Profiles of our Business Greats

The following samples are taken from;
Profiles of our Business Greats

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Other Collections from "the Poet Laureate of the Boadroom"

Sage of Enlightenment

Read by actor/son Nat at the St Martins-in-the-Field Memorial Service.

Sir Peter Parker

Sir Peter Parker

A darkened boardroom: Enter right,
(Seated: the sober-suited bosses)
A human tiger, burning bright,
A jovial corporate Colossus.

Chairman, Renaissance Man, a Sage,
He strides across agendas,
A Gielgud of the Business Stage
To dazzle and extend us.

Mitsubishi, Hamlet, Pan,
All roles within one drama,
For managing needs all the man
To sublimate its karma.

He moves with charismatic ease
From Blake to tough transaction;
Lives out the Unity he sees
Between Man's Art and Action.

Bestriding both, as others don't,
This corporate roister-doister
Reveals why lesser chairmen won't
Make all the world their oyster.

Cheerfully immune to age,
With balance-sheet and sonnet,
He shows how, if the world's a stage,
Then managers are on it.

Allows no ghetto set apart,
Or up some distant steeple;
It's work, with literature and art,
Turns turnips into people.

For England and Saint George

Sir Eddie George

Sir Eddie George

I was your very model of a Bank of England Governor,
Inspiring just the right degree of enviable love and awe.
To the hoi polloi I'm 'Eddie'
But, as Edward the Unready,
Suffered much frustrating waiting from the chap before.

When at last I scooped the pools, I'd left little doubt I'd hanker
To be the more teutonic type of Fuhrer Bundesbanker.
Independence I had wanted
Since that late and unLamonted
Chancellor both blew the gaffe and dragged his anchor.

Yet even I could not conceive the blessings my Good Fairy
Would heap upon me courtesy of Brownikins and Blairie -
MPCs and Alpha Pluses
Of financial geniuses
To protect me in my fiscal reliquary.

Who said the dear Old Lady of Threadneedle Street was past it?
I made at least a Merry Widow out of her and, blast it,
They all owe it to their Eddie
That the pounds now at the ready
To gazzump the rotten Euro and outlast it.

Cyber Man

Bill Gates

Bill Gates

Shy scion of top-lawyer dad
And pushy mum, young Billy had
His over-compensating teens
Pre-programmed deeply in his genes.

Since first he'd set his infant heart on
Software while at Kindergarten,
Bill was rarely at a loss
With BASIC or with MS-DOS.

Then Microsoft's each-widget-sold
Turned all he ever touched to gold.
Yet who could know what hidden cares
May haunt our Web-Club billionaires,
Whose ceaselessly gazzumping worth
Declared Bill richest Guy on Earth?
What's left to come, the sober thought is,
For gods still only in their forties?

The answer, as it came to pass,
Was Bill mistook the Law for Ass.
Monopoly seemed twice as nice
Played Windows-style with loaded dice;
Until, that is, Judge Jackson sussed
Bill's boyish ways with Anti-Trust.

Since less makes less and more makes more
Poor Bill had much on which to pore;
And happily devised his way
To take but also give away.

She Trades in Beauty...

Anita Roddick

Anita Roddick

She trades in Beauty, sells delight
In Earth's old fruits for bathroom bowls;
Helps Nature put its shop to rights,
Ride high the skin-and-shampoo polls.
Yet Body Shop's symbolic lights
Burn less for Bodies than for Souls.

Scourge of myopic Corporate Man,
'Profits-with-Principle' the prize,
She made old nostrums hit the fan
And footsie dinos demonise
Such dangerously cool Úlan
For mixing Care with Enterprise.

She's thrived, this Phoenix-from-the-Ash,
On constant gloom from City ghouls,
Tut-Tutting on the Cult-of-Cash
Writ deep in Holy Market rules.
She floats, uncluttered by the trash
She never learned at business schools.

She's whetted appetites to go,
By roads less travelled through the door
Marked Ogoni and Kayapo,
And peasant-mums in Changapur;
Dared mention ethics in the glow
Of Earth Com.'s Global Superstore.

Our Business Gurus

Tom Peters

Tom Peters

This is a song to celebrate Gurus.
Not the retiring kind who sit cross-legged among the kookaburrus,
But Gurus of the Business-Con-Fraternity,
Hyping the Hot News on the Corporate Highways to Eternity.
Prophetic pushers of The Panacea
Which all McKinsey, Bain and Booz consultants crave to hear,
As each new Shaman of the Corporate Zen
Brings music to the soul of Arthur Andersen.

Stand by, though, for the new, improved mind-slammer,
The next big Buzz-Wow after Michael Hammer!
Surfing the deep, cool Cyberspace to greet us,
Behold Pre-Emptive-Total-Excellence-Renewal-Systems (PETERS),
Which next should save us from the yawning
Boredom of actually managing and performing.

Apologies to Ogden Nash.


Sir Richard Branson

Richard Branson

Branson is as Branson does,
All floppy-joe and levi;
Your fuzzy-round-the-chin-and-nose-
And-didn't-own-a-suit guy.
Millionairish, late of Stowe,
Business up and surgin',
Spawning music, travel, though
Likes to keep it Virgin.
Not a friend of British Air,
Says they're all deception,
Virgin's being, as it were,
Immaculate Conception.
Dickie, Dickie Debonnair
Keeps the City swooning,
Now the Madcap Mariner,
Now hot-air ballooning.
Round the World in Eighty Days?
That went out with Moses.
He'll be round and back, he says,
Before the Footsie closes.
To Bankers, in their Saville Row,
A mite uncouth and shifty,
Worried where-the-hell he'll blow,
Now he's over fifty.
Long-term rifter of the lute
Embarrassingly blighted,
As topper, tie and morning suit
Declare a Branson Knighted.
Will he, won't he still be Dick,
The guy who don't care tuppence,
Or has another Take-the-Mick
Received his royal come-uppance?

When a Felon's Not Engaged in His Employment...

Sir Patrick Sheehy
ex BAT, Police Reformer

When a Chairman's made a million per annum
- one per annum,
Helping half-an-earth to smoke itself to death,
- self to death,
You can understand his knighthood, for to ban 'em
- for to ban 'em,
Might well strangulate our economic breath.
- nomic breath.

Furthermore, if you could offer 'em insurance,
- em insurance,
At a premium that boosts yer Eagle Star,
- Eagle Star,
Then it follers that your corporate allurance,
- rate allurance,
Would make Governments think what a Czar you are.
- Zar you are.

When you've spent a whole decade conglomerating,
- glomerating,
Everything from scent to Saks, Fifth Avenue,
- ave a new,
It takes genius to come back later stating
- later stating,
That unbungling it was what you meant to do.
- meant to do.

So it's obviously quod est demonstrandum,
- dem and strand em,
When constabulary duty's to be done,
- to be done,
That a Minister can't pick and choose at random
- chews at randum,
But must trust the business brain of such a one.
- such a one.

What a pity it took all this fuss and puther,
- fuss and puther,
On how coppers tick, and best to catch the lags,
- catch the lags,
To remind 'em, taking one thing with another,
- with another,
A policeman's lot is not a pack o' fags.
- pack o' fags.

Only Connect

Dr Robert Hawley

Dr Robert Hawley

He talks of art in a turbine's blade,
Of the poem in a jet of steam.
Says beauty's about in the pulsing flow
That powers the electric beam.
Insists there's room in a craftsman's kit
For the spanner and the dream.

He's dared wax lyrical about
A dam. With great bravado
Lobbed Stephenson and Faraday
Up there with Leonardo.
Turned down the tired old Hobson's choice
Of chips or avocado.

That autobiographic mix
Of early scouse with geordie,
Has charmed the technologic socks
Off Chinamen and Saudi.
Won unique honours from Korea,
All maxima cum laude.

He's tramped more bridges round the globe
Than seconds in the hour,
From Sidney to Millennium,
Hong Kong to Tyne and Tower.
He's made the bridge our metaphor
For mixing sweet and sour.

He's seen, rewritten in the runes,
What energies flood forth
When sculptor crafts with engineer
Some Angel of the North.
Just as when science, craft and art
First jointly bridged the Forth.

Where Parsons, Royce and Reyrolle trod
He's been, and doffed his hat,
But 'best' means always yet to come
In Hawley's habitat.
Only Connect's his arbiter
Of where our future's at.

Born Again

Sir Harvey Jones

John Harvey-Jones

Sir John Harvey-Jones, Sir John Harvey-Jones,
Natty, cravaty in multiple tones;
Twin trouble-shooters appended to thigh,
Ancient submariner, ex I.C.I.

Sir John Harvey-Jones, Sir John Harvey-Jones,
Prophet of profit as writ in the stones;
Magnanimous animus of corps d'esprit,
Making It Happen in books, on TV.

What wisdom you toss us for cutting our losses,
You fabulous, famed flagellator of bosses;
How wise to chastise all us corporate sinners
For our wailings and failings as world-beating winners.

Keep on bruising our egos for driving Montegos
And lacking ambition, the higher your fee goes;
Make us higher aspirers, inflame and re-wire us,
Believers, achievers of all you desire us.

Sir John Harvey-Jones, Sir John Harvey-Jones,
Of the swash-buckle chuckle and gravelly moans.
We're thinking you're winking behind the mystique,
Where you're Jack Commonsensical, tres sympathique.

Sir John Harvey-Jones, Sir John Harvey-Jones,
Burnished and furnished with zeal in your bones;
Avuncular guru to corporate men,
Your melody lingers - but sing it again.

Profiles of our Business Greats

Ralph Windle: UK Poet, Performance poet uk, Writer, Lecturer, Performer, Educator, Poet, Creator of Bertie Ramsbottom

In the Financial Times, Harvard Business Review, BBC Radio...

A talented and insightful uk poet and author of inspirational, motivational, humorous and downright funny business poetry and ballad poems about business, the arts and free thinking.