'The biggest influence on me in my business life and career has been, without doubt, In Search Of Excellence, by Tom Peters and Robert Waterman.
I read this fantastic book about 10 years ago and it really encouraged me. I had always believed in customer service and giving value for money but this book really pushed me along - in particular the point that businesses will never achieve great customer service unless their people want to make it happen, and that really is the key.
I went through every chapter with a fine-tooth comb and spent countless hours discussing the implications for the business with my wife while on holiday in Normandy - she's never forgiven me!
I then took a microscope and knife to my business, which has never been the same since.
The book also encouraged me to start our company suggestion scheme, which is now the most successful of any in the country in terms of numbers of suggestions per employee, and from this idea alone I have made literally millions of pounds - pretty good payback for the price of the book.'.