What was your first job, and how did you get into IT?
My first job was in procurement with STC (later on Nortel). When working with a vendor, a sales manager suggested I look at moving into sales. I was subsequently introduced to the founder of a business selling modems and multiplexors.
Planes, trains or automobiles?
Trains, when running well, are the most efficient and relaxing. They are also efficient from an environmental point of view.
What is your favourite joke or the one you heard most recently?
Two peanuts walk into a bar. One was a salted.
Should Prince William shave his head?
No. He should wear his baldness with pride.
In my dreams…
…I would live by the sea.
Oranges or bananas?
Bananas are easier to eat on the go and the risk of getting juice on your shirt before that all-important meeting is reduced. Also, your hands don’t smell of orange peel for the rest of the day.
What was the best holiday you have ever been on?
In December, our family found a small hotel in the middle of Dartmoor, where the staff spoiled us with great food and wines. They were so attentive, they managed to predict what we wanted before we’d thought about it. Even our dog was happy as he received a Christmas present - which pleased my daughter no end.
If you had a week to live, what would you do?
I would arrange to have lunch or dinner with all the friends I don’t see as often as I would like, and leave having had a jolly laugh about good times.
Do you read Channelweb.co.uk on your mobile device?
I do. It’s quick, digestible, and I can use it to stay ahead of the issues facing the UK channel.
If someone shrank you to the size of a pencil and put you in a blender, how would you get out?
Probably via the top, when someone poured me out.
What do you miss from being a kid that you no longer do or can do?
I grew up by the sea in Devon so windsurfing and sailing were daily pastimes for me.
Do you choose soaps or body washes by their colour or their perfume?
Perfume. It’s important to smell nice.
What are the traits of a perfect boss?
One who listens, doesn’t assume that if it looks and feels like a previous situation, the same solution will work, and recognises that the value of a diverse team is greater than the sum of its parts.
Would you rather draw up the plans or carry them out?
I believe one needs to immerse oneself in the business to understand what plans are needed. One needs to communicate the need, status, destination, and why the business needs to reach that destination. Then one needs to lead from the front, testing the plan, and driving the embracement and implementation. It takes a team to win.
Do you use social media?
I use LinkedIn. Does that count? Seriously though, I have two young boys, so I stay ahead of the social media channels with their help.
Will the economic recovery continue?
Absolutely. At the macro level it’s all about cycles, and at the micro level - while the pain has been intense for many - I believe lots of us needed to refine our financial management.
What is the most important thing in business?
Trust. You earn it through open, honest, and non-ambiguous interactions.
Is IT well taught in schools?
It’s getting better. But it’s not just about teaching IT in schools, it’s also important to encourage young people to want to work in the industry.
Jeremy Nicholls is EMEA channels and business development director at Arbor Networks
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