George Greenyer

george greenyer

It was our joy to catch up with you George. Having worked together for more than 9 years it’s been an inspiration to watch you develop into an exceptional leader, not just at work but also as a husband and father to two beautiful children. You are a brilliant, kind, loving person who goes the extra mile every day to bring pleasure into people’s lives. A loyal friend who people come to for advice and conversation, you have that canny knack of making new friends every day. How? Because you are genuinely interested in every person you interact with and what makes them unique and special. 


What is the book (or books) you’ve given most as a gift, and why? What are one to three books that have greatly influenced your life?

I love children’s books and my absolute favourite is The Magic Finger, by Roald Dahl. I love the sense of animal rights and justice. I recently read it to my son, aged five and he loved it. I must have given it out 15 to 20 times to parents with children and also adult friends. I’m a vegetarian and have been for 20 years so being kind to animals is one of my core values. I don’t like preaching, but I do like to open up the conversation which this book helps with. It has also taught me how to treat people.

Additionally, two of the books that have influenced me greatly are Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder and Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig. My stepdad gave these to me when I was about 16 and they really helped me understand what it is to be a good person objectively, gave me a whistle stop tour of lots of different subjects and gave me the inspiration to study philosophy at university.


What purchase of £100 or less has most positively impacted your life in the last six months?

Getting my bike serviced and giving it a bit of TLC. Now I’m using it every day. I really feel liberated by this and have created a special time with my son as he is about to grow out of being on the back of the bike. I can’t really put a price on that.


If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it —metaphorically speaking, getting a message out to millions or billions — what would it say and why?

“The love you take is equal to the love you make”, which is a line out of the Beatles song The End.

To me, it says look after and love yourself and treat every interaction as a different experience without fear and negativity. Look at the potential by seeing the best in people because after all we are all the same. Love is manifested as being able to stand above yourself, being present and available.


What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made? 

Interrailing to the Slovakian mountains and running a Youth Hostel with my now wife Hattie. I’ve always been really passionate about Youth Hostels, the energy, the lack of cynicism, the wanderlust, the experience you get from meeting people from different countries and different cultures. I met people there who are lifelong friends that share our values. It was an amazing magical experience and I can’t wait to take my grown up kids there.


In the last five years, what new belief, behaviour, or habit has most improved your life?

One of my best friends died recently. It made me appreciate how precious life is and to be grateful for every day. I’m a lot more aware of that now and how life can be brilliant. Just being able to be outside in the seasons, in nature, gives me the perspective of mortality. Things change very quickly in life, but the most important things don’t really change.


What advice would you give to a smart, driven student about to enter the “real world”?

Don’t feel like you have to compromise on what you’re passionate about and believe in. Professionally identify what they are and pair together with your skills to create the life you want. The real world can be daunting and exciting and there are lots of pathways.


What annoys you most about your industry and the way companies are run in it?

When colleagues are negative towards their job and towards management. When they don’t care about the service that’s offered, are punching the clock and not engaging with customers.


When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, or have lost your focus temporarily, what do you do?

Trying to stand above myself and objectively work out and identify what the issue is, if there is one at all, then managing my response to that. It’s an ongoing journey for me and being able to think clearly and multitask is important. I take deep breaths, I get out into nature. I read a book. 9 times out of 10 there isn’t really anything I can’t handle and what it’s all about is communicating that to myself.


What does leadership mean to you?

Leadership is about helping others achieve a shared goal or objective. Helping people be at their best, helping them understand their strengths and what they can achieve.


Which people have most inspired you in your life and why?

Personally, my Mums sense of care for other people above all else and seeing that every day inspires me. Seeing the world through my kids’ eyes brings me such happiness. Hattie’s ability to remain calm in the moment even under difficult situations, she has such clarity and love for people. She’s always there with love which drives what she does.

Also, and I’m not just saying this, but you two inspire me. You created a business towards such an important goal of helping people less fortunate than ourselves. With your values and principles, you attracted people from different backgrounds. You really believed in what you were doing and stood by it even supporting people personally outside of work to help them grow and evolve as leaders and people. You have been a massive inspiration to me.

Topic: 50 in 50