Sir John Hall
You have to build relationships with other people in business and when you shake hands on a deal, you have to deliver. Other business people must trust you and you trust them. Allison has a tremendous relationship with people – it’s a great asset that she shares.
As a leader, you have to be the driving force in your business. You’ve got to have some talent, lots of energy and you have to persevere at all times, even when things are not going the way you want them to.
I think I have taught Allison about hard work, determination and to never take no for an answer. I might be a little bit harsher than Allison is – I’ve been in business for longer! But we both value relationships and want to get the best out of people.
Allison has taught me about design and the quality in design, which we both share a passion for. She has a tremendous eye for detail and this was instrumental in helping me to create the rose garden at Wynyard.
Allison has always involved with me in the business of Wynyard Hall. You can never really escape discussing business matters when you run a family business. It’s important to discuss things and come to common agreements on the way forward.
My father has always supported and encouraged what I wanted to do, but at the same time suggested ways to improve. My siblings and I were introduced to the family business from a young age and were always around other people in business so we could watch and learn from them.
My father has taught me to be ambitious, driven and always stay ahead of the game. He has always told me to visit other places, exhibitions and fairs to see what everyone else is doing and to learn from it.
My father has always been a leader and I have learnt a lot from that. We both understand how important people are to our business and how to work with people rather than against them. I try to inspire my team and allow them to make their own decisions and grow with the business.
Dad is semi-retired now but business was a constant conversation at the dinner table for most of our lives – you can’t help it. Both my parents are still very interested in Wynyard and they like to know what’s new and how things are going, so we still talk about business a lot. My daughter, Sarah, is involved in the business too.
She is a very driven person and a fantastic support to me at the hotel. We both enjoy each other’s company and work well together. We learn a lot from each other. When you’re in a family business you can’t really keep business separate from family life. But if you enjoy what you’re doing, it’s not a problem – and we do.