promise something you can’t deliver, otherwise your credibility is shot.
If you had your chance again, what would have been your choice of career?
Film producer. It mixes the business world with the entertainment world, both of which fascinate me enormously.
Lee Newman is service director at Lan 3
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