Lies, damned lies and running a business

So often confidence is a euphemism for ‘convincing fibber’

Tesco
©John Connor Press Associates

The big gaps on Tesco’s board

General business skills are not nearly enough

Don’t be sidetracked in board meetings

Keep the numbers down to a handful if possible and impose a two-hour limit

A Big Mac, Coke and side order of decline

Younger customers are less tolerant of dominance by a few large businesses

Thrill of searching for the right site

Finding the perfect spots for retail operations is a favourite task

Founders never had it so good – or so bad

I have never known such contrasting business conditions

Second home is my first choice of reward

Rising wealth has created demand to own a place in the sun, snow or countryside

Contenders for patron saint of start-ups

The greatest advocates for the entrepreneurial life from the humanities and social sciences

When the time comes to fire the founder

As a company grows, its very success often exposes the founder’s lack of managerial skills

Failure is fine but don’t avoid the truth

Winning, not losing, victory not defeat – anything else is an unwelcome outcome

A science lesson that stuck with me

What we learn as children in the classroom can play an unexpected role in adult life

Wolf Hall shows a fixer fit for a king

The second-in-command is an important role but under appreciated

Happiness is following your own way

It may be that by nature the self-employed tend to be optimists

Cults become a perversion of commerce

Rather than sell products that people choose to buy, it can be easier to bamboozle the vulnerable

Flood of cash needs to irrigate business

Open the dam gates to release the money that is needed for investment and innovation

Should business people go to university?

Aspiring tycoons should not necessarily study financial subjects

Dangers of rules that put safety first

Perhaps regulations, forms and inspectors all make life safer and happier. But I doubt it

Conscience and the business of addiction

It is easier to make money from people who have psychochemical dependency on a product

My response to the fad of meditation

Better self-discipline and high energy than empty self-indulgent hokum

An IPO roadshow, viewed from inside

Floating a company costs a fortune, but this is necessary in order to list on a reputable exchange

ABOUT LUKE

Luke JohnsonLuke Johnson runs Risk Capital Partners, a private equity firm, and is chairman of the Centre for Entrepreneurs and The Institute of Cancer Research. He is the author of 'Start It Up: Why Running Your Own Business is Easier Than You Think' (Penguin)

He is an owner and chairman of Neilson Active Holidays, Patisserie Valerie and Gail’s. Previously he chaired PizzaExpress, and is the former chairman of Channel 4 Television Corporation.

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