Jacques de Beer
Durban - The leadership landscape has changed a lot over the past two decades. A culture of management through process and hierarchy has given way to a culture of servant leadership through collaboration and co-creation.

Jacques de Beer, chief executive of Durban-based BPO and financial services provider Talksure, said: “The ability to truly lead highly successful and highly competent teams is fundamental in exploding business growth.

“I’ve started my own businesses, grown others, and developed a successful career in corporate, and through it all I’ve grown as a leader and into a leader who inspires my people to play big.”

De Beer offers these leadership tips:

* Even a weaker team can win if their hearts and souls are in it: Understanding your purpose and your organisation’s “why” is fundamental to inspiring your people. Enrol your team in a shared purpose, which should be bigger than any one individual can achieve. If you live that purpose yourself, they will follow. Find out what drives your team, and from there you will be able to connect their way of being to your organisational purpose, allowing you to unlock opportunities.

* A good leader is also a good follower: True leadership is about creating the environment that unlocks the potential for success and innovation in your team. Allow your team to take the lead.

* Select people who are better than you, especially in their field of expertise: Some leaders are threatened by people with more skills than themselves and might believe they know best. That means the team can never be better than the leader, at his worst. You had better be prepared to be challenged every day. If you don’t, you will never win.

* As above, so below: A leader needs to embody the attitude and behaviours they want their team to display.

“Leadership takes strength, wisdom and above all the courage to be authentic and true to yourself. Give your team permission to be the same and create an environment where the impossible becomes possible. It’s our mandate as leaders to keep pushing the envelope and equipping our teams to be successful. The bigger the dream, the more vital the team,” De Beer said.

The Mercury