Name: Adrian Wallis
Job title: CEO
1. What were your childhood ambitions? Not to grow up and to have loads of money. One out of two isn’t bad.
2. Who was your pin-up as a teenager? Olivia Newton-John.
3. What bad habits do you have? Smoking and a tendency to tell good jokes badly.
4. How do you like to relax? Playing golf and spending time with my kids.
5. Do you have an idol? The golfer Seve Ballesteros (who has sadly just announced his retirement) for his passion, entertainment and humour.
6. What was the first record you bought? The Boomtown Rats’ classic I don’t like Mondays.
7. What is your ideal night out? A BBQ with friends, sitting around a poker table with 70s music playing in the background.
8. If you could invite two famous people for dinner, who would they be and why would you ask them? Peter Kay from Phoenix Nights because he’s the most down-to-earth comedian I’ve ever listened to and because my kids love his humour as well. The second would be Michael Parkinson so he could tell me about the 1,001 famous people he’s interviewed over the years.
9. What is your favourite movie, and why? Pretty Woman – particularly the scene when Julia Roberts goes back into the clothes shop and says “big mistake” to the snide assistant.
10. What sports teams do you support? The European Ryder Cup team, Leeds United FC and any other English sports team.
11. What is your favourite food and drink? Chardonnay washes down a good curry!
12. What do you begrudge spending money on? Fines of any kind.
13. Have you ever broken the law? Yes, but not knowingly.
14. What makes you happy? Life.
15. What makes you angry? People who say they are going to do something and then don’t.
16. What pets do you have? None.
17. Can money buy happiness? No, people bring you happiness.
18. What is your favourite holiday destination? Any golf course, anywhere in the world.
19. What has been your biggest mistake in life? Mistakes are a sign of life so there are many to choose from. Giving into company pressure and going to a business bonding weekend rather than my wife’s grandma’s funeral was a big mistake and one that I’ll never make again!
20. If you could build your house anywhere, where would it be? In the Yorkshire Dales.
21. What was your luckiest break? Joining the office products industry early in life and getting to meet some great people.
22. What is your best piece of advice? Never stop learning.
23. If you weren’t doing your present job, what job would you be doing? Something financial.
24. Which industry figure do you most admire? I’ve got two. The first is Jeff Whiteway of OSG as he’s allegedly worth $18 million, according to The Sun newspaper. The second is Bob Jones of Acco because he’s great company and the only person I know that can remember not only the names of most of his customers but also the names of their respective partners!
25. What is your biggest weakness? Smoking. I agreed to give up on the understanding that our marketing manager would marry her partner of 17 years. She married him and I started smoking again six months later!
26. If you could be God for the day, what miracle would you perform? I would have every news station/paper report 99 percent good news and only one percent bad news instead of what we currently get in the UK.
27. What was your most embarrassing industry-related experience? Watching David Sample freeze at an Office Team presentation and then watching him get back up to do a 20-minute Q&A slot after being dragged back into the venue while en route to the car park!
28. What would you like to be doing in five years’ time? I would like to be working fewer hours.
29. If you won the lottery, what would be the first item you would buy? I’d have to buy another ticket because my kids would want first call on any lottery win.
30. Any regrets? Only that I’d not tried doing a karaoke solo until six years ago and I now do a minimum of one a year. I’m bad, very bad, but what a great experience.