Leading from the Front: My Story, by Gerald Ronson with Jeffrey Robinson
Mark Robinson, CEO, Advanced Power Components
If ever there was a relevant manual for entrepreneurs in the current climate, it would be Gerald Ronson’s autobiography.
Now aged 70, the businessman and property tycoon who brought self-service petrol stations to Britain and at one time owned the second-largest private company in the UK has also had his fair share of difficult times. He spent six months in jail after his embroilment in the Guinness share trading scandal in the 1980s and nearly lost his entire fortune in the recession of the early 1990s.
Now, having sold a number of properties before the onset of the recession and developing the City’s tallest skyscraper, due for completion in 2011, it is clear that Ronson is a man who has learnt from his mistakes.
As well as being a fascinating insight into the life of one of the business world’s most colourful and well-respected figures, this book provides a valuable lesson on resilience, leadership and business sense. In his no-nonsense style, Ronson reminds us that business is cyclical, that “cash is king” and that some of the best deals can be
done in a downturn.
As share prices and property valuations remain in the doldrums, this is something we would all do well to remember.