How to be a business mogul: The Journal's four-step guide to success

Our poll of answers to Monday Interview questionnaires reveals what the top people in business drive, read, eat and who they admire

Want to be a successful figure in the world of business? Then let The Journal’s four-step guide to business success give you the inside track on the people who run our top companies.

Every week The Journal profiles a leading figure in the world of North East business with our Monday Interview, finding out their journey to the top and what makes the CEOs of the region tick.

But as well as our in-depth interview, there is also a snappy questionnaire on their likes and dislikes, asking questions like “What is the best piece of business advice you have ever received?” and “What is your biggest extravagance?”

Now we have taken the answers to four of our questions from the last 250 Monday Interviews to give a not-entirely-scientific but still revealing insight into the worlds of chief executives, in particular what they drive, where they eat, what they read and who inspires them.

Our business leaders - 215 of them men to only 35 women, we regret to say - are a disparate bunch, and no more so in what they drive.

While our CEOs had a number of high-end motors including a number of Porsches and one Rolls Royce, there was also the boss of a start-up digital firm who drove a Ford Fiesta given to him by his grandmother without any hubcaps plus one madcap entrepreneur who scootered to work.

The most popular model was a tie between Audi and BMW, with Mercedes, Range Rover and Land Rover making up the top five.

When asked for their favourite restaurant, our business moguls gave us a more emphatic choice, with Cafe 21 in Newcastle winning out ahead of a second Terry Leybourne venue Caffe Vivo. (Mr Leybourne’s Broad Chare and Bistro 21 also garnered votes, though not enough to get into the top of the charts).

There was also a decent vote for the Six restaurant at the Baltic and also for the Cleveland Tontine and Jesmond pizzeria Francesca’s.

A similarly emphatic vote came when our businesspeople were asked - apart The Journal, of course - what newspapers they read.

A clear winner was The Times, well ahead of the FT, with The Guardian making a surprise third place, ahead of the Telegraph (with the Independent and the Sunday Times the joint fifth-favourite).

The breadth of the region’s business community was also seen when they were asked to nominate a historical (or, to be fair, fictional) figure who inspired them in their work.

As well as the slightly odd answers of Buzz Lightyear, Lara Croft and Dangermouse, our business elite nominated two clear favourites.

Top of the poll was war time leader Winston Churchill, with anti-apartheid campaigner Nelson Mandela also an inspiration to many of our interviewees. The top five was made up by Martin Luther King, Charles Darwin, Elizabeth I and Ernest Shackleton.

So there you have it: if you want to get ahead in business the best place to start is a high powered German car, a reservation at Cafe 21, a copy of The Thunderer and a book of speeches by Winston Churchill.


David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer