5 mins with… Gordon Christiansen

Gordon Christiansen is Managing Director of Europe and SVP of Marketing for Highlands.


What’s your most prized possession? 

My cricket bat. It’s a custom-made bat from Millichamp & Hall in Somerset, UK. The bat is definitely better than the batter!

What would you be the patron saint of? 

Good manners, although apparently St Francis de Sales is already revered for this. Experience has told me that politeness and courtesy can get you anywhere.

What’s your life philosophy? 

Don’t look back with regrets.

What makes you happy?  

Family. Winning. Good wine. In business, it’s about creating win-win situations for my clients.

If you were leader of a country, what would be the first law you pass?

A massive increase to the education budget. A good education is society’s greatest gift to the next generation.

If you could trade places with someone (dead or alive) for a day, who would it be and why?

Any Australian cricket captain. Growing up I dreamt of wearing the ‘Baggy Green’ and to do that for a day would be awesome.

What would be a good theme song for you?

Once in a Lifetime by Talking Heads. Ordinary is just so dull.

What was the last gift you gave someone? 

A wooden rocking horse for my wife Sarah for Christmas, something she has always wanted. I bought one from Stevenson Brothers and it is beautiful, a real work of art.

What’s your worst character trait?

Sometimes I can be a bit of a smart-arse. Some would say more than sometimes…

What would you cook for a dinner party?

I grew up in Australia so I’m pretty good with the barbecue. Surf and turf would be my ideal combination, maybe washed down with a cold beer or three.

If you could have the answer to any question, what would you ask? 

Are we alone in the universe?

In your spare time: couch potato or fitness freak?

I enjoy doing lots of different things: TV, movies, live music, reading, keeping fit, walking, playing cricket…

Your pet hate? 

People talking over each other. Dale Carnegie got it right – conversation is not a competition.

Favourite season?

Definitely the summer. Not much beats long, hot summer days.

Where would you most like to visit and why?

Easter Island. A fascinating story about human behaviour.

Career Q&A

Describe your current job. 

Managing Director of Europe and SVP of Marketing for US-based sales and marketing agency Highlands. With a great team I’m helping to build the Highlands business here in Europe. I’m also responsible for corporate marketing and developing marketing strategies for our clients. 

Your worst ever job? 

I left Canon for a financial services company in London, UK. I knew it was the wrong decision on my first day. 

What’s the best moment in your career so far? 

Being given the opportunity to be part of a fantastic product marketing department at Canon. It’s helped shape everything I’ve done in business since.

The industry figure you most admire and why? 

There are many, but probably Eric Bigeard. The way he helped build Lyreco was impressive.

Your best piece of advice to someone who has just joined the OP industry? 

The way it was will never happen again. Learn new ways of doing business because there’s still plenty of it out there.