Explorer Levison Wood, who has walked the length of the River Nile, was told by his careers advisor to become a librarian.
Speaking at the CIPS Annual Dinner in London, Wood told a spellbound audience of his adventures, including surviving a car crash, being stalked by a tiger and tucking into a bowl of maggots.
He also described how he gained an audience with the Dalai Lama by turning up on his doorstep unannounced, despite having received a number of rebuffs from his assistant.
Guests were also treated to a photograph of Wood’s damaged and bandaged feet, which swelled up by a size and a half during his trek along the Nile.
Wood began adventuring following a career in the Army, though his careers advisor at school had recommended a more bookish course. “Never listen to your careers advisor,” he warned.
Among the lessons he has learned from his travels are to plan properly and get a good team around you. “If you want to succeed and do great things, surround yourself with great people,” he said.
Procurement professionals from a wide range of sectors were welcomed to the hotel 8 Northumberland Avenue with champagne and live music, followed by a sumptuous three-course meal with fine wine.
During his speech CIPS president Richard Masser urged people to embrace their inner entrepreneur in their roles to help raise the profile of procurement.
Masser also reaffirmed his mantra for success, which includes listening to the quiet ones, respecting people at all levels of an organisation, planning, learning from mistakes, being courageous and professional development. “Never stop learning and have commercial courage,” he said.