THIS week’s High Flyer is be is Ken Harrower, newly appointed country manager, Ireland and Isle of Man with Flybe.
What was your first job?
My first full time job at 17 was working in the fruit and veg department of Waitrose supermarket.
What qualifications do you have?
For those who are old enough to remember I have 8 O levels and 2 A levels
What do you attribute your success to?
Understanding needs and finding solutions is key but also being empathetic and innovative with a sense of humour and a lot of hard work thrown into the mix.
How would you describe yourself to someone who has never met you?
As an engaging, approachable and affable chap who puts 100% into his work and thrives on having ideas. They’d say … “Ahh Ken, he’s the ideas man”.
Who do you look up to in business?
Jeff Bezos (CEO Amazon) is an extremely rare combination of visionary and master builder — 20 years ago seeing something no one else could see and then turning it into the world’s number two most admired company. People are still drawn to his vision; though he’s highly demanding, thousands aspire to work for him.
How do you get the best out of people who work for you?
Whilst I don’t manage a team I believe that recognition for good work drives commitment to goals, it’s a powerful tool that should be used to inspire employee engagement and cultivate excitement among teams for new projects.
If you could change one thing about doing business in Northern Ireland what would that be?
Northern Ireland needs to get better at selling itself and singing its own praises – it’s a great place to do business.
What website or app could you not do without?
Probably YouTube and Spotify for its great music content and BBC iPlayer to catch up on great dramas.
What was the last book you read?
‘How To Stop Time’ by Matt Haig
What car do you drive?
A Mercedes C180 and a beautiful classic 1972 MG Midget at weekends when it’s not raining here.
Tell us something interesting about yourself?
I’m a qualified HGV, bus / coach and tanker driver, a keen drummer and I’ve just started learning to play the piano, but not all at the same time.
What’s your greatest passion outside work and family?
Music and more music, especially ‘60’s, ‘70’soul and rock – classical too (big fan of The Ulster Orchestra). I also enjoy playing tennis and watching Chelsea FC.