Colin Price: ‘I Get Things Wrong Every Day’

The Executive Vice President at Heidrick & Struggles on what gives him energy and the book that changed his life.

When you have the opportunity to ask some of the most interesting people in the world about their lives, sometimes the most fascinating answers come from the simplest questions. The Thrive Questionnaire is an ongoing series that gives an intimate look inside the lives of some of the world’s most successful people.

Thrive Global: What’s the first thing you do when you get out of bed? 
Colin Price: Check my e-mails and then chastise myself for being the kind of person who does that first thing.

TG: What gives you energy?
CC: Seeing people grow. I’ve known so many people who grew way beyond anything expected of them. It’s terrific.

TG: What’s your secret life hack? 
CC: Have the best COO in the world so I look a little less dumb than I am.

TG: Name a book that changed your life.
CC: The Road To Wigan Pier by George Orwell. I read it at 17 in my home town of Preston, near Wigan. It changed my view of compassion forever.

TG: Tell us about your relationship with your phone. Does it sleep with you? CC: My phone left me once on a train and I cried for hours.

TG: How do you deal with email?
CC: I recently did a count and I get about 500 e-mails a day. I deal with them with brevity (but I’m secretly disappointed if I check my emails and have none).

TG: You unexpectedly find 15 minutes in your day, what do you do with it? CC: Play a cheeky game of online chess.

TG: When was the last time you felt burned out and why? 
CC: I’ve honestly never felt burned out. Should I?

TG: When was the last time you felt you failed and how did you overcome it? 
CC: Yesterday. I was trying to help a CEO see something differently and I pushed so hard I offended her. I get things wrong every day. The trick is to learn from all the failures.

TG: Share a quote that you love and that gives you strength or peace.
CC: A wise man once said to me: “We are grounded by the gravitational pull of low aspirations.” I love that idea; we won’t fly high if we don’t try to fly high.


Colin Price is Executive Vice President and Managing Partner of the Leadership Consulting Practice at Heidrick & Struggles. He’s the co-author, most recently, of Accelerating Performance: How Organizations Can Mobilize, Execute, and Transform with Agility.