Chartered Management Institute companion Bo Lerenius, group CEO of Associated British Ports Holdings, believes consistency is what wins the day.
In 1870, in a speech to the House of Commons, Benjamin Disraeli intoned: 'The secret of success is constancy to purpose.' As the group chief executive of Associated British Ports Holdings (ABP), which owns and operates the largest ports group in the UK, this is a precept that I hold dear in my business and management philosophy, along with 'keep it simple'.
I was appointed to this post in 1999, a few months after a major strategic review of the business had been carried out. In my opinion, as the 'new broom', you can speak softly without having to carry a big stick - you don't change things for the sake of change, or so that your presence can be universally felt. The strategy to grow the business was fundamentally sound and the board, as well as the senior management, took ownership of the strategy. I saw my task as further improving that strategy and making it more rigid. Obviously, the task was also to head its implementation and to roll it out through the ranks so that everyone in the company had buy-in.