Porsche Teesside Centre principal answers our ‘Tees Up!’ questions over a cuppa…
Name: Ross Jameson
Lives: Newton Aycliffe, County Durham
Organisation(s) & Job title(s): Centre principal, Porsche Centre Teesside
When I was at school, I wanted to be… a fighter pilot in the Royal Air Force. It was my childhood dream job, but the more realistic and achievable goal was to become a policeman. My favourite TV programme growing up was The Bill, which is a sad admission to make but never the less completely true. I still haven’t fully got the thought of one day being in the police force out of my system. Never say never!
The best business decision I ever made was… having the confidence and self-belief, at the age of 26, to apply for the role of general sales manager at Cooper Durham BMW. This made me one of the youngest BMW sales managers in the country, and at the time it was a big step up in responsibility. I thrived in the role. It was a real turning point in my career. The hard work paid off and after seven years I was promoted to my first head of business role in 2013.
The worst business decision I ever made was… nothing major springs to mind, but I do think that I was ready to leave my last position 18 to 24 months before I actually did, and I should have done something about it. I knew I had taken the business as far as I could. I needed a fresh challenge to push myself. I became so emotionally invested in my staff, customers and business it was hard to think I could walk away from what I had built up.
The best part of my job is… pulling up at work each morning! That always puts a smile on my face. I’m working with such an iconic and aspirational brand, and equally such a talented and passionate team of people.
The biggest downside of my working life is… not being able to switch off. Whilst I work Monday to Friday, I suppose I‘m really always at work, seven days a week, which isn’t great but I suppose it comes with the responsibility of being the centre principal.
If I could change one thing to help my organisation it would be… since joining JCT600 in May last year, I haven’t seen anything yet that I would want them to change. The company has great values and I genuinely believe that they focus on the most important things – our people and our customers.
Four words to describe me are… loyal, conscientious, driven and passionate – but you’re probably better asking either my wife or my team!
My business mantra is… “Make it Happen”. I find that all too often people come up with great ideas and action plans, but then fail to bring them to life. I am well-known for saying this to my team – so much so, in fact, that the day I left Cooper Durham BMW and Mini I was presented with a plaque as a leaving gift which says exactly those words!
My greatest achievement is… on a personal level, being a great dad to my two beautiful little girls – Poppy, four, and Phoebe, who’s one – but on a business level, beating all other applicants after undergoing months of gruelling interviews and presentations, to be offered the centre principal position at Porsche Teesside.
The advice I’d give to business start-ups is… set very clear, time-bound goals for your business and people. Regularly review what you set out to achieve and re-set the expectations if required. The other advice I would give is engage your people right from day one and create the right culture and environment for them to excel in. Your people are your business!
The biggest character on the Tees business scene is… someone who I know has been really pushing their business forward in big ways in recent years and he is, in my eyes, a big character – Az Hyder, of Burgess & Hyder Dental Group.
Teesside’s a great place for business because… land and premises are far more affordable for businesses than most other parts of the UK. We also have fantastic transport links and there’s a genuine feel of being part of a very supportive business community. There is also a misconception that there is not a lot of wealth in Teesside, but the amount of Porsche enquiries and orders we receive every week suggests otherwise.
My biggest frustration about Teesside is… missing too many opportunities to shout about some of the positive news stories as and when they happen. We allow the press to communicate too many of the negatives when, in reality, there are some really exciting things happening in businesses in Teesside.
My favourite local charity is… Remembering Rebecca. They support families locally who have children with disabilities or life-limiting illnesses by helping them have magic moments. We recently welcomed a very special boy Hector, who loves cars, to enjoy a few hours at Porsche Teesside. He helped to valet a car, spend time with a technician looking under a Porsche 718 Boxster and enjoyed a road test of his favourite Porsche – the 911, of course!
When I’m not working, I like to spend my time… with the three beautiful ladies in my life! Biba, Poppy and Phoebe are my world away from work. On a Saturday afternoon you might also find me with my father at Darlington Mowden Park Rugby Club, hooting and shouting them on to win, as I’m rugby mad!
My guilty pleasures are… being the father of two little princesses comes with constantly having to listen to Disney princess music in the car can, which you start to find yourself singing along to and, dare I say it, enjoying!
The best holiday I ever had was… Our favourite destination is the Greek Island of Skiathos. Before we had little ones, Biba and I would hire a quad bike and explore the island for hidden beaches and off-the-beaten-track tavernas.
Not many people know this about me but… I have performed the Heimlich Manoeuvre in public and saved a work colleague’s life. I could see him struggling whilst eating his evening meal – he started panicking and jumped up out of his seat in a busy restaurant. I was clear he was losing control. I sprang into action, Mrs Doubtfire-style, and the large piece of steak he was choking on flew out his mouth. It all happened so fast but my colleague always says that I saved his life as he thought he was seconds away from croaking it.
In retirement, I’ll spend my time… hopefully touring around Europe with Biba. We love going on road trips together and the dream is to buy a luxurious motorhome so we can go off for adventures exploring the South of France, Italy and all the other beautiful parts of Europe.