Originally published at The Times
A gentle Northern Irish burr, an avuncular manner, a ready smile. Sir John Parker personifies Teddy Roosevelt’s advice to speak softly and carry a big stick. It must be a mask — surely the veteran of such ego-driven industries as shipbuilding, defence and mining must have lost his temper on occasion. Has he ever shouted over a boardroom table?
“No,” he says thoughtfully. “But I have, as chairman, on occasion demonstrated my frustration that something has not been corrected, or something has happened of which the board was not aware.”
The admonition would have been all the more powerful for having been expressed sotto voce. Parker, winner of this year’s lifetime achievement award sponsored by Standard Life Investments.