Growing up and now managing ‘the best playground a child could have’

    Adrian Morrow

    In the spotlight this week is Adrian Morrow (53), managing director at Glenarm Castle

    What was your first job?

    I was truly smitten with Glenarm Castle and grounds from a young age. My father was chauffeur before becoming estate manager and I would hide in the back of his mini-van to go to the biggest and best playground a child could ask for. On every opportunity I would go to work with dad. At 16 I was employed on the estate farm during summer as a farm worker, feeding cattle, making hay and pulling weeds. It was an amazing experience.

    What qualifications do you have?

    The current Lord Antrim encouraged my father to send me to Agriculture College, where I received a National Certificate in Agriculture. I returned thinking I knew everything there was to know about farming, I think I even told my father that at the time! I quickly learned I knew next to nothing. At 18 Lord Antrim sent me to a large estate in Scotland for a year to gain much needed experience. At 28, I achieved a Diploma in Estate Management.

    What do you attribute your success to?

    A good team combined with perseverance as, in my experience, a business, manager or owner is only as good as the staff around them. We have amazing dedicated staff at Glenarm Castle. It’s a funny place, it gets under your skin, staff take ownership and great pride in recreating hundreds of years of history. The majority of our 15 staff have worked with me for years!

    How would you describe yourself to someone who’d never met you?

    And optimistic pessimist!

    Who do you look up to in business?

    Successful young people. There are amazing opportunities out there if they are prepared to work hard, make a few mistakes and go for it.

    How do you get the best out of people who work for you?

    Never ask colleagues to do something I wouldn’t do myself.

    If you could change one thing about doing business in Northern Ireland, what would it be?

    The weather

    What website or app could you not do without?

    Find My Phone

    What was the last book you read?

    Noddy – the only book I ever read that I remembered!

    What car do you drive?

    Land Rover

    Tell us something interesting about yourself?

    Always in the right place at the wrong time.

    What’s your greatest passion outside work and family?

    Restoring stone walls on my wee farm at home, it’s like working on a large jigsaw, great for changing your thoughts after a long week. In 15 years I would have probably restored about a mile. There’s about another half mile to go!