I stumbled upon this interview that I did a few years ago in Microscope magazine and I thought it would be interesting to share with people so they get a better sense of who this Irishman from Donegal is!
Tell us what you do for a living.
I am senior vice president, responsible for leading the global business development team in the promotion and sales of CompTIA Certifications.
I have since changed roles and am now the Executive Vice President for Global Certification at CompTIA.
Why are you the right person for this job?
Because I was willing to live on an airplane, or in a hotel for 80% of my working life!!
What gets you up in the morning?
Apart from my alarm clock?
Knowing that I have a busy day ahead, doing a job I love in an industry I am passionate about and can add value to, gives me my motivation and drive – you’ve got to love what you do and give it 100% otherwise, no one benefits.
Who helped you get to where you are today?
Several people through my life have been a great help – my parents for instilling in me my work ethic, my wife for her support through the years and several colleagues and peers who I have taken advice from, been mentored by and admired.
What is the best or worst business advice you have received and from whom?
My father always taught me to choose a career I enjoy, be happy and have fun. He said, when you enjoy your work you are generally successful at it. And always be truthful to your colleagues and in life in general.
What advice would you give to someone starting out today in IT?
Take the CompTIA A+ certification J and specialise in cyber security!
What’s running on your smartphone?
As I travel a lot, I just love my iPhone. It helps me communicate, get me from A to B without getting lost (well most of the time), keeps me up to speed on what happening in the world and I can listen to my music.
What did we do before iPhones were invented? Looking forward to the new iWatch!
Tell us something most people do not know about you.
I come from a small village in the Republic of Ireland called Glenties in County Donegal, with a population of less than 900 people – in my teenage years, I owned a mobile disco unit and used to run discos all round the local area.
What goal do you have to achieve before you die, and why?
Personally, to play a round of golf under par without any handicap shots then play against Phil Mickleson and Tiger Woods!
What is the best book you’ve ever read?
There has been many wonderful books but the most recent I really like is Start with Why by Simon Sinek.
He talks about how important it is that leaders and organisations inspire people. His bold goal is to help build a world in which the vast majority of people go home every day feeling fulfilled by their work. Something I try to emulate in at least some small way.
Simon is leading a movement to inspire people to do the things that inspire them.
And the worst film you’ve ever seen?
There have been several, but the one I think was the worst to me was Kill Bill…. Just awful.
What would be your Desert Island MP3s?
I’ve always fancied myself as a bit of a rocker, so some Bruce Springsteen, Queen, Coldplay and a bit of Rihanna to spice it up!
What temptation can you not resist?
It’s hard to say no to a good glass of red wine. A dark, fruity deep red would always win for me accompanied by a decent bar of chocolate.
That’s two temptations I know, but I can’t have one without the other.
What was your first car and how does it compare with what you drive now?
A 1977 Ford Escort Van, yellow and I got a “Dukes of Hazard” stripe on it. In my eyes it was the best car I ever had. Fun and multi-purpose. I now have an E-Class Mercedes but the Escort van holds many fond memories.
Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with? Why, what did they do?
Can’t think of one specific person. But imagine as you are about to close the lift doors, you saw this guy coming and you were kind enough to hold it for him.
Then, you’re stuck for what could be hours and the guy will not stop singing and whistling I Gotta Feeling by The Black Eyed Peas. That song is annoying as is, but could you imagine if you were forced to listen to this guy over and over again?
If you could be any animal for a day, what would you be and why?
A golden eagle. I think being able to fly anywhere I wanted with no traffic to contend with is one reason, but also because I think it’s a magnificent species and king of the skies.
If you could take part in one event in the Olympics, which would you choose and why?
Although it’s not officially in the Olympics yet but will be from 2016, it has to be golf for me. I see myself and Rory McIlroy teeing it up together and ripping up the course!!!
If I had to pick a current sport in the Olympics, the 100 metres – it’s over so quickly and I guess that 10 seconds effort would be more than enough for me.
If you were facing awesome peril and impossible odds, which real or fictional person would you most want on your side and why?
This has to be two people.
Firstly my wife. If there is a chance that this would be my last day on earth, I’d want to spend it with her; knowing someone loves you right at the end would help me face what was ahead.
Secondly, my hero, Detective John McClane (Bruce Willis in the Die Hard movies) – this guy can get you out of anything single-handedly!
And finally, a grizzly bear and a silverback gorilla are getting ready for a no-holds-barred rumble. Who is your money on and why?
The silverback – I think he would have a strategy of knocking the grizzly out with a well-timed heavy blow while the grizzly would just hope for the best – one swift thump from the silverback and the grizzly would be down and out!
Thanks for reading …time to train for the 100 meters!