My name is Les Hayman and I am a New Zealander, who after stints in Australia, the US and Singapore, am now living near Bordeaux in France in semi-retirement for the last 4 years. This means that I am still working 3-4 days per week, but after more than 40 years of full-time work, at least I am the only one who gets to control my calendar.
I mainly spend my external working time with involvement on a number of Company Boards (US, UK and Switzerland) as well as being a Keynote Speaker at various conferences all over the globe. I also consult at Board level to a number of Global Companies, and sit on a number of Country and University Advisory Boards and Think Tanks.
The rest of my time I help my wife Victoria look after 5 dogs, 3 horses, 6 chickens and 2 sheep on a 6 hectare property in the French countryside. I have 2 wonderful daughters and 4 spectacular grand-daughters, all living near Sydney in Australia. Our children describe us as a disfunctional family as it is the parents who ran away from home.
I spent my working life in the Computer industry, starting as a Programmer and Analyst in the mid-60’s and then in management roles both at National and Global levels, which included a 4 year stint with my own small IT Company. There is a saying that the greatest day of your life is when you open your own business, surpassed only by the day that you sell it … how very true for me. I was always more of an “interpreneur” in a large Company than an entrepeneur in a small one.
I feel that my life across all 3 major regions in the world, and the opportunities that I have had to work with, for and above hunfreds of different management people in some exceptional global companies (International Harvester, Digital Equipment, Sun Microsystems and SAP), across more than 40 years and as many different cultures, has given me a very different view of business, people and life, and I have therefore decided that I should share some of these.
I intend to cover what I see as being issues that face companies and managers in todays turbulent times, issues that generally affect people and their lives, as well as my views as a foreigner living in France, which can be at the same time enchanting and delightful as well as bewildering and frustrating.
I welcome all contributions and comments to my blog, no matter how divergent, as a way of facilitating discussion on the issues that we all face, and on those that we haven’t yet realised that we will need to face in the future.