Straight-talking businessman John Griffin, founder of Addison Lee, a company he grew to become one of London’s most identifiable brands, joined us on the 17th April at the Lansdowne club in Mayfair, to share his story and insights with our Young Leaders.
Mr. Griffin, 76, started his business with one car in 1975 and sold it in 2013 for £300 million. During the course of the one-hour session, he repeated his belief in hard-work, being alert to opportunities to win business, being self-disciplined, believing in one’s self and the benefits of loving what you do, as being key components in achieving long-term success. However, Mr. Griffin also cautioned the Young Leaders to keep family as a priority in life.
When asked if he was now retired, he replied emphatically that he planned to “keep going until he drops!” An active philanthropist, he explained that The John Griffin Foundation has committed £10 million to building an extension to the Northwick Park Institute for Medical Research in north London. The centre is leading the way in regenerative medicine, specifically around the development of natural tissue scaffolds to replace surgically removed or traumatised tissues. In addition, he is an Investor in the Royal Mint Gardens Development in London.
As the session concluded with some refreshments, we were left with an indelible sense that John Griffin’s work is far from done.