Q&A with Christian Thing
1. What motivates you?
I have always been motivated by a sense of belonging, whether that is being part of a sports team or part of a company. A big part of why I love working for Lane4 is the sense of belonging I get. I am also really motivated by a sense of meaning. For the big things in life I need to set goals with a clear line of sight between the day to day tasks and the exciting big picture results. Ultimately, I am motivated by making a positive difference to people’s lives and making those closest to me happy and proud.
2. How do you handle pressure?
By reminding myself of why I am under pressure (to achieve the big picture results). Also, by exercising and spending time with loved ones.
3. What will change most about the world of work in the next few years?
I believe AI will become more and more accepted in all industries and society from burger flipping in fast food restaurants to medical diagnosis. This will fundamentally shift the way we view work creating lots of opportunities and potential threats.
4. What’s your defining career moment so far?
Winning an industry award for the Anglian Water ‘Transforming our Leadership’ Programme. I was part of the High Performing Client Team and led on the Lane4 design and delivery of the Programme. I am extremely proud of the impact it has had in the business.
5. What book, film or tv show has really changed the way you thought about something?
The book Shantaram by Gregory David Robert made me ask myself questions which I’ve never asked before.
6. What’s your favourite sport to business lesson or story?
I really like the Gary Player (South African golfer) quote ‘The harder I practice the luckier I get’. I think that can be applied to all aspects of life, sport, business and family.
7. What makes you proud?
Seeing the impact that I or my colleagues have on individuals, teams or a business. I’m also really proud of my friends and family.
8. What makes you angry?
When I can’t sleep, rude people, myself when I make rubbish poached eggs because I know I can make them really well most of the time and any type of bully.
9. Which leader do you most admire most and why?
There are many leaders that I admire but for me it is Nelson Mandela. Having South African relatives and being lucky enough to visit the country lots, I feel really proud of what he achieved. I have read ‘A Long Walk to Freedom’ twice and the ability to forgive for the greater cause is truly inspirational. My late Uncle also got to work closely with Mandela on an architectural project and the stories he told about him are just incredible.
10.What are your best and worst characteristics?
Best: Optimistic, kind and reliable
Worst: Impatient, too sensitive and obnoxious (at times)
11. What would you like to learn and why?
Another language (any). I think it is a real skill to have and would feel less embarrassed when abroad, rather than reverting to the classic speaking louder and slower
12. If you could choose anybody, who would you be for a day?
Someone like Chris Martin – I think to have thousands of people sing a song back to you that you had written would be awesome
13. Who would you like to invite for a dinner party, living or dead?
Keeping it small Richie McCaw (All Black legend), Mandela and my maternal grandparents as they both died before I was born
14. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Find a career you love. My Dad used to tell me when he worked as a doctor in Cape Town he would drive to work with a smile on his face looking forward to the day ahead. I always thought that was pretty cool.
15. What would your motto be (if you haven’t already got one)?
There are a fair few quotes I like:
‘Things that matter the most must never be at the mercy of things that matter least’ (Goethe)
‘I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul’ (Invictus poem)
‘Do I lie like a lounge-room lizard or do I sing like a bird released?’ (Crowded House) – this is particularly helpful on lazy Sunday mornings after a busy Saturday
16. What personal value would you never compromise?