Q&A with Andrew Whyatt-Sames
1. What motivates you?
Working with people to solve problems – I lose motivation quickly if the people I am helping don’t display a learning mindset
2. How do you handle pressure?
Reframe: Will I remember this day in ten years time? Probably not. Also, micro planning: account for all the minutes in my day and make sure I stick to the right tasks
3. What will change most about the world of work in the next few years?
Technology and AI will change the type of jobs which are available, transport will become automated, meaning we’ll be more productive (hopefully!)
4. What’s your defining career moment so far?
Winning a Gold Sony award when working in Radio – affirmation I was at the top of my game.
5. What book, film or tv show has really changed the way you thought about something?
When I was 19, there was a BBC TV series called ‘Troubleshooter’ where Sir John Harvey-Jones advised and helped turn businesses around. I thought “Imagine being paid to do that!” (I was a manual labourer). Sure enough I found a way.
6.What’s your favourite sport to business lesson or story?
My friend Vince owns the London Lions basketball club. When he goes over to the USA to look for talent, if it’s not there he won’t hire: he’ll widen the net and never lower the bar. I remembered this when I was doing a lot of recruitment as an HR partner.
7. What makes you proud?
Seeing my kids do the right thing.
8. What makes you angry?
People who won’t help others when they really need it.
9. Which leader do you most admire most and why?
Andy Street –the culture he fostered at John Lewis was so strongly customer-centric. I stood behind him in the queue recently in my local mini-supermarket. I considered approaching him and then chickened out.
10.What are your best and worst characteristics?
Procrastination and openness. Both are best and worst at different times.
11. What would you like to learn and why?
Greek. I fantasize about retiring to a place in the sun and gossiping with the oldies at the coffee houses on the street.
12. If you could choose anybody, who would you be for a day?
Donald Trump’s hairdresser.
13. Who would you like to invite for a dinner party, living or dead
I would invite my Grandfathers: I should have asked them more about their experiences of WW2.
14. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
To be ‘good enough’ is fine – you can get disheartened if you try to be the best at everything. This was from a teacher who saw that I refused to draw a snail. I thought if I couldn’t render a photo-realistic snail with a pencil at the age of 5, why bother trying?
15. What would your motto be (if you haven’t already got one)?
“Stop moaning and get on with it”
16. What personal value would you never compromise?