UK: BRAIN FOOD - Matters for the mind to chew on - Sir Peter Parker.

UK: BRAIN FOOD - Matters for the mind to chew on - Sir Peter Parker. - Edited by RHYMER RIGBY, rhymer.rigby@haynet.com.

by
Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

Edited by RHYMER RIGBY, rhymer.rigby@haynet.com.

If I had to start again in business, I would listen to my own advice much more. Looking back I am conscious of having lavished advice on others and not taken enough of my own medicine. I am not one for formula in management: managing anything is more of a mystery than business schools care to admit.

I started life working in a relatively large international organisation.

Next time I would not do that. Big organisations, however well intentioned (and mine was), tend to breed bureaucracy. They have not the scope for fun or moneymaking that I found in a more independent and plural existence.

It is the incalculable in management that I would be readier for next time round. The simple, unpredictable, accidental things. But here are the rules for my replay as a manager:

Eat and drink less and laugh more. Somehow find a way of sleeping twice a day. Do all your sums. Look hard, but don't forget you still have to leap. Hire people cleverer than you and delegate more than you think is good for you. Learn one more language at least; it's never too late. Find things to praise in other people, but don't trust yourself too easily about yourself - you're such a flatterer! If you're in a hanging mood, hang people - like pictures - in the best light. One minute of your time could be somebody else's day, good or bad, courtesy or curse. Round tables for meetings do make a real difference. Take your problems home. Organise into the smallest groups you can. Do not ask Frank Sinatra his view on the atomic bomb - ask him to croon. Sir Peter Parker was chairman of British Rail, 1976-83.

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

Social responsibility may no longer be a choice

Editorial: Having securitised businesses’ loans and paid their wage bills, it’s not inconceivable the government...

What went wrong at Wirecard

And how to stop it happening to you.

Leadership lessons from Jürgen Klopp

The Liverpool manager exemplifies ‘the long win’, based not on results but on clarity of...

How to get a grip on stress

Once a zebra escapes the lion's jaws, it goes back to grazing peacefully. There's a...

A leadership thought: Treat your colleagues like customers

One minute briefing: Create a platform where others can see their success, says AVEVA CEO...

The ignominious death of Gordon Gekko

Profit at all costs is a defunct philosophy, and purpose a corporate superpower, argues this...