Belfast Telegraph

This time it's personal ...

By Alex Crossan

Q. What’s the best piece of business (or life) advice you’ve ever been given?

A. Keep positive as much as you can as each of us casts a long shadow. People working with you can and often will take their lead from your demeanour so it’s important to set a good example and a positive working environment.

Q. What piece of advice would you pass on to someone starting out in business?

A. I would say, persevere — and learn from your mistakes rather than justify them. This is key for progressing within the world of business both in Northern Ireland and further afield.

Q. What was your best business decision?

A. My best decision is a number of appointments that I’ve made into my leadership teams over the years. In order to be successful in business, you need to have a strong team around you that you can rely on and I’m fortunate enough to have been able to surround myself with some very talented people within BT.

Q. If you weren’t doing this job, what would be your other career?

A. I would say that I’d be working in education, probably as a teacher. Educating young people is not only a gift but also a responsibility. As our next generation of future business leaders, it’s essential that young people are given a sound understanding and knowledge across a wide range of subjects but it is also important that they learn respect and tolerance, which are key attributes needed to be successful in any business environment.  

Q. What was your last holiday? Where are you going next?

A I’ve been in several cities on the east coast of America recently including New York, Philadelphia, Washington DC and Toronto. My next trip will be to Frankfurt in December. It’s important to work hard but also to enjoy quality holiday time with friends and family.

Q. What are your hobbies/interests?

A. I have to say that I am a sofa spectator of football — almost every variety. It’s a great way to relax and unwind. I also enjoy taking time out and spending it with my family. At the end of the day, family is the most important thing and I enjoy making memories with my wife and children.

Q. What is your favourite band/album or piece of music, and why?

A. My favourite band has got to be Queen, especially their album Queen II. The tracks are varied but equally great.

Q. What is your favourite sport and team? And have you ever played any sports?

A. It’s got to be soccer. I’m a massive supporter of Manchester United. Soccer has been in my blood from a young age. In fact, I played semi-professional soccer in the Irish league a number of years ago.

Q. If you enjoy reading, can you recommend a book?

A. I have to be honest and say that I rarely read, but when I do it will be a John Grisham book. Otherwise, I do enjoy reading biographies of sports stars such Patrick Viera, Roy Keane or Alex Ferguson.

Belfast Telegraph