Entrepreneurs make mistakes and have to survive. Whatever their business, they need people who trust them as leaders, align to their vision; and they have to back themselves.
Bob Clifford’s example is a fascinating leadership story.
Bob Clifford, OA (1995) and Tasmanian of the Year (2008) is a leader who turned a backyard boat-building operation into an international business. From humble beginnings in the 60s, he kept his business successful through ongoing technology development and by learning from his mistakes.
Clifford was both an innovator and entrepreneur. Although he made many more mistakes than you and I combined, he backed himself. He never ‘made mistakes’ just ‘discovered’ learning opportunities.
Clifford founded the INCAT (International Catamaran ferries) business based in Hobart Tasmania, which now build 100m high-speed, wave-piercing catamaran ferries supplying world markets. One of his blackest ‘learning opportunities’ was in 1994 accidentally running aground his 40 million dollar catamaran Condor II on Blackjack Rock on the Derwent River.
He found his business style was more doing business on a gentleman’s handshake; building on relationship and trust rather than complicated legal contracts. Particularly on major projects with the Chinese who, in business, tended to value relationships over contracts. He used what many described as an “authentic leadership style”
Clifford surrounded himself with loyal employees passionate about the business, encouraged to innovate. It seems very few, if any employees were sacked or laid off from INCAT – even during very lean years.
He had built a community of people all aligned to the cause: being the best, challenging past ideas and taking risks along the way.…. and of course backing yourself!
Would people call you authentic? Do people trust you and your leadership?
Why not discover how you shape up to these important qualities? Bridgeworks has the processes to help you change leadership style, team effectiveness and build an engaged organisation culture