Belfast Telegraph

'Always make sure you know your business'

Q&A: John McLean

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

A: 'Make it your business to know your business.' Make time to talk to customers, staff and suppliers and you should always be able to drill down into the organisation's activities.

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

A: Don't be afraid or too proud to change tack if things are not going to plan. 'A good idea today, may not be a good idea tomorrow.'

Q: What was your best business decision?

A: In my earlier career I was thrust into challenging circumstances at home and overseas, at a time when mobile phones were rare and advice was in a different time zone. You made your own decisions and lived with the consequences. Fortunately I made more right than wrong ones, but had the benefit of learning from some of the best.

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

A: I spent much of my earlier career in business development roles at home and overseas, so would likely have gravitated in that direction. I'd love a crack as a 'Jerry Maguire' type celebrity or sports agent.

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

A: Frejus in South of France last year. This year we will holiday in Lake Garda, a family favourite.

Q: What are your hobbies/interests?

A: I am a keen football and rugby spectator and enjoy hill walking and keeping fit.

Q: What is your favourite sport and team?

A: I am a long suffering Liverpool fan, but I am particularly enjoying Ireland's latest run in the Six Nations.

Q: And have you ever played any sports?

A: Not seriously, but I enjoy 5-a-side football and golf.

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

A: I recently read the book Smuggler of Timbuktu by Charlie English.

Q: How would you describe your early life?

A: I was strongly supported and encouraged by my parents, and I have fond memories of growing up with my three sisters and two brothers.

Q: Have you any economic predictions?

A: Brexit uncertainty, welfare reforms, cuts in public funding and the impasse at Stormont will most likely reduce Northern Ireland's GDP. At the same time we may see increased homelessness and more children and vulnerable older people dropping below the fuel and poverty lines. It's critical that we resolve our political differences so we are better able to affect the direction of travel.

Q: How would you assess your time in business with your company, Radius?

A: In our first 12 months since merger we have integrated and upgraded our core IT systems... all while starting more than 400 new homes. We expect to achieve a turnover of £85m.

Belfast Telegraph

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