Chief Encounters: John Macmillan, Eric Liddell Centre


John Macmillan, chief executive of the Eric Liddell Centre, likes to take to the piste when he's not watching Game of Thrones  

19th July 2017 by TFN 0 Comments

What makes a good day at work?

I try to get out of my office and walk around the Centre whenever possible.  A highlight for me is a visit to our dementia day care to meet our clients and see first-hand how much they enjoy their time with us.  A regular visit to the café for some home-baking is also a treat.

How many hours do you normally work in a week?

Too many! I do try to manage the workload and find that a flexible approach helps, with sometime in the gym to keep me active.

What do you procrastinate over?

The ongoing preparation for various board meetings and subcommittee reports is something I could do better – I think I’m getting there however.

What turns you into the office Victor Meldrew?

When we don’t provide our usually high customer service and indirectly give the “computer says no” answer – very rare now, but I still can’t believe it!

Is the third sector a calling or an accident?

A calling. My background is community development and I spent quite a few years in local government managing community based services including the oversight of third sector, economic and European funding. I wanted to get back to my community roots and see the positive impact of what we do. It definitely feels like I’m in the right place now.

What happens during your perfect weekend? 

Spending some time with my wife and two sons and if its winter, getting some turns in on my skis, weather permitting!

What’s your favourite film (or album)?

Chariots of Fire, of course!

Would we all be better off if charities did more in our society?

I think charities already do an incredible amount of work to support people facing various challenges.  One area that I would like to see continue to grow is volunteering. I think getting involved in the community is a key way to reduce social isolation and stay engaged.  

I have always tried to implement a no regrets approach to life

Would your 16-year-old self be impressed with where you are now?

At 16, I had already started working seriously on a music career, so I think surprised would probably sum it up!  I have always tried to implement a no regrets approach to life and after about 10 years in a variety of roles in music, I would hope to get a thumbs up. 

You’re home, fully fed with your feet up – which comes first EastEnders or emails? 

Neither – Game of Thrones!

Is this a step on the rung to success or your final destination?

I’d never say never, but I definitely feel at home at the Eric Liddell Centre.

What do you think is the main strengths of the Scottish charity sector?

Flexibility to respond quickly and effectively to the needs of local communities, national and regional challenges and providing value for money.

What does your dream retirement look like?

Some travel with my family, plenty of skiing, finally setting up that home recording studio and keeping up-to-date in the sector via some volunteering.

Brian Denis Cox or Brian Edward Cox? 

Brian Denis Cox – I really enjoy his acting and his films.