Business lessons from Friedrich Nietzsche

Column: NatWest’s chairman finds hope in surprising places.

by Howard Davies

In a normal year, I spend about a quarter of my time out of the country. A lot of it is in Paris, which is quicker to reach from London than our house in Dorset, but with a few long-haul trips to New York and Beijing also in the mix.

So there were a lot of hours in lounges, on planes, and in traffic jams on Long Island, for which this last year I have had to find an alternative use.

I wish I could say that I have used all that time constructively and taught myself to speak Sanskrit or to knit bed socks, but I cannot. I did lubricate the slide of my old trombone, and play a couple of melodies from A Tune a Day, but they sounded as ugly as when I gave up playing seriously more than 50 years ago, so I put it back to sleep.

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