How does your CEO handle failure?

‘The old mechanistic model of leadership was more about alpha males stomping around and telling people what to do’

How does your CEO handle failure?

Everybody experiences failure, but a common theme among Kiwi CEOs is that it is easier to keep these risks in perspective when they have a solid ‘why’ – a meaningful vision and purpose that they are trying to achieve, according to Real-TV director, Kim Goodhart.

Goodhart added that the new generation of leaders want to create, build and achieve something that makes the world a better place, such as finding solutions to carbon emissions, dairy farming and housing shortages.

Indeed, Real-TV has conducted interviews with the likes of Mike Bennetts, CEO Z Energy, Nick Astwick, CEO, Southern Cross Health Society, Vic Crone, CEO, Callaghan Innovation, Sam Stubbs, managing director, Simplicity and Marc England, CEO, Genesis Energy.

Goodhart added that she was delighted to find leaders who are self-aware, who care about doing something that is good and who are led by a vision to build something that makes a positive difference.

This is exemplified by Genesis Energy CEO, Marc England, who wants to change the way consumers interact with energy, by paying more attention to how they use and manage their own energy consumption.

Moreover, Southern Cross Health Society CEO, Nick Astwick, wants to build an organisation that is focused on health assurance, rather than insurance – “with more emphasis on daily health and wellbeing rather than just being the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff”.

Goodhart also asked more than 4,500 people what they admired in a CEO and a common theme that came out of the research was that people respond more positively to a CEO based on how they behave outside of work.

“If a CEO is good with his or her family, has a good work/life balance and was supportive of their people achieving the same balance, they were more likely to be respected and liked by their people,” said Goodhart.

Further, those CEOs who work hard to create something that really benefits customers were also most likely to inspire their people.

“The CEOs themselves are most aware of the changing world we’re living in and none of them – so far – believe that the old dictatorial style of leadership is relevant in today’s world; not when a company is trying to come up with new solutions to current challenges,” Goodhart said.

It’s also important for managers today have to make it their priority to bring out the best in people, where work is more closely experienced “as personal development rather than just work”.

Goodhart said the “old mechanistic model of leadership” was more about alpha males “stomping around the organisation and telling people what to do”.

“A new breed of CEO is following a more organic model that is inclusive and takes greater advantage of workplace diversity,” said Goodhart.

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