Richard has a long history of contribution to industry through senior board and committee roles in a number of national and local industry associations including the Australian Industry Group, the Plastics Industry Association and Business SA. These roles have included being an office bearer up to the level of president on at least two occasions.
He has always been passionate about developing his leadership skills through formal one off training programs such as the Company Directors Course and by continuous improvement through ongoing membership of The Executive Connection (TEC). He says that following through the TEC processes is like doing a working MBA. He is an avid reader of leadership books and keeps himself up to date in current affairs developments in order to be able to make fully informed leadership decisions.
He believes that the cornerstone to success in business leadership is applying energy and effort from establishing a vision to implementation, in an ethical way. His motto is “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. If you wish to be successful, some of the best money invested will be spent obtaining the best professionals to provide the best advice possible. The benefit of good advice cannot be overstated.
ROLE AND HOPES FOR ILF
If we are to develop a suite of modern, profitable, growing, wealth-creating industries for the benefit of South Australians we need to leverage our leaders and those with real leadership potential and help them grow. I believe the team-based approach of the ILF is an outstanding way to developing the leaders we need to create head offices and wealth-creating industries in South Australia. The success of any organisation is directly proportional to the ability of the chairman, and the ILF has a Chairman with an outstanding achievement record. In summary, I believe the ILF is an excellent incubator for aspiring and current leaders to leverage themselves from each other, to grow success as individuals and as a group.
Aside from the developmental opportunities the ILF offers to fund, I would highly recommend joining Toastmasters. I personally found it to be one of the most beneficial things I have ever done, and the cost is minimal. Toastmasters is all about positive improvement through better listening, thinking and speaking. Different clubs have different characteristics and are at different stages of development. The secret to gaining the maximum benefit is to choose a club that is best suited to you, and to do that I recommend visiting three clubs before deciding which one to join.
I believe a true leader is someone who has the wisdom to see what is required, the ability to inspire those who need to act to achieve the aim and the courage of his/her convictions to overcome all obstacles.
Four leaders I most admire are:
- Sir Eric Neil, who is a great South Australian who has created more wealth in South Australia than most South Australians will ever realise.
- Winston Churchill, who lead Britain through its darkest hours.
- Ronald Reagan, who had the strength of conviction to sack the air traffic controllers when they threatened to bring the USA to a halt and bring the dispute to a successful conclusion for the benefit of the travelling public.
- Bob Hawke, who took on the Australian Federation of Air Pilots to ensure air travel would be available and affordable to most Australians.