BRAIN FOOD: Neville Bain - If I had to start again ..

BRAIN FOOD: Neville Bain - If I had to start again .. - With the benefit of hindsight, would I change things? Given that the important decisions in one's life are set in the context of that time, I think little would change. Sometimes there are lessons to be learned, and I have had a fair measure of those. There are some things I would have liked to have done, such as enjoy full-time university rather than the almost 12 years of part-time study for the various qualifications I achieved. I'd like to have devoted more time to rugby in my earlier years, but working full-time and studying part-time with a young family takes most of the seven days in a week! Perhaps a little more balance to family would have been sensible. Working internationally for Cadbury Schweppes was highly rewarding and challenging. My 27 years with the firm must go down as a high point. Starting off life as a management accountant has stood me in good stead for basing decisions on long-run-value addition.

by Neville Bain
Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

With the benefit of hindsight, would I change things? Given that the important decisions in one's life are set in the context of that time, I think little would change. Sometimes there are lessons to be learned, and I have had a fair measure of those. There are some things I would have liked to have done, such as enjoy full-time university rather than the almost 12 years of part-time study for the various qualifications I achieved. I'd like to have devoted more time to rugby in my earlier years, but working full-time and studying part-time with a young family takes most of the seven days in a week! Perhaps a little more balance to family would have been sensible. Working internationally for Cadbury Schweppes was highly rewarding and challenging. My 27 years with the firm must go down as a high point. Starting off life as a management accountant has stood me in good stead for basing decisions on long-run-value addition.

Moving into a portfolio career involving non-executive directorships in a large management buy-out and in private businesses is a stimulating but less rewarding position than being a CEO of a large company. I enjoy the different business challenges and the greater control over my time.

The role of the non-executive director has become much more onerous, requires more time, and is under-rewarded. These people are the 'thin cats' of the business world.

Neville Bain retired as deputy CEO of Cadbury Schweppes in 1993. He was chief executive of Coats Viyella 1991-96 and chairman of the Post Office 1997-2001. He is now chairman of Hogg Robinson and a director of Scottish & Newcastle.

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

Is it favouritism to protect an employee no one likes?

The Dominic Cummings affair shows the dangers of double standards, but it’s also true that...

Masterclass: Communicating in a crisis

In this video, Moneypenny CEO Joanna Swash and Hill+Knowlton Strategies UK CEO Simon Whitehead discuss...

Remote working forever? No thanks

EKM's CEO Antony Chesworth has had no problems working from home, but he has no...

5 rules for work-at-home productivity

And how to focus when focusing feels impossible.

Scandal management lessons from Dominic Cummings

The PR industry offers its take on the PM’s svengali.

Why emails cause conflict

And what you can do about it.