'Meeting Flic in 1988, when I was at Hill & Knowlton, was a shock. I had never interviewed an account director who had so much poise, intelligence and gravitas. She clearly had tremendous talent. But could I, as a young board director, live up to her high expectations?
'Flic did join H&K and proved to be a fantastic asset. She has the knack of being highly demanding while genuinely caring for her team. She also had no qualms telling me how I should improve as her manager. Tough advice but definitely required.
'She progressed quickly, managing business in youth marketing, sports, banking, and finally as MD of the corporate division. Her only weakness?
Flic Howard-Allen is director of communications at Marks & Spencer.