10 MINUTE MANAGER: Anderson Lowe

Are you where you’ve always wanted to be?
Many years ago, my plan was to be head of a large company with a high six figure salary to match at this stage in my working life.
I now prefer to measure my success not in terms of where I am but what I have achieved. Working in education was clearly not on my career path but working with the Inter-American Development Bank certainly was.
Based on my accomplishments so far, I am very satisfied with where I am right now.

What is your biggest professional challenge?
As a perfectionist, I want to see things done in a particular way to a particular standard.
However, that approach could very well mean I have to do everything myself.
My challenge therefore is deciding what to maintain, what to delegate and the level of performance that is acceptable and how much of my hard technical skills do I put aside while taking on new skills such as public speaking, dealing with the media, employee development team building.

What is your biggest life challenge?
How to achieve a better work-life balance is my greatest challenge right now.
Diet and exercise are now integral parts of my life and so they must be incorporated into my work schedule. No one ever tells you that as you age, despite your skill set, maintaining suitable employment becomes a major issue.
So in addition to work-life balance, I must also effectively utilise the time between assignments with appropriate entrepreneurial activities.

When you look to the future, what do you see?
The possibilities are endless. I have seen how technology has provided opportunities for everyone.
With technology, a small company can now compete effectively with a large company.
The world is now literally at our fingertips. With the click of a mouse we can reach any customer anywhere in the world. We are limited only by our imagination and our creativity, not by money/capital, the common lament in these parts. There is knowledge everywhere.
We have the brain power to compete in every industry so let’s get to work! As for myself, I plan to become fluent in Spanish and experience some Spanish culture.

What is your favourite pastime?
Anything that gets me thinking and gives me new ideas, I go for.
Right now I am interested in renewable energy. I have purchased and installed my own system and my challenge now is to find ways to consume all the electricity I produce.
It is really fascinating how much sunlight we get here and how much electricity we can produce. It’s like magic. Thanks to technology, the homeowner can now compete with the power company.

What is your favourite meal?
It’s not on my diet sheet but when I am allowed to, I’ll have jumbo shrimp pasta with vegetables in Alfredo sauce sprinkled with Parmesan cheese

On Saturday nights where are you likely to be?
Saturday is the day I get to look after the other interests I neglected during the week.
The day is punctuated with the children’s extracurricular activities, taking care of the house and looking after my customers.
By nightfall, if I’m hungry, Gloria’s on Baxters Road is my first choice for grilled fish, otherwise the television will be watching me on the couch.

What upsets you the most?
I really hate when people behave inappropriately, provide bad service and then seek to defend their poor behaviour by offering dumb excuses.
And it’s everywhere. It’s amazing how our standards have dropped. You go to a bank at eight o’clock and the tellers walk in behind you and you have to wait until they get their act together before they serve you.
Next biggest reason for non-productivity is “the computer is not working”. In days gone by you had to have a plan for that. Now you just turn away paying customers.
These days, I tend to know where good service is and go there but then there are the other places you just can’t avoid.

What is your guiding philosophy?
I’ve been around a while and I have learnt the not-so-easy way sometimes that life is a trade-off and that your life choices have consequences.
And this applies to all aspects of life whether it be your love life, finances, education or your health.
Always chose quality over quantity as quality tends to last a lot longer. I try to manage my own economy with excessive reserves so that I can ride out those recessions when they come along as they surely do.
There are no get-rich-quick schemes so be prepared to do some hard work and some saving.

If you had the chance to manage Barbados for a day, what would you do?
These are difficult times and I am beginning to think that if we want a different outcome then there needs to be change, not necessarily at the political level but at the operational level.
There needs to be a shake-up in some of our key public institutions to provide better customer service to the public.
We can’t seem to run a bus service, collect taxes or facilitate business. There is a need for our own local Barbadian common market.
Licensing regimes and quotas need to be abolished. I would like to see Intel here again. I can see some heads rolling.

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