Q&A with Stephen Counsell

About

Stephen CounsellSteve is a full time digital marketer and public speaker on technology, photography and digital marketing. With interests in all things travel, photography and the web Steve spends his work time on the things he’s interested in, with leisure time spent with the family. Steve is married with four sons and now eight grandchildren. When time allows he spends it with Wendy, his wife, traveling to Australia to spend a few weeks with their eldest son, daughter-in-law and two grandsons. They also travel to Sweden for their youngest son who will be married in 2014 to his lovely Swedish fiancé Ellika.

Steve is also a wannabe chef and cooks delicious and romantic meals when time allows. He’s pretty good at creating a great tasting white wine sauce. and his favourite food is mainly Italian.

How would you describe yourself in 15 words or less?

I like others to see me as a thoughtful man, kind, tenacious and erudite.

How did you come to be involved in the travel and hospitality industry?

I have always loved travel although not had the opportunity to do as much as I’d have liked to.  Over the last decade my family have been involved in the hotel business in Australia so at last I have the opportunity to both travel and to be involved on the periphery of the hotel business. Seeing how a small hotel is run from the insiders perspective really opens your eyes to the real nitty gritty of customer service.

Favourite hotel and why excluding any you have worked in?

Clearly I have to mention Linden Gardens on Mount Dandenong just outside Melbourne. It really is the best hotel I have ever stayed in. Embedded in a rain forest with five star service and simple luxury. A non family choice would be the Novotel in Sheffield. Their regular stay service is something rather special. Free wine and canapés on Tuesday every week.

Where do you see yourself in 3 years?

Predicting the future is always a bit of a challenge. So many plans to push forward but if I had a magic wand I’d put myself in a comfortable place where my work life balance was leaning more towards life than work. Spending time with the family especially the grandchildren.

Quick Fire

What colour is the new black?
Orange

Winter holiday – snow or sun?
Sun

Blackberry or I Phone?
iPhone

Mac or Windows?
Mac (since 1989!)

City or rural life?
City – I tried rural and that was a real mistake…

Curry or steak?
Tough choice this one but I think Curry is the winner given the variety.

Favourite Bond movie?
Diamonds are Forever

Hero or villain?
Hero

Elephant or tiger?
Tiger

Technophobe or nerd?
Nerdophobe

Dancer or wallflower?
Dancer

Jazz or classical?
Jazz

Early to bed or burn the candles at both end?
Burning it at both ends!

Ideal breakfast?
Croissant, Fruit, Cold cuts, fruit juice and Coffee

Passive aggressive or aggressive pacifist?
Passive Aggressive

Insight

Who or what has been your strongest influence in your life?
It’s true to say that my wife of 40 years, Wendy has been the biggest and best influence.

What is the most important lesson you have learnt?
Trust your instincts

What is the most embarrassing moment in your work life?
Switching off the entire network at Nestle UK thus disabling 25000 user log ins. Ooops!

What keeps you awake at night?
An exciting tomorrow.

Where would you travel to and why?
Moscow. So many stories, I just have to see it for  myself.

What would your super power be?
I’d have the ability to make everyone kind.

Which trait do you deplore most in others?
Their “pavlovian response” to a ringing phone

What is your least appealing habit?
Watching too much TV

What is your guiltiest pleasure?
KFC Hot Wings

Private dining for 6 plus yourself, who would you invite?
I’d have to get Winston Churchill sat next to Patrick Moore with William Shatner on the other side. Then opposite them I’d have Marilyn Monroe, Madonna and Kylie Minogue

What should I have asked you?

My favourite Music: Led Zeppelin, Madonna, Kylie and Billy Joel

My Favourite Movies: Matrix trilogy, Star Wars, Die Hard (apart from a good day to die hard)

Favourite TV Shows: Dexter, Dead Like Me, The Shield, Breaking Bad, The Wire.