ALISTAIR LEONARD, HEAD OF SALES, MSC UK
What 3 traits would your friends use to describe you?
That’s a great question. I’d like to think my friends would say I’m loyal, charismatic and definitely a social person.
What is the coolest thing you have ever done?
In 2018, on the 11th of July to be precise, I was elected as the youngest ever Chairperson for the London Freight Club, a club for executives within the shipping and freight industry to network and share knowledge. As a longstanding member, it was a great privilege to be elected Chairperson, an opportunity that has led to many lifelong friendships and work opportunities. I look back fondly on my time in which we helped to modernise the club, support various charitable causes and continue to evolve the membership of our fantastic club. It was particularly special to bring both the London and Glasgow Freight Clubs closer together.
If you could ban one thing in the workplace, what would it be?
Call me old fashioned but smart watch notifications in meetings. I’m all for technology and the benefits smart watches bring, however they can also be distracting, during conversations I like all parties present and in the moment.
If you could go back 10 years, what would you do differently?
I’d have found more time to read books, learn more about our history and the world we live in. With the gift of hindsight, I’d also like to think I’d invest a little more wisely… think Bitcoin!
What is your favorite part of working in the shipping industry?
Without a doubt it’s the people. It’s such a diverse and inclusive culture, meaning you get to meet some really interesting people from different walks of life. I like the honesty and hard-working nature of it all, and I’ve had the pleasure of building so many great friendships over the years thanks to this industry. I wouldn’t have stayed in shipping for 23 years if that wasn’t the case, both in terms of customers and the fantastic and inspiring people I get to work with every day.
What do you most like to do after a long and stressful day?
Perhaps cliché, but it’s the simple things like taking our dog Albert, (a Cavachon) for a walk. I also love music and enjoy a Podcast, whether that be business related or something completely different to switch off. I enjoy learning about our history – the medieval era in particular, which usually does the trick.
If you were given the chance to change careers, what would you like to do?
I always wanted to be an actor but later in life after gaining some perspective it would have to be an Archaeologist. The idea of discovering medieval artefacts and gaining a glimpse into our past really interests me, I love history and I’m a firm believer that the more we can learn from our past, the better our future can be.
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