BRAIN FOOD: Unlikely managers - Driving instructor, Monk School of Motoring, London

BRAIN FOOD: Unlikely managers - Driving instructor, Monk School of Motoring, London - Name: Colin Monk

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Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

Name: Colin Monk

When did you become a manager?

In 1968, when I had my first office.

What does management mean to you?

It's about making sure our 12 instructors maintain a high standard so the customers are looked after properly. I do the hiring, firing and training.

I'm also company secretary, but I'm usually out instructing - at any one time I have 25 to 30 pupils. You need to be calm in order to diffuse tense situations. If we're being hooted from behind and the pupil gets hysterical, it's no good over-reacting. There can be some hairy moments. Once, our car was driven into and the culprit sped off without giving his details.

I told the pupil to put their foot on the accelerator, while I took control of the gears and braking, and in the end we caught him up. To manage you need to stay level-headed.

What do you love/hate about it?

It's still rewarding to see the joy on somebody's face when they pass.

I hate telling instructors they haven't maintained the standard that is necessary.

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