Big Decisions

I didn’t get on with Marlborough College, the English boarding school, and the first big decision I made was to leave when I was sixteen.

The Beatles had released Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, the 60’s were swinging, home wasn’t great, and quite simply, I wanted out.

How and where I found that courage I still don’t know, but through many storms along the way it led me to an exciting life and was a fabulous decision.

Another big decision was putting my hand up when Rod Stewart’s management wanted a stage building and saying “I could do that!” even though I never had.

I pulled it off and became a designer, which eventually led us as a company to the production of worldwide events like Live Aid.

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In 1986 I was in a funk and with nowhere to turn. I seemed to be out of options in the industry I was in, so I left and joined up with a company selling TV rights to rock shows.

That opened up a new and international world with contracts and lawyers and agents and the rest. And of course YO! Sushi – the decision to put everything into that, against the odds, and all that followed…

The motive for many of these decisions was desperation and a good helping of enthusiasm, but the more I tried, the more my choices could be underpinned with experience – including failures.

The most difficult thing is the decision to act , the rest is tenacity

Amelia Earhart

Prompt decision-making is the lifeblood of young companies and almost all decisions once made can be changed. That is why fleet-of-foot new CEOs can compete with the slow giants so well and so instinctively, to become the usurpers and game changers.

Decisions by dreaded committees, by market research, or God forbid by consultants, are for the most part talking-shops and while discussion and listening to others is always good, in my experience gut feeling, albeit “educated instinct,” gets it right nine times out of ten.

I have learned to make decisions lightly, take more risks and always check cash conservatively.