“Too much leadership these days is what someone has read or seen somewhere else”

Label Apeel specialises in the food and drink sector, working with both craft and international brands. Here, managing director Stuart Kellock discusses recruitment companies, honest plumbers and challenger brands.

Describe yourself in three words.

Pompous, curious and caring.

What’s your biggest professional achievement?

Realising that I’m not as bad as I thought I was.

How did you get to where you are today?

Blood, sweat and tears.

What does a typical day look like for you?

A heady mix of dealing with technical issues, meeting customers and looking for opportunities and developing the business.

What have been the highlights of your company’s history, in your opinion?

Winning our first award in 2012 – UK Packaging Label of the Year.

What is your pet hate?

Recruitment companies.

Give us a positive prediction for the food industry over the next 12 months.

An upsurge in challenger brands.

What do you consider to be the most important attributes for a leader?

The ability to have independent thought and action it. Too much leadership these days is what someone has read or seen somewhere else, instead of having their unique stance from what position yourself or your organisation finds yourself in. Too often, people go for the standard off the shelf response and, in my experience, it doesn’t fit very well.

Who do you most admire?

My business hero would be W Edwards Deming, as he gave me most to think about in my earlier career.

Which people/organisations or companies are the ones to watch right now?

Label Apeel.

If you weren’t in your current position, what else might you be doing?

I would like to have been a police officer.

Tell us something about yourself that few people know.

In my youth I was a drummer in a band.

Any vices?

Cheese and dark chocolate digestives. Not together.

What single thing would most improve the quality of your life?

An honest plumber.

How do you relax?

Vegetable gardening.

How would you like to be remembered?

For being fair.

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