How do you typically start a working day?
When I am not travelling outside London, I wake up around 7am and have breakfast with my husband and daughter. I drive her to school, which is great as we tend to listen to Kiss FM and sing along. Sometimes I ask her opinion about work-related things. She is 13 and some of her advice is really funny! I then head off to our offices in Victoria Street. If I have to travel somewhere outside London, I tend to be up much earlier.
How long is your commute and what do you do during it?
During my 20-minute commute, I go through my emails while listening to music. The music tends to relax me and put me in a positive state of mind.
What is your attitude to flexible working at your company?
I think it is great for society in general. We tend to work long hours and being able to work from home has a significant, positive impact on the work/life balance. However, I also think face-to-face contact with colleagues is extremely important. The solutions we provide to our customers are complex, and require us to work as a team, to know each other, to understand how each person can contribute to the end game etc. To achieve this, I think it is crucial to spend time with your colleagues in the work environment and socialise a bit so you create a bond.
What would your colleagues say is your worst habit?
I asked a colleague I have known forever and he said that I have a short attention span. My daughter says the same, so it must be true. That's why I don't like conference calls that go on too long!
If there was one thing you could change about your business, what would it be?
I would like our business in general to have more patience. We are so focused on short-term results that we don't always make the right decisions for long-term sustainable growth. A lot is driven by the fact that our company is quoted on the stock exchange. Even so, we ought to be better at this.
What do you do on a typical day?
I manage my business end to end and I need to ensure we are on track against our business plan objectives for the year. I speak almost every day to my finance director to keep me abreast of the general health of the business P&L and balance sheet. I spend quite a bit of time with sales, either meeting a customer or doing bid reviews. I get quite a few internal and external escalations, and I meet with partners and suppliers. In addition, internal stakeholder engagement is needed within the company. I am also quite keen on employee engagement, so I like to visit all my centres regularly and meet the teams.
How do you unwind at the end of the day?
I like to go for a run, or to the gym. But then when I have done my exercise, I tend to take a glass of red wine - apparently it is good for your health! I try to have two alcohol-free evenings a week, but I often fail to reach that target. I am still fairly busy in the evening. I may watch the news around 10pm. I am a terrible zapper - no one wants to watch TV with me. Unless I have a business event in the evening, I fall easily asleep by 11pm.
Where do you sit in the office?
Next to my PA. I can tell her everything there and then and don't waste time writing down stuff.
How many hours do you typically work in a day or week?
I like to believe I am efficient. I know it is a cliché, but women are really good at multi-tasking. However, I tend to be quite intense during the working hours.
Phone call, email, or face-to-face meeting?
All of them, but if I want to seal a deal, I like face to face.
How good are you at replying to emails?
I always reply to ALL my emails personally.
Do you ever really have a proper day or week off with no contact with the office?
I try not to look at my phone when I am on holidays abroad, but somehow I am uncomfortable about leaving my work phone at home.
What's the quotation that best sums up your approach to business?
I see business as a game with players, strategies to devise, plots to make and uncover, allies to find, foes to defeat, you win, lose - and it has to be fun.
Big Blue has sold off swathes of its software assets to Indian giant HCL
'I've never seen the industry move so fast' - reseller bosses come together to discuss change and innovation
14 top reseller bosses come together at CRN A-list dinner to discuss where they are placing their bets for the year ahead
This year saw a veritable M&A frenzy with some notable resellers getting scooped up
Top execs from the likes of Insight, Softcat and Daisy came together last night to talk about industry change. View all the photos here