Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010


If you've interviewed more than a hundred business leaders, says MT's profile writer Andrew Davidson, you get a good feel for what makes a great entrepreneur. So good, in fact, that he decided to write Smart Luck, a book about what makes these people who they are. He provides a flavour this month in place of his usual interview. The book won't make you rich, says Davidson, but it will help you understand why others are.


For the past two years, Harry Borden has taken the photographs that accompany Andrew Davidson's monthly interviews. Photographing the great and good of business, says Borden, can be a rather odd pastime: 'They want exposure but they don't want to be seen to be doing anything as frivolous as having their picture taken.' This rather peculiar reticence, he says, is something they share with politicians and - perhaps surprisingly - rap stars.


This month's 'If I had to start again' column in Brain Food features Sir Richard Greenbury, who had, until he retired in 1999, spent his whole career at Marks & Spencer. Joining at 16 because the job ad didn't ask for A-levels, he became the youngest board member 20 years later and in 1988 he was appointed chief executive. Almost - but not quite all - of his 46 years at M&S were happy ones. Find out what he'd have done differently if he could start over.


After a stint in film production, Tamara Ingram joined Saatchi & Saatchi, where she worked her way up through the ranks, becoming joint chief executive of the London office in 1995 when the eponymous Maurice and Charles were ousted from the firm they founded. She went on to become sole CEO in 1999. In this month's From the Top, she is asked How do you make tough decisions, and she tells us about the most difficult business choice she has faced.


Richard Lambert has decided to expand his single-line CV. After spending all his working life at the Financial Times, the past 10 years as its editor, he has decided to move on to places as yet unknown. But whatever happens, he can look back with pink-tinted glasses: under his stewardship sales nearly doubled at the FT. This month, he added to his CV ever so slightly by reviewing City State by Richard Roberts and David Kynaston in our books section.


In his piece on motivational speakers, author and broadcaster Peter Stanford, 39, looks at an industry whose main motivation - for the speakers, at least - would seem to be the Croesan fees they command. Still, having witnessed the mountaineer Bear Grylls use his recollections to outline a theory on being a better manager, Stanford is wondering whether investing in crampons, ropes and ice-picks and hitting the peaks might solve his looming mid-life crisis.

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