Earl Wilson/The New York Times
Q. Were you in leadership roles when you were younger?
A. I grew up in the U.K. I wouldn’t say I was in leadership roles, but I certainly started following my passions pretty early on. I became a freelance photographer, and I would shoot photographs for a bunch of newspapers starting at the age of 13. I did that through college.
Q. And what did you study in college?
A. I studied physics, geology and the history and philosophy of science. I remember how a friend who was a philosophy major said to me, “What are you going to go do?” I really had no idea what I was going to go do. Close to graduation, I interviewed at Mars Confectionery and got to the final selection round. A couple of weeks later, I got a rejection letter.
I followed up to find out why not, and they told me that I asked too many questions, and that maybe I’d be better going into consulting. Which is what I did. I probably worked on 20 different projects in my first three years. At a young age, you get exposed to different strategies, and you learn how different companies and industries work. I think it helped develop my intuition. I’m pretty good at seeing around corners.
Q. What were some early lessons about leadership for you?
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