Paul Lockley, sales director UK at PernixData, talks to MicroScope about recognising the importance of being a talker and a listener.
Tell us what you do for a living
I am sales director UK at PernixData.
Why are you the right person for this job?
I have worked across all aspects of the channel, hardware and software markets, and have worked in both large vendors and small startups. I have a great view of what makes everyone tick in a sales cycle and I’m passionate about success (I hate losing).
What gets you up in the morning?
I’m not naturally a morning person but there is an energy that comes with a smaller business that keeps your brain ticking over and constantly considering things. I find that I am awake most days by 7am without an alarm and I am already thinking about what needs to be done. By the end of the day I have drunk too much tea, so I’m still going whether I like it or not. Come Saturday, nothing gets me up until I’m ready.
Who helped you get to where you are today?
I think my dad had the most profound impact on me for drive and desire. He was always telling me that you could never get anywhere in life if you didn’t motivate yourself and work hard. He also taught me how to be both a talker and a listener.
What is the best or worst business advice you have received and from whom?
My very first boss said to me that whatever you do in business, if you remember two ears, one mouth and apply that balance to everything you need to, you will succeed much more often.
What advice would you give to someone starting out today in IT?
It’s very easy to be arrogant, but this industry is so much smaller than you think. Be yourself, because that, ultimately, is the commodity that people are buying. Remember to have some fun along the way!
What’s running on your smartphone?
WhatsApp, Concur expenses, Twitter, Gmail… That’s right, nothing fun.
What does the next five years hold for the channel?
I think the channel is about to go through another transformation as the adoption of cloud orientated anything becomes more mainstream. There is a real push for commoditisation which will change the nature of relationships, and I think the ability to innovate alongside value added services is going to be the clear differentiator.
Tell us something most people do not know about you?
I don’t actually like the taste of beer.
What goal do you have to achieve before you die, and why?
Speak another language fluently because it’s like knowing a secret.
What is the best book you've ever read?
The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever (actually a series of nine).
And the worst film you’ve ever seen?
God, there are so many. The problem is I still have to see them through to the end if I watch more than five minutes.
What would be your Desert Island MP3s?
Anything Led Zeppelin or anything Chopin.
What temptation can you not resist?
What was your first car and how does it compare with what you drive now?
First car was a Vauxhall Viva. It was the pride and joy of my grandfather’s friend. I didn’t treat it well – sorry granddad! Now I drive a Mercedes which gets better treatment. Mainly because errors are so much more costly.
Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with? Why, what did they do?
Kim Jong-un. I just think his arrogance is off the scale, he has no respect for human worth – and he has one of the dodgiest barnets on the planet
If you could be any animal for a day, what would you be and why?
A bear. Most people give you a wide berth. You can eat everyone else’s picnics, you can fish at leisure, you can eat honey straight from the source and you are, typically, very cute
If you could take part in one event in an Olympic Games, summer or winter, which would you choose and why?
Border-x, as I love snowboarding.
If you were facing awesome peril and impossible odds, which real or fictional person would you most want on your side and why?
Sherlock Holmes, as he always manages to find a way out.
And finally, a grizzly bear and a silverback gorilla are getting ready for a no-holds-barred rumble. Who is your money on and why?
I think you already know where my money is.
This was first published in June 2014