Q&A with Andrew Whyatt-Sames
1. What’s your favourite way to answer the question ‘what do you do?’
I describe myself as a business psychologist who helps to solve people problems – usually in the areas of performance and engagement
2. What is your approach to finding a work-life balance?
Be flexible and look at the whole week, not just the day – I make sure I build in family and exercise time, rather than leaving it to luck
3. Describe in three words what makes a good leader
Humble, curious, persuasive
4. If you could remote-work from any country in the world, where would it be?
South of France because I love the weather, the people and the baked goods.
5. Which culture, philosophy, or way of life - that is different to yours - do you most admire?
I was really impressed when I visited the slums in Delhi – they really know how to re-use resources and avoid waste. Where I might read about ‘house batteries’ and think that’s innovative in the west, it’s standard in the slums as power dropouts mean it’s a necessity.
6. Who was your favourite teacher, role model or mentor when growing-up?
Easy! Mr. Brewerton in Akrotiri Primary School, Cyprus. He was enthusiastic about imparting learning. Truly inspiring.
7. What, or who, was your biggest inspiration when choosing your career route?
My mentor, Phil Lindsay – I recruited him when his wife came onto my radio show and mentioned him in passing. I was training to be a psychologist. Phil helped me to believe I could do it.
8. Which area of your consulting work do you find the most interesting, and why?
Change. Such complexity, nuance and opportunity to solve interesting problems.
9. What are the top 3 personal skills that leaders need to possess, or develop, to lead their organisation into the future?
Social intelligence, self-awareness and the ability to curate a sustainable business. OK, I cheated in the last one – there’s loads of skills in there – mainly being OK with getting support where you don’t know the answers.
10. If you could go back in time and give your 16-year-old self some advice, what would it be?
Do your homework, believe the teachers when they say you can’t cruise through sixth form. Be more helpful to your mum.
11. If you were stranded on a desert island and were only allowed three items, what would they be and why?
A means of making fresh coffee. I love coffee.
Moulton Brown shower gel: it’s expensive but it lasts forever and smells great.
A decent sound system. Music makes life better!
12. What’s the number one thing you want to accomplish during your time on Earth?
Leave three happy, productive offspring who look out for each other.