A vote of confidence
New career moves
“I was building my own political career when I met fellow London Business School (LBS) alumna Justine Greening at Reunion in 2015. I asked if she minded giving me some guidance on becoming an MP."
“Justine explained how she got into parliament and what I needed to know to take the same journey. Getting advice from an LBS alumna shows how powerful the School’s network is. Since then, she has achieved her ambition of becoming a British MP by winning the Chichester seat in the 2017 general election."
“I’m motivated to give others the same opportunities I had. I’ve had a successful business career that started when I joined a car factory as an apprentice at 16. But not everyone from my background is that fortunate."
“There’s a contrast between where I started in Huyton (Merseyside) and where I ended up. Not many people have the chance to become a senior executive in business - I worked for manufacturing, banking and IT companies in the UK and Spain - and then a politician. The
apprenticeship I did opened many doors for me, but that opportunity isn’t as available today as it should be to working-class people. I want to help change that.”
From leading to coaching
“The catalyst for my decision to become a politician was a LBS lecture by Lynda Gratton, Professor of Management Practice, in 2010. I was inspired listening to Lynda talk about how people were more likely to live longer, giving them time for two or three careers."
“I had been in international business for 27 years and didn’t want to do the same thing for the next 27 years. So while working out what I wanted to do next, I decided to take the Sloan."
“The programme taught me how leaders need to adapt to a changing world. What got you into the role of leader is no longer enough. You have to change from being the smartest person in the room to coaching the smartest people in the room."
“Sloan was an opportunity to think about my own leadership style and the challenges facing today’s executives. The 21st century leadership model is one where you’re constantly on show and connected through social media. There’s an expectation that you’ll be accessible, which is one of the things that puts people off going into politics."
“LBS prepared me for life as a politician and provided friends who offer alternative political views. For anyone studying at LBS, having a strong group within your stream is really important. They’re not only friends for life, but also people who you can discuss things with in confidence. I have a group of LBS friends I talk to about politics. They all have varying jobs, experiences, backgrounds and political views, which is ideal as they bring different perspectives.”
“Sloan was an opportunity to think about my own leadership style and the challenges facing today’s executives.”