Sir John Harvey-Jones

By: Mick Yates

John joined ICI in 1959 and began his swift ascent up the corporate ladder, with one management position following another. Against all odds, he made history in 1982 by becoming the first non-chemist Chairman of the company. It has been said that this marked the shift of emphasis in the United Kingdom from the importance of industry experience to the importance of management experience.

John's leadership style was always one of visibility and informality, strongly believing that employees need an identifiable figure at the head of an organisation with whom they can take inspiration and values. Quick to rate the ability to motivate and encourage others as 'top of the lot' in terms of qualities for a good leader, he maintains that there are no 'bad troops', only 'bad leaders'.

John's skills and experience are now in great demand and are shared through his writing. He has also made his mark on TV by fronting a series of business programs called 'Troubleshooter', helping business management to become a popular discussion subject.

John is the winner of many awards including 'Motivator of the Year', 'Award of Excellence in Communication' and he is three times winner of 'Industrialist of the Year'. He is a true captain of British industry and an inspiration to business leaders around the globe.

Melanie Smith