Belfast Telegraph

'Trust your gut and also rely on your intuition'

Q&A: Clare Guinness

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

A: Trust your gut in decision making. Analysis, research and experience are of course essential, but I rely also on my intuition.

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

A: That would be to find an experienced and trusted mentor, who is not afraid to challenge you constructively on your decisions and strategy.

Q: What was your best business decision?

A: My best business decision was walking away from a deal which just didn't feel right despite the months of effort that had been put into getting it to that stage. It takes courage to do a deal and courage to know when to walk away.

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

A: I would definitely be running my own business.

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

A: My most recent holiday was to Sardinia with my family. It was wonderful and a welcome time to relax, but I'm already looking forward to long weekend in Marbella with the girls.

Q: What are your hobbies/interests?

A: Outside work, I love to socialise and really enjoy being active and family days out.

Q: What is your favourite sport and team?

A: I have always taken great pleasure from sport and love supporting Ireland, especially during the Six Nations rugby. Along with my husband Gary, we try to get to at least one game each year.

Q: And have you ever played any sports?

A: I have played lots of basketball, especially at school and university where I captained my team at Loughborough University.

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

A: I would recommend Simon Sinek's It Starts with Why. I believe it contains invaluable lessons for any business leader.

Q: How would you describe your early life?

A: I am the youngest of seven so my early life was being spoilt with attention by my parents and siblings. I am so grateful to have had a happy and secure upbringing and owe so much to my very hardworking parents.

Q: Have you any economic predictions?

A: I think in these uncertain times, it is tough to make any solid economic predictions. However, from the port's point of view, we are bullish about our future and see continued growth in the coming years regardless of the outcome of Brexit negotiations. No matter what the landscape, there are always opportunities, sometimes it's just more difficult to see them.

Q: How would you assess your time with the port?

A: It has been exciting and challenging in equal measure.

Q: How do you sum up working at the port?

A: I have a super team around me and spectacular views across Carlingford Lough to enjoy every day.

Belfast Telegraph

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