Ex-Sainsbury’s boss Justin King slams National Living Wage


Introducing a nationwide rate for the Living Wage is “ludicrous”, former Sainsbury’s chief executive Justin King has claimed. He claims that the National Living Wage will “destroy jobs”.

The living wage will come into force in April 2016 and set a new minimum pay level of £7.20 an hour for workers aged 25 and over.

Here at the IMM we are wholly against any increase in the so called Living Wage until there is clear evidence that people not receiving this amount are actually dying.

Mr King, is a well respected Thought Leader at the IMM, having come to prominence on joining Sainsbury’s when he immediately authorised the removal of the Colleague Christmas Bonus award of £100. The removal of the bonus was a contentious issue, given its consistent payment for 25 years. The money saved allowed him to pay himself a £500,000 bonus that week.

Members should note that IMM guidance is that bonuses are for senior management only as they are the wealth creators whereas the workers should be grateful to be employed. A day off on Xmas day for non-essential jobs should be bonus enough.

King’s annual salary at Sainsbury’s was £900,000, coupled with a bonus package between £3-£6million annually, a clear demonstration of his immense capability and capacity for self worth. And this was supported by his wily decision to jump ship just before Sainsbury’s share price collapsed.

His  comments come in the same week that Sainsbury’s announced that, from 30 August, its 137,000 shop-floor staff, including workers under 25, will see their standard rate of pay rise 4% to £7.36 an hour. (Mr King earned £7.36 in 5.2 seconds when he was in charge)

The IMM will be writing to Sainsbury’s about this pay award and the precedents it may set. Currently our Institute purchases pomegranates and Manchego cheese from this store for our Directors’ lunches and until we receive a satisfactory explanation from the company we will put this under review.

Sainsbury's profits could slump by £34.89

Sainsbury’s profits could slump by £34.89

How to Deliver Perfect Projects

This is what happens to projects in the real world! Don't get caught out!

This is what happens to projects in the real world! Don’t get caught out!


1] Copying your competitor:

Find a product that your competitors are selling and then do the same. Copying is the sincerest form of flattery, plus as they are likely to be better than you, the fact they are doing it means it has got to be a good idea

2] From any management book:

Just filter the ideas from a bestseller like ‘13 Habits of Smug Know Alls’ to fit your company profile plus if it goes pear shaped then you can always say Conglomerate Plc did this successfully in 1995 and it was someone else’s fault that it didn’t work here.

3] The standard ‘can’t fail to impress’ projects list:

a] Cost reduction by downsizing the work force

b] Departmental reorganisation

c] Firing the existing provider of an outsourced function and hiring another similar company.


The Project Manager:

Project Managers organise stuff, like meetings, actions and risk registers. Be nice to the PM, because you don’t want any actions assigned to you. The Project Manager is ideally a contractor so can be blamed and then fired if things are not going well.

The Programme Manager:

They provide progress and status reports plus presentations. Can also be wheeled in front of management to explain what is happening, saving you the time finding out. Also need to be kept on-side, as the presentations they create will be used by you to justify your job.

A Deputy:

They take notes and tell your peers and other stakeholders what to do and then hound them, whilst you take on the onerous task of handing out the plaudits and any good news.

The Expert:

The only person on the project team that knows what they are doing and also has the detail, they are usually passionate and incomprehensible but vital or you’ll deliver a chocolate kettle – lovely but useless.

The Stakeholders:

Usually a couple of appropriate Middle Managers. Their teams are supporting the project or delivering parts of it. They don’t want to be there as this is extra work for no benefit to them. Don’t make eye contact or you’ll get excuses.

 A P.A.:

Fierce ones round everyone up by reorganising their diaries for you. Friendly ones bring you buns and can get you out of meetings when you need to exit fast.


These are perfect storms of overlaps and infighting. This is good as you can use the teams’ antagonism towards each other to ensure they don’t bother you with any trivia or work and by showing favouritism to individuals to ensure that they suck up to you and do your bidding rather than the teams

 Briefing the team:

In a nutshell you need to communicate that it’s a key deliverable for the board, you’re only interested in the big picture so you don’t want problems only solutions and as a motivator add that if it doesn’t come together on time and on budget they are all fired, sorry downsized.


Demand monthly updates, or weekly if you think you can get away with it, as a full blown, chart ridden, metric heavy presentation. These should be 20 or 30 slides and needs a one page executive summary of the important bits, as you won’t have time to read the rest.

Report back to the board:

This should be monthly and saying how well its going. Don’t take anything but the summary to the meeting or some clever clog is going to start questioning the data. If asked to provide more detail, simply say you will take an action to get back to them on that and then castigate your team for not including the answer in the summary. Also remember to never get back to a questioner with an answer they don’t want. Better not to get back to them at all, if possible, as it will only encourage further questions.


These are tasks that need to be completed before the next project meeting. Think Bubonic plague here. Keep away from Actions and anyone who might give you one. To stretch this tenuous metaphor further, if you are a carrier then feel free to infect others.

Steering boards:

An unfortunate fact of life is that things don’t always go to plan and because you are an MCA you don’t have a Plan B anyway. So if a project you are leading is going pear shaped, start looking for scapegoats. Your project team members are the first obvious choice and you may need to throw one or two to the wolves during the project anyway. To paraphrase a French Admiral commenting on the execution of an English Admiral: ‘It’s to encourage the others’.

However this is small fry and the action is expected. The crucial requirement is to involve your peers, so set up a ‘Steering Board’ for the project. This needs to include the Senior Management of any department involved or affected by your project. At this level they won’t be ‘detail’ people so you can get away with telling them very little. Keep it simple and talk about ‘joined up approaches’, ‘key issues being addressed’ and ‘corporate governance’. Your steering board will lap this up and by the mere fact that they turned up can now be allocated partial blame in any cock up.

Project end:

There are two types of project endings. The first finishes on time, on budget and achieves its objectives. This type doesn’t concern us here, as it is a very rare occurrence and you just have to claim the plaudits. In reality, most projects fizzle out when either its clear it won’t work or when the collateral damage to the rest of the organisation becomes so great that your colleagues get nervous and jump overboard, i.e. they stop turning up to meetings.

Both are positive results. There’s no blame attached and you are remembered for the positive reports that indicated clearly you were on top of the task the whole time it was running. You can also afford to look slightly disappointed that the project was ended and will get some sympathy from the senior management for its cancellation. Always, of course, put a brave face on it and say how you can also see the ‘big picture’ that they can and fully understand and support their wise decision to can it.

Extract from the best selling How To Get To The Top Without Working Too Hard (Dick Lannister)

Available from Amazon UK and Amazon US and all good online stores

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How To Get To The Top Without Working Too Hard only 99p/99c ending soon!!!

Book Fan small

UK Amazon:  http://amzn.to/1Kt3O3g

US Amazon: http://amzn.to/1IGRbPz

If you think the term ‘low-hanging fruit’ should describe a soft object that hits you on the head as you walk through an orchard, rather than a business opportunity that is easy to deliver, then you will love this book!

How To Get To The Top Without Working Too Hard finally debunks the need for an MBA or any other formal business qualification to progress up the slippery pole to management success. Dick Lannister reveals the strategies and cunning plans that an aspiring executive needs to get to the top but who, crucially, doesn’t want to work too hard to get there.

The Master of Corporate Administration (MCA) covers key topics such as finance, marketing, projects and presentations. It’s a course guaranteed to set readers on the path to

  • Financial rewards
  • Power
  • Share options

by answering a variety of questions that include:

  • Why do CEOs with a 4-year contract always have 5-year plans?
  • Is a liability a financial metric or a description of the leadership team?
  • How can an inanimate object like a company have corporate values?

How To Get To The Top Without Working Too Hard provides a humorous look at the business and professional world. It’s the perfect, light-hearted read for anyone who wants to get to the top… and fast!

Should you study for an MBA or an MCA?

Want a FREE Copy? See below..

Like a FREE Copy? See below..

Take this short test to find out if you should study for an MBA (Master of Business Administration) or an MCA (Master of Corporate Administration)

Q1: Your working week should be:

  1. A]  Monday to Friday, nine to five
  2. B]  Eighty-hour weeks and some Sundays
  3. C]  Shift work
  4. D]  It fits around my life

Q2: The CEO calls, do you:

  1. A]  Drop everything and clear your desk for action
  2. B]  Ignore the call as it must be a mistake
  3. C]  Send through a PowerPoint presentation you prepared a while ago
  4. D]  Run straight to their office shouting, ‘I’m here, I’m here…’

Q3: Your team badly screws up so you:

  1. A]  Take full responsibility, fix the damage and then offer to resign
  2. B]  Take full responsibility and fix the damage
  3. C]  Promise to fix the damage if you get the time
  4. D]  Blame another department

Q4: A project is:

  1. A] A series of tasks designed to deliver a defined objective.
  2. B]  A lot of documents, charts and meetings
  3. C]  A series of linked actions defined by a hypothetical timeline
  4. D]  No idea – the workers do that sort of thing

Q5: To communicate with your Mexican office colleagues:

  1. A]  Speak to them in Spanish
  2. B]  Speak in English but employ a translator
  3. C]  Speak in English loudly and wave your arms
  4. D]  Use a PowerPoint presentation and suggest they employ a translator

ANSWERS: Obviously D is the right answer for an MCA candidate in all the above.

  • Five Ds or more: Well done, you are well on your way to success with little effort and score a bonus point if you went straight to the answers.
  • Three or four Ds: That moral compass of yours is pointing in the wrong direction. Adjust and try again: 
  • One or two Ds: Middle management beckons
  • No Ds: Perhaps an MBA is a better option.
(An extract from : How To Get To The Top Without Working Too Hard published by Troubador and available here and at all other good online book stores)
FREE Copies! I have three ebook copies to give away – by randomly selected winner on Aug 13th. Contact me directly at dicklannister *(at)* gmail.com to enter