BACKSTORY: Cisco GM Clayton Naidoo
We question the general manager of Cisco Clayton Naidoo
What was your first job?
I grew up in an entrepreneurial family; my dad was always a business owner. He started with car hire and then moved into retail. My first job was packing shelves in his business.
What’s your one top tip for doing a deal?
Always be prepared, and have a walk-out position.
What are you reading at the moment? What’s the one book everyone should read before they die?
The Leader Who Had No Title by Robin Sharma. As a South African, I believe a must-read is Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela.
Which person do you most admire?
My dad. He displays resilience during the toughest of times.
Which phrase or word do you overuse?
Do everything you can within your control.
Who is your favourite hero of fiction ?
If you could have dinner with any three people, alive or dead, who would they be?
My grandfather — he passed away before I was born — Mandela and Martin Luther King Jr.
What is your biggest regret?
Not taking risks fast enough.
How do you deal with stress? What are your top tips for handling stress?
I think positively and adopt a "solutionist" mindset. Focus on the facts and put things into perspective. Most importantly, remain calm!
What’s the most interesting thing about you that people don’t know?
I am actually very shy.
What do you regard as the lowest depths of misery?
Not being able to provide for my family.
Which talent would you most like to have?
I would love to play a musical instrument.
What is the one investment you wish you had made, or made earlier?
On what occasion do you lie?
To bring people together and mend broken relationships.
What is your biggest indulgence?
Tell us about a hidden gem in SA that not many people know about.
Nirox Sculpture Park in Krugersdorp. What a gem.