Magazine article Management Today

You Live and You Learn

Magazine article Management Today

You Live and You Learn

Article excerpt

Failing my 11-plus was a pivotal moment.

I knew if I didn't get into grammar school, it could fundamentally change my life. I worked hard and was transferred to the grammar school after a year.

I'm an amazingly boring person. I work, exercise and spend time with my family. If you're going to do a big job you've got to find ways to de-stress, and for me doing a lot of exercise has always helped.

You need to know when it's time to move on. I felt I'd done my bit at Asda and not just as chief exec - I'd been at the company for 16 years by the time I resigned as CEO.

I am less competitive than I used to be. I try not to benchmark myself against other graduates of the Asda school of management (such as Justin King and Richard Baker). We're all good - we're just different.

I'm apolitical. My wife has to remind me to vote. When you're employing 170,000 people, I think you've got an obligation to be non-political. They shouldn't be influenced by the person they work for.

My year at Cranfield was a purple patch. …

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