Supreme lead­er­ship from Brian Ge­orge

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORTS -

WHEN YOU’RE sit­ting across a ta­ble from Brian Ge­orge, pres­i­dent and CEO of Supreme Ven­tures, you might get the urge to sit up straight. The be­spec­ta­cled Ge­orge has a pro­fes­sor’s de­meanour, and when he asks a ques­tion in his thick Trini ac­cent, you’ll per­haps con­sider rais­ing your hand be­fore re­spond­ing.

“You’ve been fol­low­ing the World Cup?” That was all he asked, yet my gut re­ac­tion was to present an ab­stract, in­tro­duc­tion, dis­cus­sion, conclusion and ref­er­ences.

Hap­pily, I can re­port that I gath­ered my­self in time to re­spond more ca­su­ally.

As it turns out, Ge­orge, who at­tended school in the United States, isn’t as keen on our brand of foot­ball as he is on the Amer­i­can ver­sion.

That was the first thing that sur­prised me when he and I met up for lunch in New Kingston in June 2014.

I asked him what he wanted to do for a liv­ing, when he was a child.

“I wanted to ei­ther be­come a pi­lot, a mu­sic con­duc­tor or a priest,” he said, smil­ing wryly.

Two of the three op­tions would per­haps seem laugh­able to some who know the grown-up Ge­orge, but as he ex­plained it, they weren’t all that bizarre.

“I grew up in a mu­si­cal home. We used to say that even the sewing ma­chine was a ‘Singer’,” he joked. He said, as a child, he en­joyed clas­si­cal mu­sic and the process of get­ting all the in­stru­ments and sec­tions to work to­gether to make ear-pleas­ing sounds. And it isn’t too dis­sim­i­lar to what he does for a liv­ing to­day.

“I be­lieve that no CEO should fail to see him­self as a con­duc­tor. It is your task to get an or­gan­i­sa­tion to func­tion in a uni­fied di­rec­tion to de­liver the tune. Dif­fer­ent per­sons will have dif­fer­ent com­pe­ten­cies and be tal­ented in their own ways. It is the CEO’s task to get them to work to­gether to make the tune. In that way, my child­hood dream of be­ing a con­duc­tor has trans­lated into my role as a CEO,” he said.

He said he also grew up Angli­can, and as a young­ster at home in Trinidad, he would at­tend and par­tic­i­pate in church ser­vices reg­u­larly. He also knew many priests whom he ad­mired.

“The priests were al­lowed to get mar­ried and to so­cialise in dif­fer­ent ways. So, for me, back then, be­ing a priest did not seem very re­stric­tive.”

His de­sire to be­come a pi­lot is be­ing re­alised. He has started fly­ing as a hobby and is lov­ing it as much as he thought he would when he was a boy. It’s one of his favourite things to do that doesn’t in­volve work.

“I love a good ‘lyme’,” he said. “I


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