Tena koutou, Tena koutou katoa
Good evening Ladies and Gentleman
I would like to acknowledge Jo Brosnahan (Founder and Advisory Trustee, Leadership NZ), Lady Beverley Reeves (Patron, Leadership NZ), Peter Garnett (Chair, Leadership NZ), the Trustees, Penny Hulse (Deputy Major of Auckland and a Leadership NZ Alumni), fellow sponsors, fellow partners, alumni and congratulations to tonight's graduates.
On behalf of KPMG, it is great to be associated with Leadership NZ, an organisation very clear on its purpose and one which parallels with KPMGs purpose. Our purpose is all around fuelling NZs prosperity - health, wealth and well-being of all New Zealanders - this generation and future generations. One way we do that is that we help organisations build, protect and realise value – we have a big focus on Building Better Business Leaders. Leadership NZ's purpose is to ensure that New Zealanders in a position of influence are equipped for the challenges of leadership. So I see a strong connection. More importantly at KPMG we have seen the results. Over the last seven years, KPMG have been fortunate to have someone participate and graduate and this year Lauder Eramus has kept us well informed on how much he has learnt and enjoyed the experience – and likewise we have seen the benefits.
Our country’s future prosperity relies on our ability to inspire and create leaders who are determined to see NZ succeed – that includes all of you and especially tonight’s graduates.
KPMG had the pleasure of hosting the opening to this year's Programme – back in February in our Auckland offices down on the waterfront – it does not seem that long ago. I will build on some of the messages from the opening night.
I have been given 10 minutes to cover a few thoughts on leadership. Like all of you I am learning from my successes and failures every day. In today's environment, Leadership is not easy and it won't get any easier – due to a couple of things. Namely the exponential speed of change and if we are good leaders, we are surrounding ourselves and employing people who are extremely capable, ambitious and love to challenge and be challenged.
I plan on covering:
1) The importance of IQ, EQ and CQ;
2) Behaviours and profiles of top leaders;
3) Leadership examples from our great NZ sporting teams; and,
4) Fearless leadership.
1) IQ, EQ and CQ – Intellectual, Emotional and Cultural Intelligence
Clearly, good leaders set strategy; good leaders motivate; good leaders build culture and achieve results.
Truly effective leaders are distinguished through a high degree of Emotional Intelligence and Cultural Intelligence.
EQ includes having competence in self-awareness, self-regulation, being motivated, having empathy and good social skills.
CQ is the ability to cross divides and thrive in multiple cultures and is the natural evolution of IQ and EQ.
CQ has become increasingly important in today's world where there are no boundaries and there is significant growth in international trade, investment and the movement of people. Part of New Zealand's prosperity and success will be due to a number of Global Megatrends which includes the growing middle-class population in the ASPAC region. As some of you will know, it is projected Auckland’s population by 2030 will be 50% European and 50% non-European. Then this trend will flow throughout NZ. The world is crying out for innovation – culturally diverse groups see things differently and innovation needs people who actively encourage Diversity, Inclusion and CQ.
Effective leaders need all three (IQ, CQ and EQ) if they are to be successful. The good news is that unlike IQ which is largely genetic and changes little from childhood, the skills of Emotional and Cultural intelligence can be learned at any age so it not too late for any of us in this room to work on our EQ and CQ. On the topic of EQ - if you have not got it, unfortunately, you are the last to see it.
2) What are some of the behaviours and profiles of top leaders from my experience:
People developers – Top leaders use their hearts and minds when it comes to developing people. They have a passion about people, they have a strategic mindset about talent including succession planning and they invest time in mentoring and coaching people. I believe we all need to be asking ourselves who am I coaching or mentoring – are we putting enough time into this important role?
Relationship Builders – They have a genuine connection with internal and external stakeholders, strong EQ and CQ, strong interpersonal skills – they are prepared to have the open and honest conversations and seek input and feedback from others. They build networks and have meaningful connections.
Strategic Enablers – Strategic orientation, translate vision into reality, they empower and delegate, they understand risk & reward and plan for the long term
Nimble adaptors – These are leaders who embraces change, encourage innovation, leverage diversity and manage resistance to change. In todays world with the impact of digital disruption, business models are continually changing and our competition does not necessarily come from our traditional competitors. Companies such as Uber and Airbnb have not only disrupted the market they are in but they are continually innovating at a faster rate than their competitors. Uber – Uberpool, UberBlack, UberSUV, Uberselect – they are innovating every day and their traditional competitors are in still back in the 20th Century.
Constant learners – Learn from subordinates, superiors, friends and competitors. They grow from failure and success. They challenge the status quo, they experiment, explore, create and if it does not work, they fail fast and move on.
3) 2015 another good year - many great leadership examples from our NZ sporting teams.
We have been fortunate to see a number of sporting teams perform at the highest level this year, our Silver Ferns Netball team and BLACKCAPS cricket teams both made the world cup finals and the All Blacks won back to back RWCs. All their communications reinforce this – the word We or Team and not I.
So lets look at few examples – BLACKCAPS – what Brendan McCullum has managed to do is get his team to play a unique style of cricket that not only suits them but has a focus of putting the team first. Previous leaders and players would be most focussed on their personal statistics and personal runs scored but now the focus is what the team needs you to do.
If Kane Williamson needs to go in and score a quick 50 to get the run rate back on track (1 day match) he will do that, rather than spend longer at the crease at a slow run rate to get a century. Brendan also changed his leadership team – so the older more experienced players are not necessarily the leadership team. He has chosen younger members such as Tim Southee and Kane Williamson as part of his leadership team. Very capable individuals who lead by example and relate well to the younger team members who needed to be mentored.
Our famous AB’s – they have shown great leadership on and off the field. The humility of the individuals and the focus on the team. Ritchie McCaw’s quote in the NZ Herald the day before the RWC final – "I don’t believe in magic, I don’t believe in luck, I believe in hard work." Talk about someone who is prepared to put their body on the line week in week out and show leadership – for the last 14 years. Dan Carter - World Rugby Player of the year 2005, 2012 and 2015 – played a pivotal role at key times. Quote: "I never think in individual terms, you can never take the credit – the team is always bigger than you." This is a team who clean up and tidy the changing rooms before they leave. This is a team where both Ma Nonu and Sonny Bill Williams both have the capability and desire to start as 2nd five eight in every test – but both acknowledge the right person for the game plan and the circumstances takes the field because it is in the best interests of the team – they support each other. And Ritchie McCaw does not have to take all the responsibility as the leader. Kevin Mealumu's role is to discipline the players if required as well as telling the players before they go out and celebrate after winning the RWC "remember we are ABs 24 / 7." RWC: 31 in the squad, 1-15 take the field, 16-23 are our super subs like Boden Barrett and Sonny Bill. But 24-31 are our unsung heroes - they do not get as much limelight. For example, our AB locks – Sam Whitelock & Brodie Retallick (two of the best in the world) - they never missed a lineout on an AB throw in and they won many on the opposition throw ins. Why? Because our third lock Luke Romano was their opposition when it came to training & do the drills. So as leaders the wider team is really crucial, and they need to know the role they play and why it is so important.
4) Fearless leadership – the theme of Programme this year.
Traci Houpapa, Mai Chen, Guy Ryan, Sina Wendt Moore, and a big gap to #5 (myself).
As leaders, we need to challenge ourselves to be bold, ambitious, generous, visionary, provocative and fearless.
Fearless leadership is about embracing risk and uncertainty, stepping into the unknown and moving outside your comfort zone. It’s about building a collective vision, seeing through problems to possibilities, empowering those around us and working together.
Fearless leaders understand their strengths and weaknesses (and their blind spots). They surround themselves with people with different skills sets and those who are prepared to challenge.
Fear is not necessarily a bad thing – we can use it to motivate ourselves, we can use it to ensure we don’t get complacent. And use it to get off our backside and achieve results.
One of the best ways to address fear (in addition to hard work) is having a strong network or a complementary team around you. So, as leaders, who is in your support network? Who do you turn to when you face the unknown? Take a minute and think about - Who is in your inner circle? Who can you rely upon?
As leaders I do encourage you to continue to develop your EQ and CQ and identify your blind spots – build a strong team around you – most importantly ascertain feedback – value it - don’t be defensive. Don’t take it personally and do something about it.
It is very easy for us to live in our comfortable 21st century lives – easy to get a job, have a family, make some money, buy a house, have some fun and do a bit of travel and so on. Life can be much more than that and we all can do so much more. The 21st century is a defining age – the world is a bit mixed up at present and NZ has lots of potential. As leaders we need to challenge ourselves to be ambitious, visionary, provocative and fearless. As leaders we have a responsibility to make a difference, to influence, to drive change and improve things – to make the world and NZ a better place – not just for ourselves but for our children and our children’s children.
Thank you very much. I wish you all the best.