What is your position?
“I am the founder and managing director of JudgeService Research.”
What education or experience did you have before JudgeService?
“I was lucky enough to be the first of my family to go to university, I went to Huddersfield Poly (now University of Huddersfield) and studied business studies”
“I chose the course because it had a really good employment record for after you had graduated, I spent the third year working in the industry for Perry’s, the car dealer group.
“It was there that I learnt to value the feedback that we got from customers and I actually wrote my dissertation on ‘customer satisfaction in used cars’. So, I guess you become what you think about.
“I then joined Perry’s after I graduated, and I was with them for 10 years.”
Where were you born?
“I was born in Lower Willingdon in Eastbourne on the south coast. I grew up there, and in Shoreham near Brighton and ultimately in Hastings.”
What is your star sign?
“So, I’m a Gemini, and I’m definitely a Gemini, you either get Good Neil or Bad Neil, and people have said to me that I’m unlikely to suffer fools gladly!”
What is your biggest achievement or proudest moment?
“The thing that means most to me is my family, I’ve got four kids and all of them are amazing. I’m also blessed to have three, soon to be four, grandchildren. Which is what I think is every parent’s revenge on their children because you can sugar them up then walk away!
“They’ve all done amazingly well as individuals and in their relationships too.”
What motivates you?
“I’ve got two answers. One is winning.
“I won’t play something that I won’t or couldn’t win at. I will only pick the games I think I have a chance of winning.
“But the biggest thing that motivates me is building teams.
“Building the business and with that, the team. Seeing people grow. When people do outstanding work without being prompted, that’s the best feeling in the world because you have created the opportunity for someone to excel and they have seized that opportunity.
“I like to nurture the team, teach people, and coach them as much as I can.”
What is your pet peeve?
“Laziness, I hate laziness, mental and in terms of attitude. I also don’t like clockwatching because the only place that success comes before work is in the dictionary.”
What is your dream holiday destination?
“I love Rome, I went for my 40th and we’ve been back most years since. I love the history of it, you feel like you’re standing on the shoulders of gods.
“Besides Rome, probably Florida, I’m all up for cheesy glitz and glamour of Walt Disney World, I look forward to going back there at some point and visiting Galaxy’s Edge, the new Star Wars-themed land.”
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
“As a kid, we turned my grandad’s shed into a shop called “Happy Stores”, and we sold things like marbles and woodlice. Woodlice don’t last very long when they are boxed up, unfortunately, but they did sell…to people my grandad gave pennies to buy them.
“We used to run summer fairs in his back garden, and I guess what was my first real experience with direct marketing, getting people to turn up.”
How do you think your family would describe you?
“I suppose, very driven. I can be selfish but try to be considerate and thoughtful.
“I guess it comes down to the fact that I much prefer to give people gifts, then to receive them myself. Which I guess in hindsight isn’t selfish at all.”
How do you think your work colleagues would describe you?
“Probably thoughtful, hopefully inspiring, but I hope they see me as someone they can follow and help them to develop.”
Breakfast, lunch or tea?
“I’d say breakfast, but only on a day off or a weekend.
“Earlier this year, Wendy (my wife) and I went to York and we had breakfast by the River Ouse and it was so nice. So yeah, in the right circumstances, breakfast is probably my favourite.”
What is at the top of your bucket list?
“Travel, I love to have something to look forward to.
“I won’t work at all if I’m away, so I look forward to being able to travel safely and responsibly, whether that is to Europe or further afield but at the end of the day, we currently have to think about public health first.”
What is one quote or saying you try to live your life by?
“The one that sticks in my mind the most is:
Luck is the coincidence of preparation and opportunity.
“In other words, luck is a currency, you can work hard to build up a currency of luck, luck isn’t chance.”
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