BRAIN FOOD: Matters for the mind to chew on - Mike Hodgkinson. If I had to start again ..

BRAIN FOOD: Matters for the mind to chew on - Mike Hodgkinson. If I had to start again .. - As a university student, the Christmas post was my holiday job, earning a little extra to stay solvent, and now I'm completing the round with my chairmanship of the Post Office.

by Mike Hodgkinson who retires as chief executive of BAA in June tobecome chairman of the Post Office
Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

As a university student, the Christmas post was my holiday job, earning a little extra to stay solvent, and now I'm completing the round with my chairmanship of the Post Office.

Today, I often do the round of our airport terminals, speaking to staff to see how the operation is functioning, but I also stand back to see the bigger picture: that's where having a financial background helped me. It gave discipline to my thought processes and enabled me to see the real issues of tomorrow. Everything I've seen from business is that you need to have discipline in order to be successful. The best people are creative and disciplined: you need to be able to implement an idea. Earlier in my career, I had very varied motor industry experiences, which also helped shaped my thinking. I worked at Ford with its systems-oriented and disciplined approach, and at British Leyland, which was simply chaotic.

My biggest career challenge was setting up Land Rover, which was created from constituent bits of British Leyland. It was my luckiest break because I was plucked out of nowhere to head it up at the age of 34. If I were to start again, the only other pull would have been a career in the City and finance. It's a sort of mindset that trains you to analyse, to be systematic and creative. Add optimism, perseverance and some humour and you'll succeed in business. I would quite like to have started up my own business, but it's too late now. My advice is remember Tuesday always follows Monday - don't panic!

Tags:
How To

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

When spying on your staff backfires

As Barclays' recently-scrapped tracking software shows, snooping on your colleagues is never a good idea....

A CEO’s guide to smart decision-making

You spend enough time doing it, but have you ever thought about how you do...

What Tinder can teach you about recruitment

How to make sure top talent swipes right on your business.

An Orwellian nightmare for mice: Pest control in the digital age

Case study: Rentokil’s smart mouse traps use real-time surveillance, transforming the company’s service offer.

Public failure can be the best thing that happens to you

But too often businesses stigmatise it.

Andrew Strauss: Leadership lessons from an international cricket captain

"It's more important to make the decision right than make the right decision."