The chief executive of Booker has a prize confession to make. While Stuart Rose has given a great show of ability in restoring the fortunes of his food distribution company, he admits to having tasted fear - real fear - when it came to speaking before large groups. In a review of Khalid Aziz's Presenting to Win in our books section, he tells of the anxiety that gripped him before giving a public presentation or speech - until training helped overcome his nervousness.
Despite his fascination with the future, Peter Day fights a private battle against modern times in his day-to-day life. He cycles everywhere (inspired by his Dutch wife) and says he wishes the telephone had never been invented. But he has been a part of modern life for nearly 25 years with the BBC, where he is now business correspondent and for 11 years has presented In Business on Radio 4. He recently visited American futurists for a World Service series they called Future Perfect - but he doubts the future will be.
It's a brave executive who predicts the future - particularly in one of the fastest moving sectors of the economy - but Sir Geoffrey Mulcahy, group chief executive of Kingfisher, has gone out on the limb for our millennium issue. As he braces his group for the invasion of the UK by US rival Wal-Mart, he looks to the future and predicts the emergence of truly global retailers by way of the internet - something probably unforeseen when he took his Harvard MBA in the early '60s.
Every September, Keith Harper is a bit of a union-basher - as he captains a journalists' cricket team against the TUC. But for many years he played both sides as labour and industry editor for the Guardian. He remembers Ted Heath once asking him and other journalists for advice on 'what to do with the miners'. Whatever they said didn't quite work out.
A decade later he was writing about a year-long miners' strike. Now transport editor for the Guardian, he writes this month about British Airways' troubled skies.
Having a full life as opposed to just a work life is an increasingly tall order for today's managers. With this in mind, MT introduces its 'Balancing act' column by Alice Rawsthorn - to examine how modern leaders strike a balance between work and the rest. Rawsthorn, who is architecture and design critic for the Financial Times, an author and a Turner Prize judge, looks this month at how Sotheby's deputy chairman Melanie Clore divides time between the auction house and her own.
While in Greece to photograph the British Airways team sent to sort out Olympic Airlines, Jake Walters was struck by their tight schedules.
He heard one ask his secretary: 'How much time will this shoot cost me?' Photography is a second career for Walters, who ran a building business until he tired of chasing the money he was due. He had once taken pictures of the pop star Morrissey, a childhood friend, which were used on a record cover. Now he shoots for the likes of the Sunday Telegraph and Loaded.