What’s the best business book you’ve ever read? “HALF THE SKY: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn is the most important book on my list, and it will be for a long time. This husband-wife duo are the first married couple to win a Pulitzer Prize for journalism, and Nick later won a second Pulitzer for his ongoing work for The New York Times. Strictly speaking, it’s not a business book, as in, how to keep employees from stealing office supplies or that kind of thing. It’s a book about global economics, and how the righting of the ship—the salvaging of the world economy—depends upon empowering girls and women in terms of education and opportunity. As the authors say, women are not the problem, we are the solution. Nick has been a huge champion of joinFITE since we launched which we are so grateful to have his support. A book which is also very important to me is Lovemarks: The Future Beyond Brands by Kevin Roberts, CEO Worldwide of Saatchi & Saatchi. This book explores what makes people just lose their minds over a brand—it really is an irrational chemical explosion in the brand, like falling madly in love.”
What do you hope to achieve in the next five years? “I hope to work with fellow entrepreneurs, and also with women who are powerful decision-makers in executive roles in the corporate world, to set a greater precedent for championing apprentices in every profession.
Apprenticeship is more of a reality in the work-force in the UK and Europe. It’s more than just basic training. It’s the sharing of expertise, and also the shaping and guiding of a young person with developing skills onto a path which may be fruitful. I’d like to see every business make apprenticeship programs a key priority, starting in 2012. In addition to benefitting the individual apprentice, it’s also obviously the best way for companies to build and nurture a skilled work-force, versus placing an ad on Monster.com! I adore the American spirit of independence and pioneering and risk-taking. I always say that the success of Dermalogica would not have been possible anywhere but the USA—the attitude here is fierce and fearless, and I love it. And I would also say that people who are just getting started in a career path can blaze their trails even more fiercely when they’ve learned a thing or two at the right hand of a master. Some basic mistakes are preventable. Also, apprenticing puts you in touch with vast networks of people who can be part of your success. Networking through your actual practice and work is much more effective than going to a cocktail party and trying to slip someone your business-card.