What was your first job, and how did you get into IT?
My first ever job, as a spotty teenager, was as a burger flipper at McDonald’s. It was great for the complexion. A friend was the marketing director of a software company and got me a job as a salesperson. I’ve been in IT and telecoms ever since.
What is your favourite joke, or the one you heard most recently?
Knock knock. Who’s there? To. To who? To whom (while rolling eyes disparagingly).
Tea or coffee, and how do you have it?
Neither. Ever. They’re both full of caffeine and give people halitosis.
If you could only be one, would you rather be right, or happy?
I’d rather be right, because when I’m right, I’m happy. Sometimes it’s more important to do the right thing and see justice and the right things being done to others than it is to be happy.
Which is more important: a good leader, or the team as a whole?
The team as a whole. Without the team there’s no need for a leader.
Where would you like to go or what would you like to do on your next holiday?
I’d like to go on a tour with the England cricket team to South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, or the West Indies. I’d watch all the games and soak up the atmosphere. Obviously I’d prefer to go when England are playing well.
Can politicians ever be trusted on IT? Please explain.
Errrr... can politicians ever be trusted?
Will there always be value in printed books and magazines?
Yes. It’s nice to hold something and flick through real pages. There’s nothing like the smell of a new book, too. If you draw a parallel with the music industry, you’ll find that printed books will probably become more valuable, just as vinyl has.
Would you rather draw up the plans, or carry them out?
I’d draw them up as I like creating new possibilities and planning for great new successes. I joined CenturyLink after developing its EMEA strategy as a consultant – they then asked me to put my money where my mouth is and actually deliver it and here I am. So I guess you could say I like drawing up the plans, but I also feel a responsibility to deliver.
Is telling little white lies wrong? If not, under what circumstances?
Definitely not. When your child asks you where they came from or your wife asks if her bum looks big, it is absolutely appropriate to lie. Without white lies cordial society would end.
What would you like to have as your epitaph?
“He died laughing.” Because if you can’t laugh through the joys and challenges of life, you might as well be dead already.
Your closest near-death experience?
Smashing my head open on a marble floor on holiday in Spain a long time ago. I had to be given CPR while the medics came. I had a headache for a week afterwards but that might have had something to do with the two bottles of vodka!
What are the characteristics of the perfect channel partner?
The perfect channel partner is one that has customers who have a need for our services and knows what it wants to achieve in terms of business. The best channel partner relationships are based on both parties agreeing on a business plan and milestones to achieve the goals. The partner has to want to sell our services and we have to want to support them. We try to ensure that we have attention to detail through the partner on-boarding, sales cycle, training and operational engagements so that our partner, the customer, and we all win.
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