Lysanne Currie, editor of Director magazine, previews what’s inside this month’s issue
There is a great New York Times opinion piece that has been doing the rounds on social media – The Moral Bucket List. I can’t do it full justice here but, in short, political commentator David Brooks (pictured) muses about successful people who’ve had a far from perfect path through life. Through depth of character, he says, they have used every bump in the road to nurture a “radical self-understanding” and “build their life not by being better than others, but by being better than [he or] she used to be”.
This resonated strongly with me as being true of many of the business leaders I meet at the IoD. They see tough times, not as something to overcome, but essential to innovation and growth.
The way great leaders have dealt with adversity and prospered is, of course, always a strong theme at the IoD Annual Convention – where a stellar line-up of speakers share what they have learned with you, their peers. This month, as the build-up to the big event on 6 October begins, we pick out 10 great pieces of advice heard there in recent years from leaders including Sir Richard Branson and Archbishop Desmond Tutu (p82).
This view, that bumps in the road are essential to business development rather than something to overcome, was in evidence among the other directors we’ve interviewed this month. For our roundtable feature, 12 leaders discussed the challenges and strategies for fast-tracking growth. Read their tips on p64.
We also met Rowan Gormley, founder of Naked Wines – the disruptive wine business recently bought by Majestic for £70m. He revealed how his rapidly growing company would never have been founded if he hadn’t have been sacked by Virgin Wines during the recession (p40).
When it comes to turning adversity into success, there can be few more brilliant examples in UK business than the story of Jaguar Land Rover. I first met Gerry McGovern, the chief creative officer of Land Rover, at a dinner in Reykjavik, Iceland, where we discussed the car manufacturer’s remarkable turnaround – from the government’s refusal to rescue the troubled company in 2007, to the buy-out by India’s Tata Motors. He shares triumph-over-adversity strategies on p30.
I hope you enjoy the issue and have a great month.
Director magazine is sent to all IoD members as part of their membership. Non-members can subscribe to Director or purchase single editions on your iPad. Click here for more details