In conversation with Brand Pretorius, a respected motor industry figure, Automobil explores key insights pertaining to leadership. In the whirlwind world of business management, the driving force propelling success is leadership. With his extensive tenure at Toyota South Africa and McCarthy Limited, Pretorius imparts invaluable insights into leadership. Pretorius illuminates the path to purposeful leadership in this discourse, emphasising attitude and enthusiasm as navigational beacons. Purpose and attitude: the propellers of leadership Imagine waking up each day with a clear-cut purpose, fuelling your decisions. Pretorius refers to this as “Ikigai,” a Japanese concept encapsulating the reason to embrace each new day. Pretorius asserts leadership transcends a mere title; it’s a life philosophy that moulds your presence. Life comprises 10% circumstances and 90% responses,” Pretorius says, “Self-leadership orchestrates purpose, passion, and optimism, synergising to double your energy. A constructive attitude determines your trajectory, propelling you and your team to greater summits.” Intelligence that resonates Pretorius explains that moral intelligence, the compass of leadership, steers with integrity as its currency. “Charisma pales in comparison to character. Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is pivotal for comprehending emotions within oneself and others.” EQ, he underscores, is the lifeline for connecting with teams, particularly during adversity. “Strike an equilibrium between rationale and emotion; this will define your resilience under pressure. Cultivate relationships to navigate teams through the dynamic business landscape.” Humility, the antidote to ego, lays the foundation for genuine connections. “Leadership embracing ‘we’ over ‘me’ thrives,” asserts Pretorius. “Blend self-discipline with empathy. Take note that arrogance dovetails with failure. Embrace humility, as it dismantles ego and nurtures character. Strength emanates from being humble and aids in relationship building.” Crafting a personal leadership code “Each leader must create a unique ethos, akin to a GPS. Autocratic reigns belong in the past; servant leadership reigns supreme.” Pretorius advocates for servant leaders who inspire, fostering passion and unity. “Leadership is intrinsic, transcending mere actions. Combine compassion with results to cultivate a thriving culture.” Balancing leadership and management Leaders are both conductors and architects. “Guide without micromanaging; your team wants visionary guidance. Align personal and organisational goals, directing success through balance.” A vision and a collective drive “Leaders need to align their vision and purpose, spark enthusiasm, and ignite motivation in every team member.” Pretorius cites Shackleton’s Antarctic Odyssey as a model for leadership amid chaos. “Unite talents within your team; remember that cohesion is the cornerstone.” Foster a culture of excellence “Cultivate a culture that resonates, igniting potential and triumph. Eliminate negativity and defensiveness, allowing strengths to thrive. Rooted in values, welcome diversity and teamwork,” explains Pretorius. An expedition of leadership “When will a team follow a leader? When you exemplify wisdom, knowledge, and empathy, you will earn trust and respect, resulting ni commitment. Truth, respect, results, and service are our guiding stars. Propel leadership with purpose, and inspire through passion,” explains Pretorius. “You can’t run on an empty tank; leadership will fuel the journey. Leaders orchestrate successful outcomes with purpose, humility, and a unique philosophy. It’s a journey guided by genuine connections, emboldened by vision, and anchored in a culture of excellence. Ultimately, leadership isn’t merely a role; it’s a beacon guiding a team towards extraordinary achievements,” concludes Pretorius.
“Each leader must create a unique ethos, akin to a GPS. Autocratic reigns belong in the past; servant leadership reigns supreme.”