Backstory: Woolworths SA CEO Zyda Rylands
Where were you when Nelson Mandela was released from prison?
At home with my family, glued to the TV.
What’s your one top tip for doing a deal?
Make sure it’s a fair deal for everyone — think win-win, with a focus on the long- term sustainability of the outcome, not just short-term benefit.
What are you reading at the moment? And what’s the one book everyone should read before they die?
Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson and Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela.
When and where are you happiest?
The times I spend with the youngest members of my family — particularly when they’re well behaved!
Which phrase or word do you most overuse?
Collaboration — it’s important in our business but my team gets tired of hearing it!
Nominate your eighth wonder of the world
Tell us about a hidden gem in SA that not many people know about
What’s the worst airport you’ve been in?
What is your biggest regret?
Not stopping long enough to smell the roses.
What was your first job?
A financial analyst at Caltex Oil (SA).
Who is your favourite hero of fiction?
Buzz Lightyear — Buzz’s classic line "To infinity ... and beyond!" characterises my focus on always looking forward, looking for the next adventure. Buzz is also known for his bravery and courage, which are character traits crucial in an ever-changing retail environment.
What is the most interesting thing about you that people don’t know?
I do flowers for bridal parties, which is very relaxing and allows me the opportunity to contribute to the happiest days of people’s lives. And my sense of humour.
Is there such a thing as "enough money", and if so, how much is it?
It’s a state of mind.
What is your biggest indulgence?
Hot chips. Being home alone in my PJs.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Nothing, or it wouldn’t be a virtue.
What is the one investment you wish you had made, or wish you had made earlier?
Buying a home in Marylebone, London, long ago. Aspen Pharmaceuticals.
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